body love

5 Ways To Stop Hating Your Body

Weight issues… such a big topic and one so intertwined with loving your body and loving yourself. I’ve been on both sides of it, loving and hating my body… feeling like I’m too fat or not fat enough. (Read my body story) Struggling to separate who I am from the number on the scale or what people think of me. The thing that always annoys me is the pictures that start out “Real women… (have curves/ aren’t a size zero/ ect)” or “Real Men… (want a woman with curves, don’t like bones)” to which I say “We can do better.”

Now I completely understand curvy women (I am one) wanting to say “Look! I can be what I am and still be beautiful and attractive and wanted and sexy.” but to do that at the expense of those women that don’t have curves or are naturally thin or like working out, is no better than the media who likes to tell you how fat you are and how you need to change to be worthy/loved/wanted.

Real women come in all shapes and sizes. The end. Nobody should be defined by their body shape. So all of you real, beautiful, women out there, here are some tips on how to love your body.

1. Decide that society’s opinion about your body is irrelevant.

Don’t buy into magazines that will help you get the “perfect swimsuit body” or any of the other guilt and shame-inducing headlines.  Seriously – cut out that kind of media. Go on a diet from that. Once you start letting go of that “perfect” ideal in your head, I promise you – that loathing and disappointment you feel when you look in the mirror? It’ll start to fade.

We were not made to be airbrushed and shrunken with our stretch marks photoshopped away and out cellulite smoothed out and our tummy rolls sucked in. Expose yourself to what other women look like. Realize that there are so many beautiful body combinations out there. We come in all shapes and sizes with our fat in different places, our breasts different sizes, and parts that sag and droop and it’s all perfectly normal.

Check out The Nu Project or The Shape of a Mother (there’s nudity so it’s nsfw) those are real women, real bodies, and they’re beautiful.

2. If you need to lose/gain weight, do it but not at the expense of loving your body as it is today.

You might not have your “perfect” body but that doesn’t mean that you can’t love it anyway right now. Think of your kids or your partner. Are they perfect? Are they just how you always imagined they’d be? Probably not, yet you still love them anyway right? Adopt that attitude towards your body.

Love it now and love it 20lb, 40lb, 100lb from now. Fat does not equal an obligation to hate yourself or your body.

Your body is so much more than how much it weighs. Make healthy (and most importantly balanced!) eating fun – not a punishment. Don’t berate yourself. Don’t buy into good/bad based on how or what you eat. Do not believe that food is the enemy.

Find a physical activity that you love. Discover new foods to love. Do what works for you and your body.

I am overweight. I really would like to lose a few pant sizes. But I really, really, love my body just the way it is.

3. Remember that your body is just a small part of who you are.

At your funeral, no one is going to stand up and say “She looked so good in those size 12 jeans. I will miss her skinny-ness.”

Your personality is the sum of who you are. Your personality is the reason someone is going to love you. What you give to the world is a lot more important than the size and shape of your bum, just sayin’. The world is going to love you for SO MUCH MORE.

If this is something you struggle with, if your self-worth feels all tied up in what your body looks like, if you feel like you will never ever be loved by someone for who you are because of what you look like on the outside, start healing that wound. Read the Body Sacred (one of my favorites) or What Goes Down, check into therapy, start digging into where all of that baggage comes from and how you can start letting it go.

4. Work through your avoidance of mirrors and pictures.

I can’t tell you enough how therapeutic spending some time with a mirror can be. (Read: Mirror, Mirror) When you actually know what your body looks like it allows you to start accepting it.

Shopping for clothes becomes a lot less traumatic (I remember, years ago, not having seen myself in a full-length mirror in years and then bursting into tears of disgust when I went to try something on). Even if it’s a struggle at first to accept what you see, it does get easier, and then you start noticing the good stuff. The sexy curves of hips and belly, the muscles in your back, the beauty of your skin.

Take lots of photos of yourself too, it helps! When you shy away from the camera, you’re depriving yourself of so many precious memories for yourself and others!

One of my biggest regrets is the decade of photos I could have been taking with my mom before she passed away.

5. Make a list of all of the reasons you love your body.

It’s hard to hate something that allows you to take nice walks on an early summer morning. To wrap your arms around the people you love. Dance around the living room. To have great sex. Laugh and joke. To give comfort. Your body allows you to do so much, so stop hating it for what it isn’t and start loving it for what it is!

Bodies are imperfect, and that’s okay but they’re also pretty awesome too,

What has helped you to stop hating your body?