July 25 2016

The Difficulties of Body Acceptance


How sick of you are comparing your body to others? With weighing it on the scale? With depriving it of the foods it needs? This fall, how about you decide to try a new approach: tolerating your body, and maybe even learning to embrace it. This past week, my friend and I came across an Instagram post by @yogainspiration. The post really spoke to me and inspired me to delve deeper into a path of body acceptance.

Deciding to accept your body for what it is and learning to love is an important start. No matter how badly you want to stop hating yourself, we are only human and it is fairly easy to get stuck along a body acceptance journey. Maybe the one thing that’s stopping you is understanding how to turn this desire into an action or tangible milestones. In the midst of summer and bikini season you start witnessing that little voice inside your head that keeps nagging you, “If only my thighs were skinnier, I would be happier. If only I could just lose ten pounds I would love myself.” Instead of harping over these thoughts, witness them as an observer watches clouds pass in the sky.  As you see each thought pass, remind yourself that these thoughts aren’t ultimate truths.

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Tangible milestones to turn these hopes for yourself begin with starting to fill your day with doing at least one thing each for your mind, body, and soul. Maybe you take a water color or photography class to help you live more in the moment. Or maybe you try that new kickboxing class with your friends and laugh till your abs hurt. Find a yoga class that helps you practice mindfulness and looking deeper into the little things that life gives. Start listening to your body. Resting when you need rest. Breathing when you feel overwhelmed.

Focusing on these tangible milestones takes the time away that you’ve spent criticizing yourself and channeling the newfound energy into a new project or hobby.

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One thing I have started is to write down one thing about myself every day that adds benefit to my life whether it be muscles in my legs that help me to do a spin class or teach a barre lesson or a smile that could brighten a strangers day.

Body Acceptance and self-love is not an easy transition. Know that it takes time. The day you decide to stop despising your body could help to change your whole outlook on life. It will kick-start a meaningful process. It is a decision that serves you. That supports a fulfilling life. Because opening the door to this kind of positivity is a gift. One of the best presents you can give yourself.

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