How to learn to love your body
Many of you will think this is impossible. I know I did, for many years.
In fact, if someone had said to me 3 years ago I would make relative peace with my body, I’d probably have laughed out loud. As if!!!!
Fast-forward 3 years... I have made peace with my body. MOST of the time! 😉
So, how did I do it?
I'd be lying if I said it was easy, or quick. It happened gradually, as my awareness and understanding increased. There is a lot underpinning our Body Loathing. But today, I am just going to focus on HOW to learn to love your body.
Firstly, you can CHOOSE to do this. If you want to, that is.
You can either continue to feel bad about your Body Image or you can choose to see it differently.
So, I either decide to spend my life wanting to hide my body (feeling ashamed, like I don't measure up) and feel bad about it, or I can choose to WAKE UP and get on with my life.
So here are some of my tips on how to change your mind about your body.
- See the Body Image film/documentary ‘Embrace’. I’ve hosted this film in Bristol 7 times and I do it because its IMPORTANT. It can change lives (honestly). If you haven’t seen it yet, you can now download it from iTunes.
- Stop dieting. It messes with your head & doesn’t work anyway.
- If you have issues with food (you might have if you’ve been dieting) get some help. I run workshops and provide 121 coaching for women around this (in case you didn’t know already!)
- Unfollow ANY social media that makes you feel bad.
- Talk to yourself kindly- because positive change doesn’t come from self admonishment. Ever.
- When you have a negative thought about bits of your body, sense check the thought. Just because you think it, doesn’t make it true. And if it is true, is it helpful?
- For the bits you REALLY struggle with, try thinking about what they help you DO. For example, if you find your arms an issue, remember they cuddle your children, they are strong etc. This is about focusing on what your body can DO rather than how it looks.
- Develop some media literacy. Start to learn about how we are conditioned to wish our bodies are different than they are. Advertising tries to sell us things to ‘fix’ our bodies, you know that right?!
- Get your head around the fact that all bodies are good bodies!! We don’t all have to look the same. It’s ok not to be a size 10.
- Find your tribe. Follow and join groups that understand these issues. You are not alone and if you find people who 'get it' you won't feel alone.
One thing that helped me enormously, was when I realised that
pretty much EVERYONE feels bad about their bodies.
As a 'larger than average woman', I mistakenly thought that if only I could lose weight, I’d feel happy with my body. Not so. This is one of the myths we buy into as larger women.
I know now that whatever shape or size people are, they are usually unhappy about something. It could be stretch marks, or prominent collarbones, or their teeth, size of hands, shape of legs, skin pigmentation, scarring or many things besides. Believe me when I tell you, this affects EVERYONE. So if you are thinking “I’ll be happy when, ......” just stop it right NOW. It doesn’t work, you need to work on the being happy now and the way to do this is to change your thought patterns.
Finally, remember this is a process. Be gentle with yourself. Unlearning and choosing to ignore all the messages we are confronted with ALL THE TIME is a challenge. It requires commitment but hell, it’s worth it xx