Written by Jenn Hand, Holistic Nutritionist, Board Certified Health Coach & Binge Eating Coach, NBC-HWC

I spent many years in a battle with my body. 

For 13 years I was trapped in the binge-restrict cycle and struggled with our my body looked as I gained and lost weight.

A part of my healing was working on letting go of self-hatred and working to find acceptance.  

My first step was understanding that no matter how much weight I lost, I still wasn’t happy with myself. I reached my lowest weight, looked in the mirror and still hated my body.

This realization was the catalyst of my exploration into self-acceptance not dependent on size. I began to explore how to love and care for my body

I experimented with meditation to connect to myself beyond identifying with my physical self. I tried mantras, affirmations and gratitude. Over time, my view of myself softened and moved into acceptance. 

I’m still a work in progress but here are some of the things that helped me in my journey: 

How to Stop Hating Your Body

3 Ways to Stop Hating Your Body

If we vehemently hate our bodies, body acceptance can feel really far from where we are.

I like to think of body image as a spectrum. On the left is feeling negative and critical about our bodies. One step up from that is neutral–we observe without judgment and think neutrally about our bodies.

From there, we move appreciation for what our bodies can do and then into acceptance and love.

It’s a step ladder, each one a step forward from the previous. When you’re feeling really critical about yourself, aim for neutral and progress from there. 

Acknowledge that negative thoughts about your body are common, but they don’t define your worth.

Be curious and understanding, just as you would with a friend. Challenge negative self-talk and remind yourself of your value beyond the size of your body.

Cultivating self-compassion can help shift your focus away from judgment and criticism and move you along on the body image spectrum. 

Take an inventory of what you’re consuming on social media, online and in the world.

When we are constantly bombarded with filtered, “perfect” images, we create unrealistic standards of what we think we should look like. It’s important to fill your social media feed and online browsing with those who uplift and empower you, rather than perpetuating negative body image ideals.

Even better?

Do a month long media fast to see how much the internet and social media impact how you feel about your body! 

Be curious and compassionate with your thoughts

Common Questions about Self Image:

Practice gratitude for what your body allows you to do, rather than focusing on its appearance. What CAN your body do? Focus on this! 

Limit exposure to media that promotes unrealistic body standards and focus on your own strengths and unique qualities. 

In our society, we pick up a lot of baggage around our bodies and what we are supposed to look like. It can be common to have moments of dissatisfaction, but it’s important to challenge negative thoughts and cultivate self-compassion.

Set boundaries with individuals who make hurtful remarks and surround yourself with supportive and body-positive people.

Encourage open communication, model a healthy relationship with food and exercise, and get professional help if needed to address underlying issues. 

Focus on holistic health goals like improved energy levels, mental well-being, and physical strength, rather than just a number or a size.

⚪ The 7 Biggest Myths of Weight Loss
What Is Holistic Weight Loss?
Why Do I Hate My Body?
Having a Bad Body Image Day? Try These 4 Things

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About the Author: 

Jenn Hand has been helping women like you become normal eaters since 2015.

She’s worked with thousands of women, helping them to balance their bodies, end bingeing, stop obsessing over food, and start feeling amazing again.  As a board-certified health coach and holistic nutritionist, Jenn knows how to support you in making real positive changes that last.

Her articles have been published on Mind Body Green, Tiny Buddha, Thrive Global and other local and global media platforms. She’s the author of How to Be a Normal Eater and the creator of The Normal Eater’s Club program. Listen to Jenn’s advice and tips on the Cake Doesn’t Count Podcast, or read more of her articles for free on the Food Freedom Blog.

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