This is the excitement phase. The fuck you I love my body and I don’t give a shit what you say phase. The growth spurt phase. The glorious after-effect of realizing that there is a better way to live phase. In short, this is the time where you have made the decision to love your body, have worked to surround yourself with positive influences, and you are skipping around with joy in your new-found freedom.
This is the best time.
But, even though this time is oh-so-sweet, there are several ways to dig deeper, to love yourself harder.
Cancel out the background noise. If you’re anything like me, your world is compiled of a constant barrage of episodes on netflix, twitter all-day-every-day, email in bed, Facebook pre-coffee, and a carefully cultivated Pandora station as a last resort distraction. I am surrounded by noise all day. I listen to Harry Potter books on tape when I’m washing the dishes. I do yoga to the tune of Private Practice episodes. I take a shower listening to NPR. I never stop “working” – and yet, I never get enough done.
When you surround yourself with noise 24/7, you are not listening to your body. You cannot adequately address your body’s needs if you do not tune into it every once and a while. Thus, it stands to reason that for the good of your body, one excellent way to dig deeper is to turn off the radio/TV/Ipod/Internet/etc. and listen to the wisdom that your body is sharing with you.
Spend a day all by yourself. I used to hate being all by myself. I immediately panicked, and felt as though I was the loneliest girl in the whole world. But, last year, when I went all by myself to see Adele in concert, I realized for the first time that doing something by yourself means you get to do EXACTLY what YOU want to do. Amazing, no?
I suggest taking yourself out on a date, and spare no frivolity or expense, because we already determined that you are worth it. What better way to figure out what you actually like? As in, what you like in the absence of obligation or commitment or compromise. As in, what you would choose to fill the void if you didn’t have to spend all of your time worrying about others or taking care of them. As in, how you would spend your time if you actually enjoyed your own company.
Intermediate self-love is all about getting to know yourself better, paying closer attention, and loving each an every new detail that unfolds. You might try some writing prompts designed to boost body love, or dress up in your most rocking outfit and go dancing with reckless abandon.
You never know what’s going to happen.