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Episode 14: Building a Positive Body Image with Essential Oils

This episode Mary Hyatt talks about building a positive body image. She'll give a breakdown of what it means to have a positive body image, let you know three things you can do to improve your body image, and teach you how essential oils can help as you cultivate a positive body image.


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Hey y'all, this is Mary Hiatt. I am a Presidential Diamond with doTERRA, and I have been with doTERRA for about six years, and I feel like I just keep falling in love with these oils more and more every single year finding out so many different ways to use them. And I want to talk to you today about how you can use essential oils to support your body, to support your positive body image. I am a life coach. I am a business consultant, and a body love advocate. I have a podcast where I help women make peace with their bodies, help them understand sort of this journey of coming back into understanding yourself through vulnerability, authenticity, really using your voice and a lot about what I talk about is this idea of our physical bodies. 

Culturally, it is very common to hate your body as a woman. And so when we talk about having a positive body image it's almost like, who do you even know that has positive body image? I mean, I feel like when I'm with my girlfriends, when I'm with my sisters, it's a whole conversation typically around what is wrong with our bodies, what we wish was different, what we wish we could change, how we're trying to alter our appearance, and at the core of that, ultimately, there is this deep desire to be beautiful, to be loved, to be accepted. And yet the rules for that in our society are very conditional, so it makes it pretty hard. So I want to help you guys today kind of find some ways to come into more acceptance and love of your body. 

What does it mean to have a positive body image? 

And so if we think about what does it mean to have a positive body image, I kind of want to start first by talking about what it's not, and sort of take the backwards approach, and I think that we'll end up to understand what it really is. 

But to me, it's the opposite, like the opposite of body positivity would be letting our—what I like to call the “body bully” run our internal dialogue and we all have this voice that we have been kind of culturally taught. It's been scripted for us that replays in our head. And I know that you know what this sounds like, it sounds a lot like, “I'm discussing, I'm ugly, I'm fat, I'm gross,” you know, “my boobs should be bigger, my eyelashes should be longer, I wish my stretch marks didn't show. I won't be caught dead in a two-piece bathing suit.” Or, “Oh my God, look at these roles, look at my thighs, they're too big. Look at these you know stretch marks, I want to lose some serious weight,” you know, “like where are my Spanx?!” 

We operate with this dialogue going on inside of our heads as women pretty much 24/7 and the easy opposite answer that I think a lot of people give to this is, “Well just love yourself,” as if that were to be so easy. But it's tricky because we have so many conditions on loving and we wish our bodies were smaller; we wish they were more toned. You know we wish that you know when we have a child and postpartum that we could lose that baby fat. You know we wish we could grow our hair out. We wish that we were, you know, at the gym more than we are. And we have all these conditions on loving ourselves mixed in there with decades of being trained how to hate ourselves, how to judge ourselves, how to criticize ourselves. And to me a little bit, it's an impossible feat to ask people to instantly switch over to loving themselves because of all of these years of programming. And so this journey takes a lot of compassion. It takes a lot of healing, a lot of gentleness. It's messy. You know coming back to a place of looking at your body with delight, it takes time. 

I know for me I've been on this journey for about six or seven years, and I started my doTERRA journey kind of in this process of learning how to relate to my body in a new way, and in my podcast, and I have a six week online course that kind of gets into all of this, and I mean we have to gently step into these areas that are old, like old, old wounds, and we have to understand where this body bully voice comes from, how deep it is. We have to begin to challenge it and start creating a new story surrounding our body and the way that we look at it. And this is why I loved doTERRA so much because it really has allowed me to relate to my body in a new way. 

How can I accept my body? 

And so when we move towards body positivity, to me, it's less about “love your body, love your body.” And the first stage of this is how can I accept my body? Like if we can get to a place of acceptance that's a much closer step than all the way to, “I just like feel so confident, and I love my body”—that will come in time. 

But the first piece of this to me is that acceptance: that every body is a good body. That there is no right way to have a body, that you can be healthy at any size that you are. And as women, we have to allow other women to be in their body without judging them, to make space for all kinds of different bodies, all different shapes, all different sizes, mobility, color. You know I have to suspend my judgment of other women first, because that's just that judgment is just a reflection of my own, you know, conditional love that I have on bodies; but body positivity is about seeing all bodies as worthy of love and belonging—small bodies, tall bodies, roly poly bodies, all bodies, fat bodies, short bodies, curvy bodies, lean bodies, obese bodies, toned bodies, literally ALL BODIES. 

And I used to be in a plus size body myself, and I had to learn to appreciate her exactly where she was, to move her, to speak kindly to her, to in that abuse, to feed her, to nourish her, to take care of her, to listen to her needs, and that didn't start after I lost weight or after my symptoms disappeared or after my emotions came into balance. I knew that if nothing changed from where I was in that moment when I started my doTERRA journey, that that body deserved acceptance. 

And so we have to end this kind of body shaming (there's good bodies and bad bodies) in order to come to a place of acceptance. And so I think that there are three little self-care practices that you can implement that will move you towards more body positivity, accepting this body. 

Gratitude for Your Body and Bergamot

And so the first practice that I want to talk to you about is to bring gratitude for your body. 

