"When I quieted my core, took the risk to listen to the real wisdom speaking withing my body; I could hear my heart speaking to embrace true ever-present beauty. When I achieved this, I allowed myself to not just feel the love around me but accept it without question. Beauty and love are intertwined."
-Andrea Kanelopoulos, 'Find Your Voice Project: A Journey Towards Healing'
Consider this, how you love yourself is what others are seeing about you; they will love you how they see you loving yourself. And further how you love yourself is how you will take in that love or lack of love thus defining your presence and worth.
This is a powerful thought. It is terrifying to pause and stop to truly reflect on, because we know what is so right about every word. Yet, we still walk through life believing the negativity that surrounds us in the world around our bodies. Often a negativity that doesn’t come from those who know us deeply and truly, rather the outside world and their harsh judgements on what they believe we should look or act like.
Why does no one ever stop to question this way of life?
Think about it. How boring would the world be if we all were the same size, wore the same thing, ate the same food, and did the same work for a living?
What makes the world a beautiful place to live in is the diversity that makes up a mural of flavor and beauty in all that we see and taste!
We need to celebrate who we are at our core, not who someone else is telling us who we should be on the outside!
The most amazing people I know are those who live and breathe this sentiment without any doubt whatsoever. They don’t apologize for who they are or the space they take up in the world. They own it with every bit of confidence and passion that they want to leave in the world.
Do you do that?
Can you allow yourself to do that?
How you love yourself says everything, radical self-love.
Why are we listening to the voices around us who are constantly calling out for change in our bodies, when they are not the ones who live in our bodies?
Personally, whenever an ad falls into my social media feed for weight loss, menopause transitions or agism, I report it as offensive. It is empowering. I am not going to let the platform of social media and its distorted view of the world define who I am or who I am comfortable being in the body that I have at any given moment.
I do not want to hide my age; I want to celebrate that I lived as long as I have and fully in the body given to me. The scars on my body or the clear changes as I get older I choose to own for they tell my story. Aging is a gift.
I challenge you to ask any person who is leaving this world prematurely due to illness if they would trade the lost years for the body that they would end up embracing in the aging process. I don’t think that they would toss out their life, for they know the precious gift it is.
Yes, we can achieve the bodies you see or the constant and incessant nonsense how someone of 60 years looks 40 with endless exercise, food exclusion and deprivation as well as spending hoards of money on aging cosmetics. But is that really living? No. You can’t say it is. I hear then people say, ‘well if that is what makes them happy.’ It is a myth. It is not living fully and accepting life as it is in a beautiful gift; rather it is constantly trying to change one’s body for what they believe or is ingrained through the outside world of what happy looks like.
A diet is a diet and there is no other way to justify it outside of serious medical or health needs. If you are eliminating, excluding, adding, or focused on your intake of anything outside of illness…it is a diet.
Intuitive eating is living.
Intuitive eating is joy.
Intuitive eating embraces the gift of being in our bodies as they are and allowing our bodies to find their peace and balance.
I am not saying that radical self-love comes easy. It is work. I am saying that we are all worthy and deserving of this love and living in the world as it is, not how someone tells us it should look like.
I am coming up on my 20th year of recovery from anorexia and disordered body image and it seems surreal. Has It been without struggle? Of course not! That is life and recovery. My recovery has looked like many things and perfection has never been one of them. I had years of dealing with emotional trials where I saw it challenging indeed, but I have never returned to the body hatred in the extreme that I had lived for 14 years.
Today, I challenge myself daily when negative thoughts and feelings around my body come into play as the aging process has become real and in my forefront. And believe me they are ever present as I age and have less control over the changes. But I am making a conscious decision to not fall prey to the outside world’s opinion. I go within, I use the tools I teach and write about, I ask for help in finding peace and I do everything possible to NOT fall into the old control patterns.
This is my body.
I am grateful to have a body.
How I care for and respect my body has nothing to do with my outward appearance.
My body deserves unconditional respect.
I do not need to love my body every day in order to feel good about myself.
I do need to remember that I am more than my body.
Today, I choose radical self-love.
Our YouTube Channel
Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.