Look at her. She’s got it all. The perfect body. The long hair. The perfect life. She doesn't have issues, I wish I had that life. You hate her because you want to be like her, you despise her because she has what you want. You look at yourself in the mirror and you rip yourself apart. “You’re so fat, you’ve got cellulite, your roots are showing and I can see the strands of grey coming through” you say to yourself. You stand there breaking yourself down further and further with every passing day, to the point where your self-inflicting harm keeps you from positive change. You hate your body and you won’t accept it. Why should you? It’s not what you want after all...
If the goal is healthy, fit, accepting, forgiving, and strong, then this self-help guide was made for you.
It was made for the person inside of you who so desperately wants to get out, to shine, to be radiant and happy. You want to be free from the constraints and walls that you’ve built so very tall around you. You want to know what it’s like to push your body, to nourish it, and to ultimately love it. What you ultimately want? Body acceptance – to be in love with not their body, her body, or the body you follow on social media.
You want to be in love with your body and we’re going to help you do just that.
Body Rejection versus Body Acceptance
Neglect, negative, and destructive is the result you get from body rejection. Sure, you know what your needs are but you choose to disregard them. You knowingly choose what is not right for you, not healthful for you, and you may even compulsively choose what is wrong for you – like over-exercising, going for long bouts of not eating, not sleeping when your tired or seeking medical care when you need it most.
Body acceptance isn’t this. It’s being in a healthy relationship with yourself, one that nourishes your body, your mind, and your soul. It’s listening to its needs and wants and coming to a common ground. Body acceptance means being so deeply connected with yourself that when the waves of the world come crashing down upon you, you have a strong foundation to build from.
Your body deserved to be nourished and loved; any other thought or message is a lie.
Self-Sabotage Starts with an Illusion of Perfection
There is an unruly amount of pressure on women in our culture to have glowing skin, long lashes, shiny hair, pretty nails, ultra-beautiful-in-whatever-way-you-define it expectations that are crushing the souls and hopes and motivation of women everywhere. We self-destruct and self-sabotage our self-esteem for false personas and perceptions. Why? Because we aren’t taught how to have a constructive and healthy relationship with our bodies.
We aren’t taught to magnify our strengths and develop our weaknesses and most of all, how to be proud of ourselves and our bodies along the way. We aren’t taught that we are enough as we are. We’re pushed and poked and prodded to become something we’re not, fake, cheap, overweight, ultra-skinny – we’re the center of a problem rooted in derision and contempt.
Why are there so many overweight people in the world? Why do people emotionally eat? Why do people starve themselves and why are women so much more likely than men to develop an eating disorder or body dysmorphic or depression linked to a poor self-image and self-esteem? Because we think we have to be perfect. Because somehow we've been manipulated to believe that perfect is the standard, somehow, to which we must hold ourselves accountable.
And it’s not just you who thinks this.
Did you know that?
It happens men, women, children, and everyone in between. The dilemma is this – idealized media images versus the reality we all live with puts people in an excruciating dilemma and the illusion that perfection is an all or nothing mentality.
Perfection is annihilation. It paralyzes us from loving from the heart. Humans by nature are not perfect, you are not perfect either. In fact...
Your imperfections are your gift to the world and in turn, you make the world a more beautiful place. Inspire people with your imperfections, including yourself. Not the other way around.
Self-Esteem & Body Distortion
News flash everyone is unhappy about something to do with their body. How we believe we are to look misaligns with how other people perceive us. It’s a lack of perception and self-esteem, which in turn creates a distorted body image and can even lead to body dysmorphia.
A distorted body image is a result of a poor internal narrative. Your feelings of shame fuel your narrative. You try to create happiness and fulfillment from your physical attributes which leave you feeling even further from yourself and your goals.
Over time your dissatisfaction with your self-esteem and your body continues to spiral downward, deeper and deeper into self-devaluation, depression and undermining your true attributes, accolades, talents, and unique beauty. You distance your relationship with yourself so much that suddenly the body you used to love is now a living, walking, breathing representation of your emotional experiences and relationship, or lack thereof, with yourself. On the other side of the spectrum, society often applauds looks, not health, and unintentionally glorifies an extremely unhealthy body, even if it 'looks good' on the cover of a magazine. Whatever your body's narrative is, there is hope, even if you've spiraled down as far as you can possibly go.
Your best body is whatever weight, size, and look you obtain when you are living the healthiest life that you actually enjoy living. This means mentally, emotionally, and physically.
How to Accept Your Body When You Hate It
Does your internal narrative riddle off phrases that keep you from being happy and healthy? It's time to come to the realization that you need help, and that help more often than not, is actually withing you. Yes, you! That incredible, talented, funny, inspiring, loving person dying to get outside of the jail cell you've locked it in and thrown away the key to.
You know this, that you've gotten to a point of self-hatred and self-harm, but you don’t know how to make it better or where to even start. You’ve gone far long enough living in self-hatred, feelings of anxiety, living daily with unworthiness and a superficial existence with your emotions. It's time to change the narrative moving forward, and realize, that enough is enough.
You’re sick of it, you’re ready to change, and the first step is going to be a transfer of all this emotional distress that has been misdirected onto your body and removing it from your self-worth.
Gaining a Sense of Control – Separating Emotional Distress from Physical Wellbeing
We’ve all heard it and most all of us have said it, “Do I look fat in this?”. WHY oh why do we ask this? We already feel unhappy. Our anxiety and nervousness and apprehension has already gotten to us while we were getting dressed. This transfer of energy has been taken from the party and projected like a big screen onto your body. You need reassurance because you’ve given yourself none. Unfortunately, culture has trained us to believe that what we wear to the party is going to define who we are. Sad, isn’t it?
It’s time to stop objectifying yourself.