So, every morning, I love to diffuse my Bergamot essential oil, or Bergamot essential oil, and I love using this in the morning when I'm practicing my gratitude because this is known emotionally as the oil of self-acceptance. It's very supportive to the emotional body. It helps us to relax it; helps us to let go. It is really powerful for people who are stuck in that cycle of hating their bodies, and it kind of brings back a sense of hope, a sense of self-acceptance. And I love this because there's this wonderful book that I love to follow. It's called emotions and essential oils, and they talk about this. They say, "Bergamot relieves feelings of despair, self-judgment, and low self-esteem. It supports individuals in the need of self-acceptance and self-love." 

So this is really great when you practice gratitude every morning. It allows you to thank your body for where it is today, whether you're sick, no matter what size your pants are, no matter where you are emotionally, offering gratitude for your body as it is today because it is your body. Like, what if your body has actually been on your side this entire time? What if your body was truly your ally and not your enemy? What if your body was actually on your team working on your behalf to serve you and the demands that come up with life? You know, thanking it! Thanking it, thanking your arms, thanking your breath, thanking your eyesight, thanking the fact that you have legs that get you up every single day. You might not want to say, "I love you, body," but if you can offer gratitude of, "Wow this is this amazing thing that I get to walk around in and that keeps me alive, that helps me get through my day, like, "thank you, thank you thank you, thank you." You don't even have to get specific but diffusing that Bergamot and offering that daily gratitude in the morning is really powerful to shift how you begin to see your body and see it as your teammate rather than your enemy. 

Unfollow Triggering Social Media and Turmeric

So the second practice, and y'all this is so practical, unfollow any Instagram accounts that trigger you, any Facebook accounts that trigger you. Oh, social media is such a triggering place when you see these perfectly curated lives, these perfectly toned bodies or people that are wonderfully dressed and have the perfect family, and it is a hotbed for self-criticism and judgment and just feeling down about yourself. 

So one of the ways to enter into more body positivity is to simply click the unfollow button for any account that makes you feel unworthy of love and belonging, any account that makes you feel like you're not enough, any account that makes you feel like you need to go on a diet or go on a cleanse or do anything to radically change your appearance in order to be loved and accepted. Just unfollow. You have control over what you let into your space so get rid of those accounts. 

And I want to talk about Turmeric for this practice because Turmeric is really powerful at helping us shift toxic patterns and traumas. And I often feel like with people who are on social media a lot, it ends up being a pretty traumatic, toxic experience. It's like every day we're sort of hitting ourselves with, you're not good enough, you're not good enough, you're not good enough, you're not good enough to the point where it can create a lot of anxiety for ourselves, a lot of hatred towards ourselves, and so having an oil like Turmeric. I like to put this one on the bottoms of my feet so I'm not totally crazy about the way that it smells. I don't know that I wanted to diffuse this one, but I like putting it on the bottoms of my feet because it really does support me emotionally at breaking some of those patterns that sort of keep me in that toxic cycle believing that something is wrong with me, that I need fixing, that I'm flawed. So it's like we are recreating our experience and Turmeric can assist in that and how we relate to the world and kind of coming back in and saying, "No, I am enough just as I am." 

Hydrate Your Body and Grapefruit

Now the third practice is to hydrate your body. This is so simple it is like the simplest practice, and I know that it can seem a little strange to talk about, you know, touching our body but when we do that, when we actually, you know, I love the unscented lotion from doTERRA, when we take something like this lotion and we add some essential oil to it and we take the time to touch our bodies, to offer it something that it needs, to give it this hydration. It's a way for us to connect with our bodies and to say, "I see you," like, "you matter. I'm not afraid of you." It's an act of kindness to our body. 

And I do this when I get out of the shower, and I put in some Grapefruit. Now for those of you who are gonna be tanning later in the day probably don't wanna use Grapefruit it is photosensitive, but during the winter I love to use this on my skin, and it's great because it stimulates your lymphatic system. It's great for circulation, but it's also known as the oil of honoring the body so it instantly can access to our bodies, and if there's been any kind of patterns of abuse to the body like severe dieting or judgment of your weight or simply the neglect of your own needs, this is a way to restore that kind of connection to your physical body, and just by touching your body, massaging that unscented lotion with the Grapefruit in, it's like, "I see you, you're ok," like having that that physical connection. And we do this with babies, you know, it's like let's massage them and get their skin all nice and greasy and it's just a really kind way to do that for ourselves a little practice of self-care. 

Partnering With Our Bodies

So first, is to offer daily gratitude. Use that Bergamot, diffuse it. Second is going to be unfollow any Instagram or Facebook accounts that trigger you. Use that Turmeric on the bottoms of your feet to help break those patterns. And then third, hydrate your body. Use some grapefruit and obviously you can use so many different essential oils for that, but hydrate, touch your body, partner with your body. 

And this is the gift of essential oils. You know it's like this is an opportunity for us to slow down and to care for our bodies instead of seeing them as the enemy. And it sort of breaks us out of that trance that our bodies are against us, and we can connect, whether it's smelling the oils, putting them on topically, using them internally. It's just a beautiful declaration of partnering with our bodies. So hopefully that gave you a little bit more information on how to partner with your body to move yourself towards more positive body image. Thanks, guys.

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