You want to know my secret for looking and feeling my best? Body acceptance.
Yeah, got you a little with that one, huh? I should warn you – this is not a weight-loss post with tips and tricks. I used to subscribe to those. Shoot, I used to share tips and tricks that worked for me right here on the blog. And, although there’s not anything wrong with wanting to feel and look your best, I’m a firm believer in how you get there starts with the mental game. At the end of the day, it all comes down to BODY ACCEPTANCE.
Body acceptance should be unconditional. It shouldn’t be dependent on how much you weigh, what your skin looks like, what size jeans you wear, or any other factor. I know – easier said than done, right?
Here’s another fun fact: body acceptance doesn’t mean you can’t have goals or want to make changes. You can fully accept and love and appreciate your body while still wanting to drink more water, move your body more, get more sleep, etc.
Body acceptance should be unconditional.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years in my own journey it’s that you don’t accept your body once when you reach your goals. You reach health goals because you accept and love your body as it IS. It’s that simple. The moment I stopped relying on my looks (skinnier legs or more visible abs) and started focusing on accepting my body as it is in whatever form it happens to be in, that was the moment I was able to actually achieve goals.
Goals like squatting 100lbs on the squat rach, sprinting for 60-second intervals, running for 20 minutes without a break, getting a solid 7 hours of sleep each night, drinking 70+ ounces of water every day, having regular digestion, and a higher libido. Those are the things I wanted to accomplish and I was able to do that without stressing about how my body was going to look at the end. Now, did I see physical changes? Sure did. And I’m proud of all of the work I’ve put in but I now accept my body whether I would have lost inches and firmed up muscles or not.
Two Tips for Improving Body Acceptance
No. 1 Cut the Negative Self Talk
Real talk. This one is key. It’s also probably the hardest one. Starting today, I want you to keep a log of all of the negative thoughts or comments you make about yourself, both physically and emotionally/mentally. The “I hate my thighs”, “I wish I had hair like hers”, “why can’t I be as successful as ____”, “just 5 more pounds and I’ll be happy”. All of that stuff – write it down. At the end of the week, I want you to take a look at your list and ask yourself, “would I let my best friend/sister/daughter talk about herself like that”? Chances are, you wouldn’t. So why are you allowing yourself to be so cruel about YOU?
After that first week, I want you to continue keeping a log of any negative thoughts but this time, when you think or say something negative, immediately follow up with a compliment. Keep track of those too. After two weeks of practicing the positive talk and compliments, I challenge you to go an entire day and then an entire week without any negative self-talk. I promise this will do wonders for your self-image and body acceptance 🙂
No. 2 Lift up the women around you
Now that you’re basically a pro at giving yourself compliments (yay!), it’s time to turn the tables and lift up those around you. A lot of our insecurities come from comparing ourselves to other women – our friends, influencers, celebrities, covers of magazines. Chances are, when you see these women, you immediately compare their physical looks to your own and that’s how it all starts.
Let’s switch things up. From now on, try complimenting the women around you (and the women you see on the screen) on their personality or work ethic or other skills versus jumping straight to the physical. Instead of focusing on how they look, pay attention to how smart, strong, strong, determined, funny, and brace they are. Compliment an actor’s acting comedic timing versus her blonde hair. Compliment your colleague’s presentation versus her strong arms. Compliment that influencer’s parenting skills instead of her thin thighs.