Self-love is about acceptance and seeing yourself as the gift you are. How many of you can actually say that you love your body…EXACTLY the way it is? So often we get caught up in the idea that achieving what we don’t currently have will equal happiness. Skinnier = happy. Bigger muscles = happy. Six-pack abs = happy. While those external qualities can be a happy place for some bodies, they don’t necessarily translate as a happy place for every body; male and female alike.
To truly learn to love your body, there are some things that you’ll have to learn to do, and some things that you’ll have to learn to stop doing. Will it be easy? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Either way, learning to love your body will help you live life to its fullest potential.
Start a Self-Gratitude Journal
List something that you love and appreciate about yourself. Every. Single. Day. Think of your favorite features, what your body allows you to do, and your many accomplishments. Avoid thinking simply in terms of aesthetics. Dig deeper. Quite often we don’t appreciate our health and abilities until they’re gone. Appreciate and love your body. After all, it’s yours, and you only get one.
Take a Selfie-a-Day
Okay, this might sound a little strange but tie this in with your new self-gratitude journal. Every single day, take a selfie of yourself. Then look at it – really look at it – and challenge yourself to find three things that you love. Don’t pick yourself apart with all of the things you dislike. Instead, focus on how you love your body and keep reminding yourself of those things. The visual aspect of a selfie-a-day will help you change the way you view yourself.
Be Kind to Yourself
Would you say the things that you say to yourself to your best friend or sister? Likely not. Then why do you speak so harshly to yourself? Love your body by challenging yourself to change the way you talk to yourself. Start paying attention to the negativity. Acknowledge it, and stop it. Right then and there.
Praise Instead of Compare
As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” When you continually compare your body to others, it will instantly steal your joy. Since we all have different bodies with different genetics, it’s tough to compare bodies apples to apples. That’s why fitness should be more about how you feel physically (increasing your energy, sleeping better, decreasing anxiety) and emotionally (self-esteem, confidence, determination) than it is about how you look.
Reframe Your Focus
Love your body by making goals that focus on what you can do. Pick a performance or strength goal to work towards versus something aesthetic. This will refresh your goal-reaching efforts and increase your body positivity.
Enjoy Your Body
Right now. Love your body. Exactly as it is. Stop waiting to reach a goal to love your body. Your life is happening right now. You have the choice: hate your body or love your body. Choose love.