The biggest obstacle to loving your body is waiting for someday. Ah, the elusive someday. Waiting for that day when you’re finally your ideal weight and have no more fat rolls, muffin tops, or cottage cheese; when you look great in that teeny tiny black dress or that don’t -mess-with-me business suit. Then you will feel confident, sexy, and ready to ask for that raise, start going to the gym, or start dating again.
This is totally bass ackwards. It’s is a made-up story that keeps you stuck. Stuck hating your body. Stuck waiting for your external conditions to match up with the story in your head about how you think you should look. And keeping you completely in denial about the truth of the present moment. The truth is you can choose to love your body in any given moment. Like right now. Or now. How bout now?
If this feels like a stretch, start with appreciating your body.
For some of you, the idea of loving your body might feel like a giant leap. Start small. Start with appreciating your body. The simple fact that your heart beats 115,200 times a day to pump blood around your body is pretty amazing. Has there been a time in your life when you were really sick or injured? Can you appreciate all the work your body did to repair a broken bone, recover from childbirth, or heal after surgery? Write down 3 things you appreciate about your body. Do it now. If that felt good, keep reading.
Choosing to love your body takes conscious effort and daily practice.
Loving your body is a daily practice. Just like exercise. And meditating. And being in a relationship. Everyday brings new challenges. Glenda the good witch doesn’t just show up and sprinkle fairy dust on your head. You have to keep choosing self-love. Over and over again. When your significant other makes a slighted remark about how you look in your clothes. Choose self-love. When you overeat at your favorite restaurant. Choose self-love. When you notice you’re comparing yourself to the 5’10” brunette clad in neon pink lululemon at your yoga class. Choose self-love.
Self-Compassion Is a Better Motivator Than Self-Criticism.
If you think that self-love is a one-way ticket to self-indulgence, think again. Studies show that self-kindness is a far greater motivator than self-criticism. If you tend to perceive obstacles as personal failures, let yourself off the hook. You’ll be much more inclined to pull yourself up by your bootstraps rather than slump into a pile of self-loathing, ice-cream binging, and netflix marathons.
Three Ways To Start Loving Your Body:
- Change Your Life
Start practicing self-care, eating well, and exercising.
- Change Your Story
Rewrite your story about how things should be. Reality is far kinder.
- Change Your Life Story
Often, we need to do both.
My Lightbulb Moment
It wasn’t that long ago when the lightbulb went off for me. I was scrolling through old photos of myself. Photos when I had 5-10 extra pounds on me and photos of when I was working out with heavy weights 6 days a week, counting calories, and grams of protein like a good girl. I looked great! But when I think back to how I felt during that time, I was still unhappy with my body. I was striving for a magic number, a certain body fat percentage. I couldn’t be satisfied until I got there. Well, I got there. I was happy for a hot second. I still had cellulite. And I still didn’t love my body.