What People Get Wrong About Self & Body Love
A question that comes up for my clients: “how do I start loving myself and my body?”
I know I talk a lot about self love and loving your body as it is, no matter your weight or size.
I also know this is easier said than done.
The thing people get wrong about self love and body love is that it’s not about LOVING what you look like every single day, no matter what.
It’s also not about LOVING every single thing about yourself. I know that’s not realistic.
I know there’s going to be days that you’ll be upset about something you ate and want to be hard on yourself.
I know there’s always going to be days that looking in the mirror is going to stir up some negative thoughts.
I know there’s going to be days that you feel uncomfortable in your body. I know there’s going to be times that you just CAN’T be ‘body positive’.
I also know that when you’re constantly bombarded with messages from the media and people around you about how to improve yourself (lose weight, change your body, “fix” yourself, etc.).
You’re going to feel pressure to “fit in” with these images, and push you further from loving yourself.
It’s human nature/instinct to want to “fit in”. Our animal bodies think that we have to be accepted by our tribe in order to survive, because being out on our own used to mean having to fend off predators by yourself.
The threats have changed, but the mindset still holds true. We all just want to “fit in” with our tribe (society).
I’m not going to tell you that you can never work on changing something about yourself. I just want to make it easier for you to love who you are and where you are right now. Because, if you can’t accept where you are, it’ll be a lot harder to achieve what you want, and a lot harder to enjoy the journey.
So instead of trying to love every single thing about yourself and trying to be “body positive”, let’s make it easy and focus on a “body neutral” approach.
Body neutral means accepting your body as it is, not loving everything, but also not hating everything or being hard on yourself.
Instead of saying “I love my ___ body part”, try “This is my ___ body part”.
Stop the negative thoughts in their tracks, move on, and distract yourself from the thoughts if you have to.
Turn your attention to something exciting you’re planning, or reflecting on memories that make you smile, or physically do something to distract (do a puzzle, cook something, dance to your favorite song, etc.)
This helps stop the pattern of negative thoughts. Instead of forcing yourself to think positive (which is really hard to do when you’re feeling really bad about yourself), just focus on thinking neutral.
When you’re finally in a neutral place, it will get easier. The harsh negative thoughts will come up less and less. Once you feel more neutral, you can work on incorporating more positive messages.
Another helpful tip is: when you find yourself caught up and upset about how your body looks, replace it with thinking about how you WANT your body to FEEL.
Doing things to make your body feel good is much more motivating than trying to make it look good. Plus, it’s MUCH easier to love a body that you treat with respect.
A great example for this is my clients that are moms. They say they want to lose weight, they’re hard on themselves for how their bodies look.
I like to ask moms to reframe their thinking on how they want to feel, and why they want to feel that way. The typical answer is “I want to feel strong, confident, and energized”, the typical why is “I want to be able to keep up and enjoy my time with my kids!”
Moms focused on the feeling they want to feel are much more motivated to eat nutritious foods and do daily movement than moms focusing on losing 5-10lbs.
Think about your ‘why’. How do you want to feel? Can you use this as motivation over the negative thoughts that come up around how you look?
Take some time to show yourself some love. Try to show yourself a little bit of kindness everyday. Do something to take care of yourself that makes you FEEL good!
If you need more support and want to learn how to get to a body neutral place so you can start loving your body, I’d like to invite you to join me for a free 30-minute call.
I call it a food and body freedom assessment call because it’s a full 30-minutes focused on you and creating action steps you can start taking right away to start feeling more confident in your body! Book your free call here!
I hope this was helpful for you and you’ll start finding ways to shift your perspective and practice self and body love in a neutral way!
Be Well, Marissa