Is it idealistic to believe that everyone can learn to love their body? This became a burning question as I set out to write on this topic of body acceptance. Why do I muse about this subject? It’s been said that writers write what they wish to know. And when it comes to loving my body – it’s been a constant, lifelong process.
That said: Here’s what I know (or want to know) about loving the body we’ve been given. The process begins with acceptance. And to accept one’s body, I believe, can be broken down into a three step process:
Step One: Make Peace With Yourself
The journey toward body acceptance begins by making peace with yourself. Sure, we all have things
about our body we’d gladly exchange if we could, but what’s the reality in this idea? Therefore, begin by asking yourself: “What about my body must I learn to accept as it is?” To help identify my feelings, I like to use a journal. When you’re ready, jot down your answer to this question. Look at your answers: Can you find ways to be grateful for what you have? What gifts does your body allow you to share? Make a note of these answers, as well.
Step Two: Become Aware Of Your Body Language
This brings me to Step Two of our three part equation: What is your posture saying about you? Body language tells a story. If we pay attention, we can tell a lot about a person just by becoming aware of their body language. Think for a moment: What is your body language saying about you? Take a look: Are you slouching with arms crossed? Is your posture not what it could be? Aside from compressing the organs, poor posture could also be telling the world you are unhappy.
In his bestselling book, Body Language: The Essential Secrets of Non-Verbal Communication, Julius Fast tells us that body Language is actually a scientific principle. The scientific study of body language, “Kinesics,” has proven that body language can actually contradict verbal communication. Here are just three ways your body language can give a negative vibe to anyone you are in contact with:
- Poor posture
- Arms crossed
- Eyes averted
Conversely, there are also a great many ways to exhibit positive body language: eye contact, strong posture and a confident stance.
Step Three gets tricky. I am sure we could all find things we “like” about ourselves, but this step asks you to find a part of yourself that you love. Again, begin with your journal. Now take a good look into the mirror and ask what you love about yourself. Perhaps with a spoonful of acceptance you can find a myriad of traits. Take some time every day to address the positive parts of yourself.
Step Three B:
Find a Role Model:
I’m not a large advocate of looking to celebrities or mass media for divine inspiration. Yet, I am always on the lookout for people of whom to admire and model myself, regardless how their message is presented to me. Most often, I believe there are angels and guides ready and waiting for us to accept our teachings, then show us what we need to know.
This requires little more than looking outside ourselves and becoming aware. Look around. Who is holding a message for you?
Every day I try to take time to thank my body for the freedom it gives me. Whether I do this by musing in my journal or simply stopping to affirm and congratulate myself when I complete my exercise for the day. Although Loving oneself and the body is guaranteed to be a lifelong process – I personally try to recognize when my frustrations are real and when I become muddied by the superficial. I would say to you, as I say to myself, aim to set superficial thoughts aside. Give yourself the freedom to love and accept yourself in the perfection you were created.