I wanted to discuss the honest truth about learning to love your body.
A lot of people assume that once you reach your body goals, gain confidence, or learn to love your body that all the negative thoughts towards yourself will disappear. You will wake up every morning, look in the mirror, and see a body you are proud of and feel comfortable in. You will walk with so much confidence and never falter.
I’m here to pop that bubble and tell you the hard and honest truth that: that isn’t reality.
Not every day is going to be a positive one. I have come to a place in my life where I love and appreciate my body for all that it can do. I am confident and feel pride for the skin I’m in. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, but it is sweet.
On the other hand though, I don’t wake up feeling amazing in my body everyday. Some days I wake up super bloated and not feeling or looking my best. I have days where I do feel guilty for the foods or the amount of food that I ate. Self-love and body acceptance is not linear. It’s not like I reached some threshold where confidence lives and I never fall back. Learning to love your body is a journey. It’s learning to push past those negative thoughts and focus on the good your body does. You learn to ignore that nagging voice in your head telling you that you’re not beautiful, and you replace it with a chorus of voices praising your body. It’s a long and hard journey and it is something that is worked on everyday.
To help you along your journey to self-love and body acceptance, I have conjured up a list of tips to help you when those bad body image days come.
1. Acknowledging Your Strength
Loving your body is learning how to cope when these negative emotions and thoughts rise to the surface. Remind yourself of all the great things your body does for you. Your body allows you to bike to your favorite coffee shop, walk on the beach during sunset, dance in your room to your favorite music. There are so many reasons to be grateful and when you’re feeling low, you have to remind yourself of these simple things.
Distraction is another great way to deal with these emotions. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel, but sometimes you just have to push through and keep your mind on other things. You can distract yourself by going on a walk and listening to a podcast. You can watch Harry Potter or Twilight, read a book, go shopping, or sit outside in the sun. Find something to do to keep your mind off the negative thoughts.
3. Journal Your Thoughts
Journaling how you’re feeling is another way to cope with negative emotions. I know you hear it all the time, but journaling does genuinely help for most people. Write down how your feeling, your thoughts, and anything that comes to mind. I like to write down when I am super happy and confident too. I think looking back on those passages I wrote from times when I was feeling like a 10/10 is a great reminder that I am beautiful.
4. Remind Yourself of Your Accomplishments
Keep in mind that you’re only human. Our worst critics are ourselves. We tend to be so harsh and mean to ourselves. Give yourself some more credit. You work so hard and try your best at everything you do. Recognize your accomplishments no matter how small they are. All of them are victories that should be celebrated.
5. Move Your Body
Getting up and moving is a great way to feel a bit better on one of those tough days. I want to emphasize the fact that moving your body should not be a punishment. You shouldn’t be doing it because you ate too much yesterday, or you ate a donut this morning, or you woke up bloated. Moving your body should come from a positive mindset. You get to go on a walk, or a bike ride, or even do a quick yoga flow in your bedroom. You get to move your body and make yourself feel good. You don’t “have to”, but you “get to”. Going on a walk can help you clear your mind and get some fresh air. You’ll release endorphins and have one more thing accomplished in your day.
6. Talk To Someone
Talking out your feelings and thoughts to someone you trust can be so therapeutic and helpful when you’re feeling down. Go to someone who you feel comfortable with and let them know how you’re feeling. I’m sure they will try to help you work through those negative thoughts you are having about yourself, and they will try to build you up. Talking though it also may help you realize that you’re being too hard on yourself.
7. Do Something You Love
Getting up and doing something you love will not only be a distraction from those thoughts about your body, but will also just overall lift your mood. My favorite things to do are go driving, listening to music, getting a coffee, and watching the sunrise/sunset. Yes, I sometimes do all of that at one time. Find something you love to do and use that as a tool to help yourself when you’re feeling low.
8. Wear Something You Love
Opting for an outfit you feel confident in can help boost your mood and also remind yourself of how great your body really is. You can either choose something you feel confident in or choose something more comforting. I find that wearing jackets or sweaters make me feel warm and comforted.
9. Change Your Perspective
Think back on when you were younger and how care free you were- back before you started thinking about your body and how to change it.
Treat yourself as you would your best friend, loved one, or your younger self. I’m sure you wouldn’t be telling them that they’re ugly and need to lose weight, so why do you say it to yourself? Why do you think it’s okay to be so rude and cruel to yourself. It’s not okay and you don’t deserve it. You’re living your life and trying your best along the way. That’s all you can really expect from yourself.
When those difficult days come; when you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and don’t feel your best, know that you’re not alone. There are so many other people in this world on the same journey as you are, and we all have those days. Those days suck, but they allow for the good days to be even more special. It makes us more appreciative of the good times. So drink your water, move your body, write down how you feel, and take on the day like the incredible human you are.