One of the most amazing things about Barbados is the people. Bajans are definitely some of the worlds sweetest, most loving people and this is one of the reasons my parents and I want to visit Barbados at least once every year.
I love the way they think. They are far less judgemental of themselves and others than we are here in North America and, personally, I admire that so much.
One of my favourite moments from my most recent trip to Barbados was the bus ride my parents and I took from Christ Church (where we were vacationing) to a nearby town called Holetown.
While on the bus, the radio plays and, if it’s a good song, all of the locals begin to sing. During our bus ride, Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars came on and every single Bajan began to sing.
It was beautiful.
It also really struck a chord with me.
As I mentioned yesterday, despite having many successes while on vacation, I did have my struggles, too. One in particular being body image.
Usually I’m quite happy being me. I know I’m not perfect and never will be (obviously), but I’ve worked a lot on improving my body image and self confidence in the past that this is really not an issue for me any more; however, when I was in Barbados it caused me quite a bit of trouble…
It’s not because I felt uncomfortable in a bikini or anything of the sort, but it was because of comparing myself to others – other people I admire. You see, while traveling to Barbados and wasting time in airports, I spent a lot of time on social media. Instagram, blogs, fitness websites, Facebook, etc. You name it, I was on it. Scoping out pictures of beautiful women.
Women with sculpted arms, muscular legs, and chiseled abs. Remember, we all have our own image of what we think is beautiful – and this is what I personally admire
and drool over.
But, when I looked in the mirror I saw nothing of the sort. I was looking at myself with what I like to call critical eyes. I couldn’t give myself a compliment when I looked in the mirror, which left me feeling very low and insecure.
All I could do was critique myself when I looked in the mirror or when I saw pictures of myself…
Luckily, I was blessed to come across a few different blog posts that helped me change my way of thinking. Funny how some forms of social media made me feel bad about myself, but others helped me, huh?
Nia Shanks is a woman I always turn to when I want to feel good about who I am as a person instead of basing my self worth on my appearance. If you don’t currently read her blog, you should definitely start doing so now.
She talks about being a “Beautiful Badass”, which is everything but placing your self worth on your physique as she focuses on in this post.
While on vacation, I received an email from her as I subscribe to her newsletter and it really helped me to stop focusing on my physique and rather love who I am as a person.
“Focus on the things you LOVE about yourself instead of obsessing over the things you want to “fix”. I don’t care if you think your right foot is the only good feature you have. If that’s the only thing you currently like, then know that’s the best dang right foot in the whole word.”
Another beautiful woman that unknowingly helped me while on vacation was Jamie. Jamie wrote a post about gaining an extra 5 pounds, but what was unique about this post was how she thanked her body for this extra weight. Jamie was able to look at her body and appreciate it for what it was. Instead of getting down on herself about the weight gain, she was able to be thankful. She looked at her body and said that those extra pounds were due to the new ventures she’s recently taken, good sleeps when she was in need, new fears she faced, etc.
So, I challenged myself to look in the mirror and thank my body for not having those chiseled abs that I for some reason felt so compelled to have. I looked at my body and said “Thank you for looking the way you do.” I was able to see a body that no longer stressed about eating perfectly. I saw a body that was finally enjoying life!
“This intuitive eating challenge has taught me to stop worrying so much, to relax, and to love myself exactly how I am right now. Not 5lbs less from now, not more toned, not with a great job or a great relationship, but just me. Exactly how I am.”
After reading Katie’s post I was able to stop focusing on and obsessing about achieving that perfect physique I described for you at the beginning of the post and start loving mine.
Just the way it is!
I hope you’re not totally sick and tired of me blabbing about Barbados. Trust me, my blog hasn’t turned into A Dash of Barbados with a pinch of Meg but I just wanted to share all of my experiences with you. The good and the bad. The successes and the challenges.
I hope you enjoyed and I also hope you take the time to read the three posts I mentioned throughout today’s post. All three of them are beautiful and inspiring!
Do you struggle with body image? How do you over come being your own worst critique? Let’s stop focusing on what we view as negative – tell me one thing you love about your body! :D
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