I know, I know. Easier said than done. Because let’s be honest: body acceptance is a big struggle in our society. We’re reminded on a daily basis through advertising, magazines, and movies that there is always another way to make our bodies “better.” From makeup to surgery to dieting and supplements and intense workouts, it’s everywhere.
So, sadly, it make sense when you see the amount of people who feel despair when it comes to their bodies or their weight. In fact, we’re taught by society that it’s expected to feel this way. But this doesn’t have to be the case, and I encourage all of us to not let ourselves fall victim to the body hate mentality.
The truth is that you can’t fully reach a place of peace and health with yourself until you’re able to find a place of acceptance, and in turn, confidence, with your body. That means treating your body with kindness, respect, and not judging your character by your food choices.
If you’re like most people who need a little more body confidence in their life, these tips for better body acceptance are for you:
Have a Daily Confidence Practice
Choose at least one thing each day you like about your body, and say it aloud to yourself in the mirror, such as “I love my legs because they are strong and toned,” or “I love my stomach because it supports my digestion every day.” Even if this is hard at first, stick to it. You’re worth it, and you’ll find over time that it gets easier, which is good. :)
Thank Your Body
Before you get out of bed each morning, pause and take a few deep breaths. Then, consciously thank your body for resting and supporting you for another day. And think about all of the things your body has carried you through. It’s your constant companion, after all, and it’s there to carry you through your life journey. For that, it deserves respect.
Wear Clothes that are Comfortable
No matter what the size is or whether or not you’re trying to lose weight, wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and good in the present. You deserve to feel good now.
Do Healthy Things Out of Love
A lot of people eat healthy and exercise, yet sadly still hate on their bodies on a daily basis. But full body acceptance means doing these things for your body because you already love and accept it, not because you’re trying to change it. Even if weight loss is a goal for health reasons, you must learn to respect it where it is first to experience any lasting change.
Speak to Yourself Like a Friend
Think about your dearest friend. Does the way their body look solely dictate how much you love them? Definitely not.
Start thinking about your own body as your dear friend. Be its advocate; it’s been through a lot. Tell yourself what’s beautiful and strong about you, and don’t let yourself forget it. Just as you wouldn’t let your best friend put himself or herself down constantly, work on showing yourself the same love and respect each day.
Emotional eating is a problem for many people. That’s why practicing mindful eating is so important for developing a healthy relationship with food and your body.
When you eat, practice slowing down so you can fully enjoy each bite, no matter what you’re eating. Try to avoid labelling certain foods as “good” or “bad,” and focus instead on what you’re getting out of each food you eat. Even if you choose to eat something more indulgent, allow yourself to slow down and engage your sense. Notice how whatever you’re eating smells, looks, feels in your mouth, and all the different tastes it has.
Being a mindful eater helps you get more in tune with your body’s needs, cravings, and fullness levels. This helps you respect it more by actually listen to what’s best for it.
Life is too short to waste time hating on our bodies. The world teaches us this is normal, but it’s no way to live. It’s better if we enjoy where we are now, nourish our bodies to feel good and accomplish our goals, and see the beauty in every line, curve, color, and change as we go through life. Will you join me in this journey of body love and acceptance?