Learning to love your body when you really don’t is no easy task and the society is full of expectations and unrealistic standards that can make loving your body in any shape or form extremely difficult.
How many times have you looked in the mirror and exclaimed, “I’m fat!” only to have your friend, spouse, or family member assure you that you look fine? If this happens more often than you care to admit, it’s time for a body-image intervention.
Here are ways on how to love your body better:
1. Ditch the narrative that looking a certain way will make you happier: Before you can learn to love your body, you need to relinquish the idea that you wouldn’t feel sad, lonely, or rejected if you looked different. The more you can really internalize this idea, the less attached you will be to meeting certain conventional beauty norms because you will understand that they will never deliver what you want.
2. Stop Judging People’s Bodies: For you to learn to love your body, you need to stop judging other people based on their bodies. When you criticize another person’s body, you send the message both to them and to yourself that bodies are a valid measure of a person’s value.
3. Cleanse your social media feeds of anything that makes you feel bad about your body and follow social media accounts that show bodies that look like yours.
4. Do something that makes your body feel good every day: Make it a habit to do something good for your body every day. Maybe that’s setting aside a few minutes to just give yourself a hand massage. Maybe it’s putting on your softest, fuzziest pair of socks to wear around the house. Maybe it’s doing a refreshing face mask or putting on a full face of makeup for no reason.
5. Do new things with your body: When you challenge your body to do something new, something outside of your comfort zone, you get to see your body in a new light.
6. Make Exercise about feeling good: Exercise is a natural way to increase energy, reduce stress, and keep our bodies healthy. But when we look at exercise as a weight loss or body-shaping tool, we turn something that’s nourishing into something that’s hurtful and even hateful toward our body. Exercise as a way to love your body not as a way to change or fight it.
7. Dress your body affectionately: Sometimes when we’re feeling insecure about our bodies, we consciously or subconsciously put on clothes meant to cover up as much of our body’s “trouble areas” as possible or attract the least amount of attention. This bolsters shame and negativity around our bodies. Dress your body like it’s a piece of artwork. Be intentional, attentive, and expressive.
8. Fight Fat phobia: It’s time to start getting over our fear of fatness. That means celebrating your fat body, supporting and empowering your fat friends, and calling out anti-fat comments from your peers.
9. Surround yourself with people who are supportive of you and your body.
10. Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.
Remember that your body is a piece of nature and it can never be inappropriate.