When I set out, all those years ago, on a mission to love my body, I wasn’t quite sure how it was all going to work. Was it even possible? Back then, I had only the briefest of moments when my mind wasn’t full of negativity towards my body. Being in the moment and enjoying whatever was happening without the awareness of negativity towards myself was incredible – even if for only a second here and there. My mission was to prolong that feeling, perhaps even have it be the majority of my day. I saw this phenomenon in others, women who seemed to embrace life without a shit to give about what anyone thought of them. I knew it was going to be a process and I knew it was going to be hard as hell but I wanted it SO bad. Slowly, ever so slowly, my feelings towards my body started to shift. I began noticing the decreased level of stress I would feel when it was time to get ready for an outing and I needed to start thinking about what I was going to wear. I also caught myself saying one day, “it’s just a belly – no need to panic”. Let me be very clear – there are days that I struggle and struggle badly. Body love is not something that I’ve arrived at but rather something that I work at regularly and some days are just easier than others.
Here is my recipe:
- Appreciation: practicing love, respect and appreciation for all the things your body does and allows you to do is essential. Despite how belligerent I can be towards my body (and I’ve been pretty shitty at times), it still – time and time again – allows me to do some pretty incredible things – amazing right?!
- Representation: how often are you exposed to diverse bodies? How the hell can we expect to feel good about ourselves when we don’t see our body types represented in media – this will always lead to us feeling crappy about our bodies – that’s how othering works. Do yourself a favour and follow some incredibly powerful and positive higher-weight women. (let me know if you need some suggestions)
- Social Media Cleanse: do you log on to Facebook, Instagram etc and feel like shit about yourself? If so, get rid of those people. You are not obligated to follow and become friends with everyone who follows you. Make your social media a safe place for your body acceptance practices.
- Support: surround yourself with people who are also aware of the negative effects diet and exercise culture can have. Whenever you can talk with ‘like-minded’ individuals, it helps create connection and decreases feelings of isolation. It’s just plain comforting to know that you’re not the only one who struggles with this.
- Pick a Mantra: having something to say to yourself to stay in the moment when you’re spiraling down that negative path is really helpful. “my body is good” is something I’ve repeated countless times. Find something that feels right and repeat it…all the time…everyday….
Have some body love tips to add? Share them in the comments.
In body love solidarity,