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My Belly Moves

My Belly Moves by My Kind of Life

The holidays are fast approaching. This time of the year brings up a plethora of cheery feelings for me, and some not so pleasant. Every fifth email in my inbox is a detox diet subscription for the new year. My Instagram is overrun with flat belly #fitspo (fitness inspiration). Am I doing something wrong? Am I not supposed to be who I am in this very moment?

For 29 years of my life, I did the whole perfect new year, perfect life thing. I set goals to fit into my smaller dresses I kept in my closet. Some years, my goals were to have my hipbones extend further than my belly. What I found was, by conforming to temporary diets and ignoring my intuition, I destroyed my natural confidence, stripped myself from feeling comfortable in my own skin and my health suffered (hormones, digestion, immunity and overall happiness).

This year, I’m sticking with I’m good enough already. I will tiptoe around the trap that is: I should avoid eating that, I can’t eat there, I should have done that earlier.

I plan on complete surrender. This means, indulging in Mom’s home cooking. Keeping up my 15 minute meditation practice before breakfast and dinner. Going for a run in the morning because it makes me feel great, turning any uncomfortably cold run into a refreshing walk with my family; I move to feel good, not to compete. I surrender to knowing that I need my yoga practice, even when I’m home for the holidays. I completely surrender. I give myself permission to enjoy what I eat, to stop when I feel full, and continue on when my belly’s ready for more.

This holiday, I will not fall into any gimmicks or marketing tricks. I’m practicing radical self-acceptance for 15 seconds a day, and you can join me.

Our bellies are an area we rarely acknowledge with positive words, and yet, such an important, vital area that operates as the control system to our health (mental and physical) and life as we know it.

So, as we go into 2016, I’m going to acknowledge my belly, and I’d love for you to do it with me. If we want to avoid the socially acceptable amount of self-sabotage this holiday, we have to do some preventative work to rewire old habits. And I promise, we can rewire old habits if we explore our body image with radical honesty (ie: How would I feel about my body if media never mentioned I should lose 20 pounds before putting on a bathing suit?).

Let’s look at our bodies and acknowledge that our bellies are a sensitive part of our Earth suit that we must take care of.

Here’s what my daily self-acceptance practice looks like.

If you want to join me in this practice, here’s what you’ll need:

-Phone with a video recorder

-Mirror that you can see your belly in

What are we doing?

Until Jan 1, 2016, we’ll create private daily video journal entries on our phones, reacquainting ourselves with our healthy bellies. You can take this video in your birthday suit, but I recommend you do it before you head to the gym or work, wearing yoga tights and a sports bra. This way if someone sneaks into your phone…

What to do:

1. Take your cell phone and make a 15 second video journal entry of yourself in the mirror. Make sure your belly is exposed.

2. In the video, share how you’re honestly feeling in the moment when you look at your body (ie: I’m feeling very vulnerable because I’m afraid people will judge me for loving my body as it is in this very moment).

The point of creating these beautiful video journal entries is to track our progression and create a backlog of inspiration for the times we’re feeling stuck or depressed.

If you want to inspire friends to ring in the new year with radical self-acceptance, you can share this post, or if you’re feeling brave, you can share a video entry you’re proud of on Instagram. Make sure you tag me @MyKindofLife_Em and use hashtags #healthybellyselfie #TOPLESSbyemily. I love hearing your inspirational stories and seeing your pictures and videos. In the meantime, I’ll be posting my videos on Instagram to give you examples and to keep us all accountable.

I am dedicated to the practice of acknowledging my healthy body. We don’t need to beat ourselves up this time of year. Life is short. Enjoy every pleasure. Choose to feel confident.

photo Matt Roy

Kind Contributor Emily Nolan

Emily Nolan is a professional model, teacher and founder of nonprofit, TOPLESS yoga, a globally recognized empowerment event used as a tool for practicing radical self-acceptance. Emily hosts The Hum, a women’s fellowship retreat which emphasizes listening to our Hum within. Through her mission-based work, Emily has sparked a global conversation around body image.

Nolan is currently writing her first book, Pretty Brave.

Find Emily Nolan at @iamemilynolan // emilynolan.com.

Join Emily on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

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this kinda rocks!
oh darling, indulge a little