Most traditional techniques on how to really love your body include affirmations, mirror work, meditation, letting go of the scale, etc. And I’m all for these! Many of these are very helpful.
I think where these concepts fall short is that learning how to love our bodies is a practice; it’s a skill we need to re-learn. It’s a process where we undo all the baggage we’ve acquired over the years about our bodies and really go beyond just the affirmations and saying “I love you” in the mirror.
So what does it take to really love your body?
Here are the 6 “steps” below.
(These will be the lessons we’ll explore in the Normal Eaters Club “How To Really Love Your Body” course beginning on 9/4/18 if you’d like to join us!)
Being Aware & Redefining Love
This is the least sexy of all the steps 🙂 (But so necessary!)
In order to begin to find love, we first have to be aware of where we even are! How do we treat ourselves on a daily basis? What do we say to our bodies when we get dressed in the morning? How do we talk to ourselves when we catch a glimpse of our reflection?
Awareness is the first step to change. We’ve got to “assess” where we are. And then look at where we want to go…(this is the redefining love piece!).
“If you don’t know exactly where you are going, how will you know when you get there?” (Steve Maraboli).
2. Finding The Balance Between Wanting Weight Loss and Body Acceptance
This is a must in the body love equation! Can you still want to be at your natural weight AND accept yourself where you are?
The simple answer is yes. The complicated answer is that it’s a very real struggle to find the balance 🙂 (But still possible!)
3. Making Peace With The Mirror (Letting Go of Critical Thoughts)
If critical, self-loathing thoughts dominate our daily lives, how do we except to ever begin to love ourselves?
(**Have you seen this 2 minute video experiment on how critical mean thoughts affect the growth of plants?! Watch it. It’s amazing. It’ll change the way you think about how you talk to yourself!)
This is a huge area of growth when we are learning how to love our bodies 🙂
4. What Does Body Love Look Like In Real Life?
This is where affirmations, mirror work, EFT and many of the other tools come in handy. But it still goes deeper than that. What does it look like to show and express love for you and your body? How do you take “acceptance” from an intellectual concept and actually bring it into your reality?
5. Body Acceptance Beyond Weight
This is where we learn how to measure our worth beyond our size. We’ve been taught that our size=our worth and this crucial step involves a lot of “unlearning” in order to feel worthy again.
What does it mean to see yourself with loving eyes? If you’ve spent your whole life measuring how “good” you are based on your size or how you eat, how do you find a new way of measuring your worth? What does feeling enough (and acceptable) actually feel like?
These are the big questions to explore in this step.
6. Seeing Your Body In A Different Way
The last lesson is hands down my favorite! Why? Because this component is often overlooked in the “body love” advice.
Can you see yourself beyond your physical reflection? If you can only accept yourself if you like your reflection, what happens when you age, when you gain weight, when you get wrinkles and when something changes in your body that you don’t like?
This is really diving deep into the spiritual piece: of KNOWING you’re “enoughness”, of learning to see yourself in a different light and of letting go of the importance of the physical.
So, there you have it!