You’re not the cashmere scarf or the fancy $100 blouse that you bought at Nordstrom Rack on sale hoping that it would make you look more sophisticated or well-put-together when your life is a complete mess. It's also not the expensive makeup, the fake nails, the photoshopped image on social media, either.
The most important thing about you isn’t the way you look, it's about how you feel on the inside.
One of the most important steps of accepting the body that you completely hate is to figure out why you’re unhappy, riddled with anxiety, depression, or otherwise and taking the necessary steps to do something about it. To stop shoveling through life like it’s a race, to stop and to look around, take a deep breath, and to look and what makes you, YOU.
The ways you feel about yourself are not your fault.
You don’t even have to like your body, at first.
Acknowledgment and Self-Validation
Labeling the experiences and feelings you have before you project them onto your body means acknowledging your body, your feelings, your emotions, and labeling them accurately. What causes you to become agitated and unsure of yourself when you’re getting dressed? Most the time, it’s not the normal makeup routine, hair products, or socks that you’re wearing, it’s the party itself. It’s quite possibly the people you may see, the speech you might have to give, the rental car you might have to show up in because you totaled your car earlier in the week.
Whatever is driving you to self-sabotage yourself deserves a deeper look. No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance. This means understanding the factors that go into our emotions that lead your thoughts away from self-acceptance and self-validation is imperative. With an accurate sense of self-validation, you understand that the things you’re worrying about actually don’t take away from who you are or what you look like. Stating the facts and adopting a sense of acknowledgment when it comes to your body improves our overall feeling and perfection of our looks. When you feel good, you look good. Seems simple, huh?
The Root of Self-Sabotage - The Internal Critic
You know what we’re talking about here. That nasty little voice that repeats over and over just how good you aren’t. Your internal critic plays a ginormous role in how you feel about your body and how you perceive your body from the outside in. Chances are you’d never walk up to your dearest friend or family member, squish their butt together in a mirror, force them to look at it, then tell them how ugly and dimply and disgusting their backside is, right? You probably wouldn’t also shun a friend every time you saw them, telling them how wrinkly their face is, how saggy their skin is, how pale they look, how tired and depressed they appear to be, would you?
Then WHY do you do these things and say these things to yourself?
Why do we allow our inner critic to demonize, destruct, and ultimately destroy our sense of wellbeing, our self-esteem, and our belief that we are enough? If what your inner critic is telling you is something that you’d never, ever dare to say to another human being, then it’s time to get your inner critic to sit down and shut up. Silencing your inner critic begins with disposing of our cultural ideals of how we’re supposed to appear and look and suppressing the hostile judgment of our own selves.
Keeping our inner critic from ruling our life means consciously dismissing and refusing to accept this perception of ourselves.
You can take charge of your life, your inner critic, and your self-esteem and head out on a journey of self-repair.
Ever see a chubby baby? They’re so cute, they’re rolly and poly and chubby and squishy. They melt your heart and they’re as happy as can be. They laugh and their eyes get squinty, their cheeks get rosy and blushed, they might even get a little double chin. But guess what? You don’t see that baby hating itself. That pudgy little baby isn’t beating itself up and down for being chubby everytime someone squeezes their cheek or wiggles their legs that have rolls. What am I getting at with this analogy? All I’m getting at is this – self-hatred, the internal critic, and poor self-esteem are taught to us.
We aren’t born hating ourselves, it's learned and taught behavior. If you've taught yourself to hate yourself, even unintentionally, you CAN intentionally teach yourself to love yourself. We don’t inherently believe that we’re terrible looking and doomed and confined to the existence of the walls around us. Which should give you solace to know…
The hatred you’ve learned to fill yourself up with can be changed…
How to Silence Your Inner Critic
Responding to negative self-talk is a skill, one of which starts weak and builds over time. It’s time to become your own best friend. The one that builds you up, that tells you that your feelings are valid and that it’s going to be okay and that you look great today. If your best friend came to you in need, you’d do these things for him or her, correct? You wouldn’t tear your friend down further and watch them walk away as the door hits them on the way out, right?
It’s time to start being there for yourself, being your own support system, silencing the inner critic that tells you, you aren’t enough and becoming the victor of your own story.
Ask yourself what you’d say to a dear friend of yours in the situation or feelings you’re experiencing, then say them to yourself. Such as, “I am a good person and I don’t deserve the things I tell myself. I am beautiful. I am confident. I am doing the best that I can. And I am not going to take your insults any longer”. Allow yourself to acknowledge your words and to validate the way you’re feeling, and tame your inner critic like the strong person you truly are.
Talk back to the inner critic and it will back down.
What’s on the outside can never hold a candle to what is on the inside. When you acknowledge your own self-worth your confidence will soar. Sure, you’re going to struggle sometimes. It’s inevitable. But when you come to the belief that caring for yourself isn’t self-indulgent, and rather that it’s an act of survival, you will begin changing your life from the inside out, one thought at a time.
Accepting yourself is about respecting yourself.
It’s about letting go of who you think you are supposed to be and embracing who you are. You cannot fail at being yourself, you just can’t! So set the tone. Set the tone for the rest of your life by working hard at developing a relationship with yourself. Embrace the glorious mess that you are, believe that you are enough, have the courage to be authentic, vulnerable, and imperfect, and live your life the way you were designed to.
What it Really Means to Accept Your Body
You can be the most beautiful person in the world. You could be the person that everyone looks to because your light is burning so beautifully bright and your colors are radiant, but if you don’t see this when you look at yourself, none of it matters. When you doubt your worth, criticize yourself, when you hate your body, and every moment you spend doing this you lose moments of your life. Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing you’re worthy of your time. Well, guess what?
You are more than enough.
You always have been.
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