There has been this whole cycle with my body image in relation to my weight until now.
As a child, I was always heavy, and while I was well-adjusted with all of the friends and family support I needed, I was self-conscious. As an adolescent, I became even more aware of my weight to the point that I adopted unhealthy habits of over-exercising and under-eating to lose a drastic amount of weight in a short period of time.
And, I was still self-conscious. As a newly pregnant young wife, I began gaining pregnancy weight, and again I was self-conscious.
Today, I have learned to love the skin I’m in, and I have made it my mission to help others do the same.
Being comfortable with your body isn’t easy, especially as a woman.
There are (and will always be) things that we see about ourselves that we’d like to change. There will always be someone who seems prettier, thinner, smarter, more successful, more put together…then we are.
But, you know what I’ve discovered?
We won’t ever really be happy until we learn to love the skin we’re in, and that goes for being satisfied with our weight, personality, career choice, parenting style…
That being said, it isn’t easy to get to a place where you are just comfortable being you, that you don’t compare, and that you appreciate your body and your being with all of your beautiful imperfections.
However, it is an incredibly freeing place to be and one that I know you can achieve with a little support and encouragement. 😉
Heck, if I, an eating disorder recoveree and an ongoing perfectionist, can get to a place that I feel comfortable and confident just as I am, I know you can too. So, how do you get there? Well, here are a few of my tips!
My Tips for Learning to Love Yourself Just as You Are
The road of self-acceptance isn’t easy, and it isn’t one way.
Honestly, it’s very likely that you’ll take 2 steps forward one day and another 4 back the next.
But, when you commit to the process, you’ll find yourself much more satisfied and all the healthier for it. Start the journey by applying a few of my suggestions.
1. Exercise Daily
Daily exercise is a key component for learning to love yourself. It works in a couple of different ways.
First, it helps you to make some of the changes you’d like to see to your body. But, it also helps you realize what your body is capable of in its current state. That was a real eye-opener for me.
Recognizing how capable my body is helped me appreciate it more than I ever have before.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Honing in on nutrition is also an important practice for developing self-love.
And, again, this concept affects you in a few different ways.
Better nutrition obviously means positive changes to your appearance over time, but it also has a positive impact on your mood and the way that your body performs.
And, plus, feeding your body well is a sign of caring for it isn’t it? Again I had to learn that by putting garbage into my body, I was doing nothing to actually care for it.
But, once I started putting healthful, nutritious food into my body, I realized that enjoyed taking care of my body and could make significant impacts to my health by changing the way I fueled my body.
3. Invest in Self-Improvement
Investing in yourself and making daily deposits into your skillset is another great way to begin loving who you are even more.
I just recently started this practice – reading or listening to 10-15 minutes of self-improvement every day – and it has already significantly impacted the way I view myself.
Knowing what you are capable of and having a vision for yourself that can be developed and guided by positive self-improvement investments is essential for appreciating who you are – mind, body, and soul.
As women, and especially as mamas, we often lose sight of who we are, and this is a great way to recapture that.
4. Speak Affirmations
It’s often easy for us to look in the mirror and pick out all of the things that we don’t like about ourselves.
Literally, when I look in the mirror, my eyes immediately go to the redness in my skin, the extra fat just above my belly button, the weight I carry in my hips and thighs…
But, what if we retrain our brains to think and say positive things to ourselves, to recognize and celebrate our beauty and ability?
That’s where the real change occurs, and you can do it by speaking positive affirmations to yourself. Now, this might not come very naturally, so one place I like to start is by posting sticky notes on my bathroom mirror.
But, try to come up with at least three things that you appreciate about yourself every day.
And, speak those things to yourself. The silence that inner critic!
5. Find Some Support
Having a supportive community is another way to develop self-love.
(Think a group of women building each other up and encouraging one another!)
My husband is a great support system for me, but there is nothing quite like having other women to encourage you when you’re feeling down on yourself or even your ability.
Learning to love the skin you’re in is an ongoing process that involves treating your body well and retraining your brain.
At 5 months postpartum, a time that is typically wrought with more self-doubt than ever in many women’s lives, I can honestly say that I am healthier, stronger, and more confident than I have ever been before, and I want to help you get there too.