Learning to truly love and accept your body—flaws and all—can be a challenging journey. Nowadays, Photoshop, filters, and social media seem to rule the universe. We sometimes live in a distorted version of reality, as we’re constantly subject to everyone’s pretty pictures and highlight reels.
Now more than ever, people are saying no to society’s unrealistic standards. At last, people are realizing you can be healthy without a six-pack. You can look good and not kill yourself at the gym. You can have stretch marks and still be beautiful. Slowly but surely, we’re learning to separate our appearances from our worth and recognize that our differences are what make us unique.
This may be easier for some and more difficult for others. If you’re in the boat of this being a difficult issue for you, don’t worry. The practice of loving who you are doesn’t happen overnight, but working through the five steps below can help you take a step in the right direction.
Instead of always noticing the things you don’t like about yourself, make an effort to call out the things you do like. If it helps, keep a notepad by your bed and write down three things you like about yourself every night. In the morning, read those three things to yourself.
Easier said than done, but just remember that everyone is on a different path and in a different place on their journey. Even someone you admire and think is the perfect person probably has their fair share of insecurities, too. Even Cindy Crawford once said, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.”
Exercising and eating well are two things commonly associated with changing your physical appearance, but both are so much more than that. When paired together, they can truly heal your mind and body. Nothing gets those endorphins (your body’s all-natural happy drug!) fired up faster than moving your body. Then when you couple it with wholesome foods that nourish and energize your body, it can only lead to good things.
This applies to yourself and others. In the long run, what we say and think about ourselves tends to become our reality. Every time a negative thought enters your mind, replace it with two positive thoughts.
In the words of Karen Marie Moning, “Who and what we surround ourselves with is who and what we become.” Find those who uplift and encourage you, and you’re sure to find yourself in a more positive place.
At the end of the day, it’s more than just being comfortable in your skin and feeling good about yourself. It’s about truly accepting and loving yourself exactly the way you are.