Body-Love Wellness Circles by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is an immersion into the power of body-acceptance. The Circles will be focused around transforming the relationship you have or may not have with your body, food and yourself. This post is part of the Body-Love Blog Tour, which is spreading body-acceptance to the masses. Learn more and join us by clicking here.
Often, we think about all the things we don’t like about ourselves and our bodies and expect that to motivate us to lose weight or exercise more in order to achieve the body that we wish for. We often end increasing our overwhelm and frustration instead of becoming more loving and accepting of our body. Here are some strategies you can use to increase self-acceptance of your body.
1. Practice gratitude for your body.
Be grateful for all the different things that your body allows you to do. For example, think about how blessed you are to have strong legs that carry you wherever you want to go. Appreciate the arms that allow you to hug your friends and family in a warm embrace. Acknowledge your lungs, which allow you to take in deep breaths of fresh air. Sometimes we forget about all the things that our body lets us do, because we spend so much time obsessing over the aspects of our body that we can’t change.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
Often we struggle to accept our bodies because we are always comparing ourselves to others — we wonder why we aren’t as skinny as our sister or we wish that our skin would be as clear as the girl in the office next to us. We feel bad that our friends can eat so much and never gain a pound and we search for any reason to support our beliefs that others look better than us and should be more appreciative of what they have, while ignoring all of the positive aspects of our own bodies! If we spent more time focusing on ourselves instead of comparing ourselves to others, we would be have more body acceptance.
3. Take care of your body.
All too often we don’t provide our body with the care that it deserves. If you make healthy choices about the food you eat by drinking lots of water and eating fruits and vegetables, your body will feel good. Also take time to find exercise that you enjoy and gives you energy, whether it is something like running, riding a bike, yoga, or a random dance party as this will give you an opportunity to become stronger and appreciate how you feel when your body moves.
4. Use positive affirmations to acknowledge all the good things about your body
Whenever you have a negative thought about your body (e.g., I need to lose weight, I wish I was taller, I wish my hair was straighter, I hate the way my clothes fit me), you need to replace it with a positive affirmation. Here are a few that you can use:
My body is a gift.
I am perfect just the way I am.
I appreciate my body.
I love myself just the way I am.
I am loved and admired.
5. Spend time with others who have healthy views about their body.
Spending time with friends who also struggle with body acceptance can negatively affect your views on your body as well. It’s important to spend time with others who respect and appreciate their bodies. If you are around people who are always focused on what they don’t like about their bodies, it can contribute to your negative thoughts about your body as well. If you do have friends who have negative views of their bodies, you do not have to give them up as your friend, but you can encourage them to join you on the path to healthy self-acceptance of your bodies!
I’d love to know what you appreciate most about your body — share in the comments below!