Learning to love your body isn’t about changing your appearance until you are happy with the way you look, but it is about learning to love your body how it is. Accept that you may have features you aren’t 100% happy with, but learn to be ok with them. Accept that you may think you have “flaws” (which really aren’t flaws). Accept your body for how it looks and try to learn to love yourself as you are… not just appearance, but who you are as a person. Of course, sometimes change is necessary for full acceptance and self love. Sometimes you just that one small change that can really increase your confidence which make a huge difference in how you feel and view yourself.
One of the best tips to learn self love is to start from the inside.
So many people focus on appearance, thinking… “if only i had skinnier legs”, or “if only i was longer”, or “if only i had a flat stomach”… realising that those things might not make you happy or like your body. Because there will always be something new you can focus and hate on and want to change.
Love yourself from the inside out…. what does this even mean?
Well to me, it means taking care of yourself – body and mind.
Eating good, nourishing food and fueling yourself. If you are only eating sugary foods and processed foods, it is not the best nourishment for your organs, muscles and brain. And too much of anything can leave you feeling a little sick.
But also, if you don’t eat… then you can’t think clearly. You will feel tired, low on energy and it is easier to begin to think negative thoughts and feel even worse about yourself, your appearance or your life. So you need to eat enough energy everyday so that you can think! (Food is fuel and if you don’t eat enough you can’t think straight or do all the things you want to do because you don’t have the right energy).
A step to loving yourself is eating nourishing food everyday!
But also drinking enough water. Don’t just live on coffee and diet soda. (From personal experience…. it can happen where i barely drink 500ml water because i drink coffee or energy drinks, and i end up not feeling so great about myself or my body after a while.)
Sleep and exercise are also key to loving your body. If you don’t sleep enough, it will impact how you feel and how you think. You will feel slow, heavy and not have as much energy which can make you feel negative and low.
And exercising (Doing an exercise form you enjoy for a moderate amount of time!) leaves you with feel good endorphins which can make you feel very good about yourself. But also moving your body is important for health and overall wellbeing and is very important for mental and physical health. Of course a workout doesn’t have to be 60 minutes crossfit or a 2 hour run, you can go out for a 30 minute walk to clear your mind and get both positive physical and mental benefits from that 30 minute walk!! If you aren’t overexercising then you should most of the time have a “feel good/feel accomplished/feel happy” feeling after a workout. (And i say most often, because somedays you may not feel that way after a workout even if you love exercising).
Take your vitamins and supplements!! Not everyone needs supplements and it is up to your doctor or dietitian to recommend you the ones you need, but if you do need supplements don’t forget to take them! I personally forget to take my medications and supplements far too often, but once i get into the habit of taking them regularly i do infact notice a difference both in energy levels and even my skin (i.e i can get dry skin if i don’t take certain supplements).
And most important… mindset! You can’t love yourself if you are constantly thinking negative thoughts about yourself, your appearance or your life. Doesn’t matter how much you sleep, exercise, drink water and eat vegetables and fruits. If you are thinking negative thoughts about yourself, it will be hard to feel good about yourself or in your body. So begin to change the negative thoughts to positive ones. Work on changing the “i hate this and that” to, “i accept this and that.” Remind yourself that you don’t need to change and that changing your body won’t necessarily make you love yourself or happy in your appearance. (However, sometimes change does help…. so my advice is to ask yourself is it a necessary change and most of all… is it a healthy change? I.e if your goal is to have an underweight BMI or a very low body fat percent, then it isn’t a healthy change. But if the change you want is maybe to have more muscles or have a little smaller/bigger X bodypart. As long as it isn’t an unhealthy or unrealistic goal… This is so so individual and most often i tell people just to accept and love their body, but at the same time i know that some change can help with body love and acceptance.)
Loving yourself is about feeling good in your own body. I know that the days i don’t feel good about my appearance, it often stems from too little sleep and over stressed. Or if i have eaten alot of junkfood several days in a row or even the times when i end up undereating for a few days…. then this uncomfortable feeling can begin to creep in. And it’s that feeling of not liking yourself or the way you look that is the worst. Because i know i don’t hate my appearance, but it is the uncomfortable feeling that creeps in when i don’t take care of myself from the inside out.
If you feel good on the inside you will also be more likely to like your appearance. Not to mention, you will most likely have a glow and extra energy when you really take care of yourself!!!
So learn to take care of yourself and your body! Treat it like you would treat a friend!! Your body and mind should be your friend and not your enemy!!
By loving yourself from the inside out, you are creating a good feeling which makes it easier to accept and love yourself!