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як полюбити свою зовнішність

What is self-love and why is self-love important?

It’s not a secret that we live in a world, where looks do matter. We are programmed to constantly compare ourselves with the majority of women. Why? Because back in cave days if you were different to most people in the group you would be excluded and would die. Now, since smartphones have taken a major place in our lives we are exposed to a whole different reality of womens’ bodies. Wherever you look there are pictures of thin, beautiful women who have perfect bodies and who do not have wrinkles, pigmentation or cellulite. Everyone is eating avocado toast and working out 24/7. These women seem really happy and balance their careers and personal lives without complaining and with a smile on their faces. When you do not look like this, self-love becomes hard, if not impossible.

Since these women have it all and look so happy, our brain tells us that if we look like them, we will be happy too. When you have a perfect body, you will definitely love yourself, right?

And then you start thinking about how much your life will change then. Your husband will finally realise how lucky he is and shower you with his attention. You will get a promotion at work, everyone will start paying attention to what you have to say. You will have model children and you will only ever wear tight clothes or a bikini! 🙂

What would you do to be thin?

I had covid last year. Some time after I met someone I knew and told her about what happened to me. I had lost weight. She looked at me and said “Christ, I wish I had covid too, at least I would look this good”! This made me think hard about the sacrifices women make in order to be skinny. Where is self-love in that?

Remember Maria Callas, who ate a tape worm in order to lose 50kg? Apparently, she did it by accident and then repeated this a few years later to loose weight. How do you practice self-love if you have to stand on a stage and is subjected to so much public attention? It must be hard.

Being beautiful does not guarantee happiness.

Ask any beautiful woman if she is completely happy. Is her life a fairy tale? Does her husband treat her like a queen? Are people ever rude to her? Does she look in the mirror and think “Wow, this is pure perfection! I would not change one thing about myself”. I’m sure you know what her answer will be.

So many beautiful women are MISERABLE and struggle with self-love!

I have seen it so many times, gorgeous women who place their value solely on their looks. They become rejected as they age and loose their beauty and can struggle with addictions and mental health issues.

I was a real Britney Spears fan when I was young. Someone like her, I thought, does not have a care in the world. She has beautiful hair, she can dance and is rich and independent. Britney was dating Justin Timberlake at the time – any teenage girls’ dream. She is adored by so many and she must love herself, I thought.

When Britney shaved all her hair off and her children were taken away from her, I suddenly questioned her happiness. Perhaps, this kind of beauty comes with responsibility that is too much to bear for a young woman. She got tired of being the centre of attention and wanted to loose all her hair and with it, the attention of paparazzi. What happened then is they started to follow her everywhere and calling her crazy. They were punishing her for not wanting to be beautiful.

Do you still think that self-love = happiness?

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Imagine you want to loose 5kg. You spend hours sweating at the gym, you eat salad every day for weeks. Finally, you see the desired number on the scales. But then you start to notice that nothing changes in your life. People are still rude to you and your husband is still not showering you with flowers.

This is when your brain quietly wispers into your ear “it’s probably all the saggy skin you have from loosing weight. You need to sort this out”.

These excuses are infinite.

What is self-love and how do you become confident?

People think that confidence and self-love is something you have or you don’t. Nobody wants to think that it is something that you have to work on all your life.

Guess what?

Self-love and self-acceptance are simply beliefs you can create for yourself regardless of age and appearance.

What happens to your life when you change something about your appearance? Literally, nothing. Moreover, you will be bitter and disappointed, having spent so much time and energy on this, starving yourself.

Just look at your pictures from 10 or 20 years ago. Now you think you were so beautiful and possibly, happy. But I guarantee you were just as unhappy with yourself then as you are now!! This is such a paradox.

If you keep going this way 10 years from now you will wish you could go back to today. But the only thing that will change in 10 years is your perspective and what you think then and now about exactly the same day.

Where do I start with self love?

как полюбить свою внешность Мария Кравчук

You do not just wake up confident one day. It is a skill that takes daily practice. When I start working with clients who struggle with self-love, the first thing we do is bring awareness to what happens in their brain. Most of our daily thoughts (around 60,000/day) are automatic, meaning, we are not even conscious that we are thinking them. So what you need to do is install a filter in your brain to filter out the negative beliefs about yourself. Why? Because our thoughts influence our moods, and our mood influences what we do and how we interact with people. I teach this in detail during my work with clients but I wanted to offer an example of this for you to practice.

I want you to start noticing your thoughts about your body and the way you look. I then want you to filter out the negative thoughts that make you fell terrible about yourself. You will then decide what you want to think instead of this thought that will not be in any way upsetting.

What happens then, is that every time this negative thought pops up in your mind again, you will consciously replace it with the better thought you had chosen previously.

Self-love exercise

Take a piece of paper and write down all your thoughts about how you look. I mean literally, ALL YOUR THOUGHTS. Until there are no more thoughts left. Underline the thoughts that make you feel bad when you read them. On another piece of paper write down their “translation”, i.e. a positive thought you can replace this negative thought with. If you cannot write a positive thought, replace it with something that feels more neutral.

For example, if your thought is “I have saggy skin”, you can start with “I have skin”. I know this seems ridiculous, but trust me it works!! This is what is so miraculous about it!! But it only works if you start being conscious about it every time you hear this negative voice in your head.

You can do this with all your negative thoughts, and one by one, you will replace them in your mind. You will stop rejecting your body and being what is beautiful about it.

This will not happen overnight, I have warned you. But this is the only way to self-love and self-acceptance.

I am someone who hated myself all my life and I have a decade of eating disorders behind my belt. And this is the only thing which has helped me.

If you have any questions or I can help you in any way, please email info@mariakravchuk.com.

May the self-love be upon you! 💚

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