I know must of us struggle with accepting our bodies...but it doesn't have to be that way...
Naturally, you may think that the answer to learning to love your body is through weight loss or getting "fit"--do you feel that way?
I know I did, for years and years. I would lose more and more weight, get more muscle definition, spend more hours in the gym, give up more of my favorite foods, and it was just never good enough!
I always told myself that once I had my "dream" body, or once I lost X amount of weight, then I would deserve to love my body.
Is that a bunch of BS, or what? Do you think that I deserve to love my body now, and treat it well now?
Well the same goes for you, my friend! Why in the world would you think that others deserve anything that you don't deserve for yourself?
So let me tell you from experience...weight loss does not automatically promise body acceptance. In fact, it almost makes it worse.
The more weight I lost, the more compliments I got, and the more I thought I needed to get even thinner, and even more fit. Because the attention was on me--everybody was watching. They knew my commitment to the lifestyle, and flaws were not allowed (at least, that's how I felt). Weight gain was not allowed. Slip ups were not allowed. Humanity was not allowed.
I would literally have people watching what I was eating for me. Judging my every move. Telling me that I was their motivation, so I had to stay on track. And I so badly wanted to be that example.
But at the end of the day...the best example is who I am now...someone who feels comfortable in my body. Someone who accepts others, no matter what their body looks like. Someone who can relish in the pleasure of food, and enjoy life the way it was meant to be enjoyed, while still taking care of myself and practicing all around healthy habits.
So if you've been thinking that you have to change your body first in order to love it--try this instead...
1) Declare to yourself and others that your body is perfect just as it is-right now
I want to warn you that you might catch some resistance for this. Just remember, that those who can't accept it are most likely struggling with their own body image issues. And chances are, by taking this stand, you're also empowering them to accept their body as well. Good on you!
2) Learn to appreciate your body
Give your body lots of compliments! If it feels difficult right now-start by looking in the mirror and listing off things that you love about your body. Take time each day to put on lotion in the mirror, naked (gasp!). It sounds crazy, but it really helps. Thank your body for everything it does for you. It does so much more than you may realize!
3) Start to pay attention to how it feels to be in your body
Rather than just focusing on what you look like in your body, just begin to pay attention to how you feel. You may discover that you feel like shit. Maybe because you're not honoring your body's needs as well as you could be? Address what it is your body might need. More sleep, more nutritious food, more water, movement, etc. Start giving your body the things it needs; it deserves it! You'll gain a tremendous benefit from taking care of yourself in a way that doesn't require dieting and countless hours of exercise, and in a way that doesn't feel like punishment for just being who you are.