As women, we're taught from a very early age that to be accepted, loved, successful, etc. we have to be thin and look a certain way. So its not surprising that throughout life, we have personal attributes that… well, disgust us. Maybe that's a little drastic but I did spend 90% of my life, up until a few years ago, being disgusted by my body so that's not such a drastic word for my experience.
But maybe there are things you've found challenging or frustrating about your physical features. Maybe you always wanted to be tall but you’re short. You might spend too much time and mental energy (like I used to) wishing I had a magic wand that would turn my thick thighs, broad shoulders, jiggly belly, big boobs, into a much smaller lean beautiful body.
What can you do to accept your body just the way it is?
Here are 7 action tips to help you feel good about your body just the way it is, right now:
1. Remind yourself it’s the only body you have. It might sound silly but, unless you have lots of money and time to pay for and undergo cosmetic surgeries, this is the body you’ve been given. Accepting it will save you a lot of grief!
2. Take pride in your positive attributes. If you have short, always neat hair, good for you. Strong arms due to working out? Great. Say to yourself, “Wow! Although my vision is not very good, with my contacts I have perfect vision!” Maybe you have clear skin or beautiful white teeth. These are attributes to be proud of.
3. Notice when your body works well for you. Maybe you almost missed the bus this morning but you ran like a racehorse and jumped on the bus just before it pulled away. You must admit, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to run fast enough to catch the bus. Recognize how well your body can respond to your needs.
4. What do you want to change about your body? Is it do-able? Be frank with yourself. If it's something like you want to be taller, that's an easy fix – buy shoes with high heels. But if it's something that isn't simple, be realistic about whether it's doable to change that thing or not. If not, learn to accept it as is.
5. Commit to your plan to change what’s possible and set aside time to achieve your goals. Once you realize what you do have the power to change and you have written a realistic plan, vow to follow your plan. Allow time in an average day to work your plan. You’re forming a new habit and it must be repeated several times weekly to achieve the results you’re after.
6. Deal in healthy ways with things you can’t change. Rather than get disappointed or angry about one of your body’s attributes, recognize that certain people are born with certain characteristics that likely are unable to be changed.
Embracing your physical appearance just the way you are is the best route to living a life of self-confidence and serenity!
7. Take care of your body. The best way to show your love for your body is to take good care of it. Notice your appearance. Use lotions and moisturizers to maintain supple, smooth skin. Keep your hair healthy. Take part in regular and consistent exercise. Provide good nourishment to your body.
No matter what size, weight, or physical attributes you have, when you take care of your body, you’re showing the love you have for yourself.
Accepting your body image is so important to your everyday existence. When you can say, “I’m okay just the way I am,” you’ll lead a calmer, more settled, and happier life!
Need a little help working on accepting your body as it is? I invite you to download my 9 I Am Happy With My Body Affirmations now.