This is hard. Accepting your body in a society that tells you to look thin, strong, curvy etc. — basically whatever you are not - is hard. It’s upsetting to go up against the pressures of the world.
Let me acknowledge this: You are not alone in your body image challenges. There are many women and men struggling with this, too.
So let’s get this out of the way too… Our bodies are not meant to be the same size they were in high school, in college, after giving birth, etc. And God knows they are not going to look the same when we are 70-80 years old. Things will be shifting and drooping!
Does that make it any easier? Nope. But radically accepting your body and knowing it will change will create space for you to make peace with it.
There is no specific formula for body acceptance but here are some helpful tips that may help you along your journey.
1. Stop fighting your body.
Accept your genetic blueprint. Your body size, shape, skin color, nose, all of it is impacted by your genetics. How can you radically accept your features? What do you appreciate most about them? Does a specific feature remind you of them? For example, my second largest toe is a hammer toe, meaning it has a nice bend to it. Thankfully, it doesn’t interfere with much but guess what? My Nana has the same toe. Instead of wanting to get it fixed or hating on it, I have embraced it because I know that connects us in some weird way! Lol I know that is an odd example but I hope it can shed light to the idea that accepting your genetic blueprint instead of fighting it is one way we can show compassion towards ourselves and learn to trust ourselves as well.
2. Be aware of your self talk
If I were to ask you to think about your body, what thoughts would come up? Would they be positive, negative or neutral? If you have that negative self-talk, I am not going to suggest that you fill it with something positive. Nope. Going from negative to positive is hard. Baby steps, baby steps. How can you challenge those negative thoughts with neutral ones? Negative thought: I hate the way my legs look. Neutral thought: My legs allow me to walk. Creating those neutral thoughts brings more compassion and gratitude for yourself.
3. Find gratitude
Sometimes we are so fixated on our appearance we forget to look inside and find appreciation for what our body has done, is doing and will do. The fact that your body is alive, breathing, moving, digesting, thinking without you signaling it to is amazing! Fixating on the external will leave you more disconnected and less appreciative of the functions of your body. Every day for a week, write down 1 or 2 things that your body is doing for you right now or something you are grateful for about your body. Write it out. Try this out for a week and see how you feel afterwards.
Let me know how this goes and if you feel a slight improvement. It takes energy and effort to create positive shifts. Be aware of the media you are consuming as well and keep challenging your mind!