Recently I had a conversation with a woman who is absolutely gorgeous. She is someone who’s beauty I have often found myself envious. However, during the conversation we had, I learned that she, too, faces the battle of loving her body. After that conversation, I pondered just how many woman face this battle. We may not think that many people we know face it, but I believe it is possible that more people do than we even realize.
So, the question is: How do we learn to love our bodies?
That’s right. Let’s learn how to love our current bodies. I am a strong believer in goals, and so I believe having exercise goals or diet goals is a great thing, but I also believe that loving our body in its current state is essential. Many times people will avoid events or activities simply because they feel uncomfortable in their own skin, and that thought truly breaks my heart. So, let’s work together to begin loving our bodies as they currently are.
For the process that I use, there are only three steps:
First, consider the parts of your body that you dislike the most. If this is multiple parts of your body, that is okay. Do not feel ashamed. Trust me, mine is multiple parts of my body too.
When you are considering the parts of your body that you dislike the most, do this as nonjudgmental as you can. We do not do this step to criticize ourselves; we do this step to gain perspective about which parts of our body we need to begin learning to love.
Second, stand in front of the mirror and place your hand on a part of your body that you dislike. This process is going to require being repeated for as many parts of your body as you dislike, so don’t stress about which part you begin with. Maybe your hand instinctively goes to your stomach or your thighs — regardless of which part, it does not matter.
When you find the part of your body that you will start with, place both of your hands on it. This step is essential as it begins teaching you to feel comfortable acknowledging this part of your body and learning that it is okay to touch it. Something I have found is that we will often avoid these parts of our body altogether, so we want to begin acknowledging it rather than avoiding.
Third, say words of gratitude for that part of your body. Think about the part of your body that you are touching and consider how it serves you. For example, let’s think about your stomach. When you look at it, maybe your inner critic comes out and says a ton of hurtful things. But instead of thinking like that for just a moment, consider how your stomach does such a good job at processing your food, at how it functions to keep you alive and well, and anything else that you can think of.
So, to put it simply: Determine what parts of your body you dislike, stand in front of the mirror and touch one part, say words of gratitude for that part of your body, and then repeat as many times as needed to go through each part you dislike.
This exercise can be extremely difficult in the beginning, but it is something that can be helpful. It has been for me! If you give it a try, leave a comment about your thoughts. Or follow me on Instagram to tell me about your own process — I’d love to hear!