I posted on facebook this past weekend on the issue of body acceptance being possible. A very sweet facebook friend commented on how much she wanted to believe that. Here was my response:
We were not born hating our bodies. We were taught to believe something was wrong with them, then encouraged to buy our self-worth back through products, plans, etc that will make us smaller, then therefore more loveable. It does take a lot of courage to opt out of a culture that buys into this. There is another path and sometimes it just starts with being mad about being deceived then using that energy to learn to trust one's own body again with food and weight and heal the original beliefs about un-worthiness.
So your next thought might be, “what do I do now? I am considering that have been mislead that my body is not okay.”
Here is what you start with.
1) Hate your body less. Let’s start with that if you are not okay with it yet. It’s hard to change something you hate and we often have to work our way to I can be okay with my body then on to I love my body.
2) Wear comfortable clothes. Nothing that pokes, chokes, binds, etc. And especially do not wear clothes you just don’t like. No matter your size, you will be more body-focused if your clothes cause you discomfort.
3) Which leads me to this. Any clothes that do not fit you, at least box them up if you are not ready to let them go, yet. :)
4) Start a gratitude list of all the amazing things your body does for you. This will help you monitor your negative body talk and see yourself as much more than body parts to critique.
5) Create a self-care list and routine. Moisturize your skin. Get a massage. Sleep the amount that you need as often as you can.
6) Learn to eat from hunger and fullness, which will over time, help you get in foods that create good mood and energy. When we feel good, we live our life more fully.
7) If you body check (measure you body size somehow by using the mirror, certain clothes, your hands, sucking in your stomach) do you best to stay mindful of this. Over time, you will learn to notice that you do this under certain circumstances that make you feel uncomfortable. You can then problem-solve through that discomfort.
8) Remove the toxins from your life, media toxins that is. Magazines, social media, certain shows; anything that makes you feel bad you can choose to not participate in.
9) Do seek out and surround yourself with body-positive social media “friends”, blogs, books and friends/mentors who have learned to love their bodies. Some great books include When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies and The Beauty Myth.
10) Fake it til you make it. Compliment yourself with positive phrases, “Hello gorgeous” . There are lots of other ways you can do this too. Some of you might not think that this works; what we say really does change our neuro-pathways in our brain so it does matter!
This is just a small list and one that you may need some help making even more individual to you.
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Have a body-loving week! Share this with others you know that might like to start loving their bodies more too.