This article was originally posted on Firepedia.
Article by Carisa Hendrix


“Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one” - Astrid Alauda

Positive body image is crucial to overall well being, but it’s not always easy to maintain when you fall into the trap of judging yourself by someone else’s image of beauty.

It’s important to love your body. I hope these points will guide you to better self confidence, body image and personal power. When we love our own bodies deeply. others will find it easier to share in that love.

Earlier this week I found a great article on “10 Ways to Love your Body“. I took some time to write a list more specific to prop manipulators hoping it would better resonate with the members of our community.

1. “Become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember, it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.” – Emme of Parent’s connection

When we learn a new move or find better flow in our practice, it reminds us of the power and ability of our bodies. Bring focus to those little accomplishments and recognize the capabilities of your body.

2. Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from trying new game or new toys. It’s easy to use “I’m too adjective to activity ” as a valid reason why your not out there playing. It’s an excuse, don’t let it get in your way of a good time.

3. Wear clothes that fit you well and make you feel good. Many hoopers and prop folks have great style. Taking the time to pick out clothing that you love is worth the boost to your self esteem.

4. Count your blessings, not your blemishes” – Emme of Parent’s Connection

Try to spend as much time thinking about all the things that make you beautiful as you spend dwelling on and covering up your perceived flaws.

5. Be grateful for your health. Too often we only truly appreciate our mobility, strength and general wellness once it’s gone. If your body is functioning well be thankful for the fortune of that great gift.

6. Don’t work at fitness, play at fitness. Most forms of object manipulation – poi spinning, hoop dancing, staff – are great exercise. If you keep you work-outs and fitness regimes playful and fun it will be easier to keep it up with them for the long haul.

Note: Since skill toys are playful and fun its easy to forget your working out your body. Don’t neglect to stretch afterward or warm up before, to prevent potential injury.

7. Defy your age. It’s common for body image to suffer as you age. Continuing to play will help stave off some of the effects of aging and more importantly, keep you feeling young and fun.

8. Stop your negative self talk, stop now!

Do you catch yourself thinking things like “I hate my body/skin/weight/breasts/bum/etc.”? Well stop it. Telling yourself negative things about your body is only making those cancerous feelings stronger.

Move towards more positive thoughts, such as “I feel healthy/sexy/strong/fit/etc.” and put and end to that negative feedback loop. You are your worst critic.

9. Don’t let others bring you down. If you have a friend, boyfriend or family member who is continually saying hurtful and negative thing about your weight, shape or other particular flaws you need to take action.

Confront these people and tell them how the negative things they say make you feel. Often people don’t even know they are being critical and an honest conversation is enough to change their behavior. If you find that even after asking them to stop with the put downs nothing changes, it may be time spend significantly less time with that person or consider ending that relationship.

Note: It’s also good to think of the people in your life who contribute most to your positive feelings. Make the effort to thank these people for the joy and confidence they have brought you.

10. “Create a list of people you admire—people who have contributed to your life, your community, or to the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.” – Emme of Parent’s Connection

What you do with your life is so much more important than those little blemishes you dwell on. Focus on the former and forget the latter and grow towards loving your body.

This is the only body you will ever have. Love it for all it’s capability, uniqueness and beauty.

Your Friend,

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thank you for this!!! im guilty of not showing myself some love!
This is such a wonderful post for a hooping community to have! Hooping has made me love my body and who I am more and more. Media and advertising for women really had a negative effect on me when I was younger and it is important that people know that they're perfect just the way they are. Thanks for this!
This is awesome!!  Thank you for sharing.  Another great tip:  Include in your morning routine to look in the mirror when you first wake up, pretty much when you most likely look the worst (ie your hair is messy, makeup under your eyes, ect) and say to yourself "I am beautiful, happy, and wise." and really mean it!!  Also, when you start to think any negative thought about your body, stop yourself in the middle of the thought and say something positive about that or another part of your body. 

remember what your body can do. that is so important - I always feel so grateful that I can trust my body and it is there for me. As I grow older I know that this will not always be the case, and I am thankful each day for health.

Hooping made me understand that my body is a gift, not a curse simply because I am not 5"10" and chiseled of stone.


Today, I have decided to love my body better by learning when to quit. I hurt my knee quite a bit yesterday and originally was going to push through the pain, as I usually do. But, you know what? That sucked. I was hurting myself and not enjoying the process all to live up to some standards that are created in my head.


nope. nope. nope. Now, I decided to chill, drink coffee and listen to tunes. While icing my knee. 

It's the least I can do for the body that gives me so much each day.

Not 20 minutes before seeing this article, I said to my friend that I've noticed myself become a lot more self conscious about my body. Reading this helped boost my spirits so much. I'm very glad I found this community :)
I am so grateful for the time and energy you put into making this inspiring post. It is very easy to forget to love ourselves like we love others. What a concept. Love ourselves like we love others. It is easy to criticize ourselves, but it takes strength to be gentle and kind to ourselves, like we we're talking to a friend. A friend we love, admire, and would do anything for. I have never in my life met someone I thought was ugly,"alright" looking, "do-able" have you heard this? And I have heard such phrases. But you know what? I could never reduce someone to that (even as a child, while kids teased, I only saw beauty and still do in everything) and I hope everyone finds the love to overcome such meaningless phrases because how you feel about yourself is up to you. You have that power. Isn't that wonderful? It just takes practice.  That negativity is not who we are or who we will ever be. By letting someone else reduce us to anyone one thing (that includes our body image) or letting our minds pick at our bodies, we are in a way forgetting all the rest of what makes us who we are. The gift that we are. We are a transformative power, we are creative, funny, compassionate and I truly believe that when someone tries to hurt and criticize, it is because they have been burdened with the same insecurity that is unnecessary! so unnecessary! we are all to be loved. I love everyone here, for all the hard work, for just being yourself and exploring your mind and body. we are beautiful beings in every shade you can imagine and have yet to imagine.
thank you, really made me realize i need to take some action and realize which people truly make me happy and feel good; thanks for letting it out that none of us are alone on anything.
Thank you Carisa! I needed to read this today!

A genuine thanks for this post. I for one am guilty of this. So often I have felt miserable and out of place at a show/festival/bar because I didn't feel as attractive as the other girls around me. I find that if I don't allow myself to be preoccupied with looks, I have so much fun!


I really hate the media and what they have done to the self-esteem of women. You gotta remember, they want you to be miserable with yourself, otherwise you wouldn't want to buy their make-up/diet pills/crazy exercise contraptions/antidepressants/whatever they are trying to sell you!



Remember: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt


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