Thought Catalog
June 8, 2017

10 Ways To Truly Love Your Body (Even When You’re Entirely Too Hard On Yourself)

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What is the issue?
Brooke Cagle

“Once I lose 10 pounds everything will be better.”

“If I were smaller, more people would like me.”

“He’s not interested in me because I’m fat.”

“I look awful in this outfit and now I’m late for work.”

Have you ever had these thoughts before?

It’s easy to believe that our weight or our body shape defines us. Sometimes we start to think that if we change or control our bodies, we can change our worth or our value. But that’s not how it works. Going through life hating your body or constantly trying to change your body is such a waste. It’s a waste of YOU. It’s a waste of all of the juicy, wonderful energy and beautiful thoughts that could be filling up your life.

So rather than staying at war with your body, why don’t you try to consider that maybe your body is perfect just how it is. Maybe your body is just in need of a little love and respect from you. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel in your own skin, and how much better you’ll begin to feel in all areas of your life.

And just as a heads up: body positivity isn’t something that happens suddenly. It won’t happen overnight. It takes time and practice, and a shifting of your views. But I promise, it does happen. And it’s so worth it.

1. Immediately stop following any Instagram (or social media) accounts that make you feel insecure. Instead, fill up your newsfeed or Insta-reel with accounts of girls who are your size or bigger, and who are loving life. You might not feel better immediately, but the more exposure you have to these gorgeous girls with your body size or bigger, the more “okay” you will feel about your own body. You’ll see that they are living wonderful lives in their bodies, and they are glowing with energy and positivity.

2. Read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Maybe even read it twice. And then go crazy with your closet. Get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Get rid of anything that makes you feel insecure, or that makes you have a “bad body” image day.

3. Right along with your new tidying up mindset, get rid of the scale. Trash it. Break it. Give it away. I don’t care. Just get it out of your house! Beauty is not measured in pounds. I know how easy it is to feel “okay” about your body, and then to weigh yourself and suddenly feel self-conscious, insecure, and down simply because you weigh more than you expected. Your scale can easily change your mindset. You don’t need this type of judgment in your life!

4. Buy new clothes. Buy clothes that you feel confident in; that make you feel good. Buy clothes that can be easily mixed and matched so you have plenty of combinations that don’t make you over think how your body looks each day. Try thrift stores or websites such as ThredUp that offer discounted used clothing. There are plenty of ways to restyle without spending loads of money.

5. Take advantage of your new clothes and really create your own special style. If you look at your clothes as a way to express yourself rather than as a way to cover your body, you’ll feel less pressure getting dressed every day.

6. Start with body neutrality. Shift your goal from loving your body to being neutral about your body. While body love is still the ultimate goal, to many people, body love seems like too big or too daunting of a goal. It’s hard to jump from being uncomfortable in your body to loving your body, and trying to do this can lead you to giving up. So instead, think about body from a neutral stance. Try thinking about your body as it is today, without giving any power to the desire to change your body.

7. Find new ways to connect with your body that dive deeper than what your body looks like physically. Try to connect to your body through yoga, dance, or through meditation. Practice breathing exercises and body strengthening practices. Acknowledge how your body feels with different physical activities, movements, and stretches, and pay special attention to what makes your body feel good. Practicing new ways of feeling good puts more emphasis on how you feel and all of the wonderful things your body can do, rather than on how you look.

8. When you catch yourself insulting your body or part of your body, replace this insult with at least one positive compliment to your body. It can be related, but it doesn’t have to be. By seeing the positive along with the negative, slowly, over time, the positive will gain more strength. What good does putting yourself down do for you anyways? Body negative thoughts don’t contribute to or better your life in anyway.

9. Nurture your body. Treat your body well. If you start taking good care of your body, and nourishing it with love, you will gradually begin to see your body in a more positive light. You’ll start to see it as something that is worth loving. So dive in deep and start showing your body some love! Take lavendar bubble baths, or order some new organic bath bombs online! Try different lotions or essential oil treatments. Experiment with calming or relaxing teas. There are infinite ways you can spread the love to your body. .

10. Constantly remind yourself that changing your body will not change your life. Changing your body will not change you. Your body is just one small detail. It’s just a vessel for the beautiful soul that it carries through this world. Just as you would not try to fit your foot into a too small shoe, there is no need for you to try to fit your body into a too small pair of jeans. Your body was built this way for a reason. TC mark

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