self love

5 Ways To Love The Body You Have

In a world of BBL’s, tummy tucks, breast implants, and lip fillers, it is sometimes hard to love the body you have. I believe every woman should have complete autonomy over her body and make whatever decisions she wants, I just hope it’s always a healthy decision. 

The rise of BBL’s, and other plastic surgery enhancements, have been floating around on social media and it always makes you wonder, when did people start to not love the unique features about themselves? Recently, K. Michelle has been scrutinized in the comments under her photos on social media because it is apparent that she has had some “work” done to her face. 

I must say that it can be a challenge to love your body in a world that tells you not to. The social media world is beginning to celebrate natural faces and bodies more than before, but has the damage already been done? Or can inner work and self-love defeat the opinions of outsiders?

If I can be honest, at every stage of my life I have always thought I was overweight or larger than my peers. It wasn’t until this year that I learned about body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphia is a mental health condition where the individual obsesses over perceived imperfections on their body or physical appearance. The effects of body dysmorphia can range from social isolation to the development of eating disorders. 

I can’t say that I suffer from body dysmorphia but I do admit to never being satisfied with my weight no matter how small I was. And that is an issue. 

Now, I am the heaviest I have been my entire life and I have battled with my emotions surrounding the weight gain and my appearance. It has been rough, believe me. But here are some ways I am reminding myself to love the body I have. 

The past no longer serves me. 

What can the past do for me now? How can I move forward looking back? Truth is, I can’t. That body that served me during those stages of life when I was smaller served its purpose than for the life I was living. It can no longer serve me. How can I get something from the past to serve me in my present when I have completely different responsibilities, expectations, and experiences? 

I remember a conversation I had with some friends. We were reminiscing about our old bodies and saying “I have to get that body back” or “I have to get back to that.” And I thought, why? Why do we have to get back to something when we can cultivate the body we have now to carry us through the current days? Look what life has brought you through since then and how much you’ve gained and how far you’ve grown. You’re constantly praising the body you used to have instead of appreciating the one that’s carrying you now. Whew, talk about neglect. 

So instead of focusing on the past and the body you want to get BACK to, appreciate and love the one you have. The one that got you through and is getting you through a whole pandemic. Take this advice from someone who didn’t appreciate the body they had at any size/stage of life. Speak nicely about and to your body because it hasn’t given up on you so don’t give up on it.

Health is Wealth. The Scale is Stale. 

As I get older, I’m realizing that the numbers that matter the most are those cholesterol, blood pressure, sugar levels, and all the other numbers that come back when you get your routine check ups. Put your energy there. Focus more on what you’re consuming and I’m sure the weight loss (if that’s your goal) will follow. 

For the first time in years I had my cholesterol number come back in what I would consider the “yellow.” It wasn’t high but it was borderline high and it had never been that way before. I immediately started to focus more on what I was consuming and less on the scale. 

One could say the two go hand in hand, but I like to argue that those other numbers matter much more than your number on the scale. Shift your focus and you’ll see results. 

Beauty is not one size fits all

The BBL epidemic could argue that beauty is one size fits all but I am here to tell you that it is not. Beauty comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes. You can have the firmest body and be beautiful or your stomach can sit in your lap like mine and you can STILL be beautiful. 

Don’t let these social media posts, ads, or anyone else alter your beliefs about beauty or about yourself. You set the parameters for beauty in your life. 

love your body

Make the change for YOU not for acceptance 

Please don’t think that once you hit the gym, diet, or go under the knife that you will get the attention or acceptance of other people and your problems will be solved. No. You have to make changes that will make you happy with yourself. Not anyone else. That’s the greatest form of self-love. When you make the decision to make, or not make, changes to your body for yourself, it is then that you are truly making a conscious effort to love yourself. 

What good would it be to lose weight or achieve your body goal but then still be insecure, self-conscious, and not happy with how you look? A waste of time right? Look at me, I’ve always wanted to lose more weight no matter how small I already was. Quiet the inner thoughts of self-doubt and insecurities while you also work on whatever physical goals you have. Once you’ve built yourself up internally, what’s on the outside won’t matter as much. You’ll be confident no matter what. 

This was 11 years ago as a freshman in college and yes I thought I needed to lose more weight.

Confidence is the best kept beauty secret 

There has been plenty of research to show that confident people are perceived as being more attractive and appealing. When you are sure of yourself, how can anyone else doubt you? If you are considering doing work to change your body, first start by doing some confidence work. I can’t say it is easy work but it is work that is necessary. 

Start by saying those affirmations daily. Remind yourself that you are beautiful. Hype yourself up whenever you feel like it and especially when you don’t.  Speak positively about your body to others regardless of how they respond. Stop downing yourself or focusing on your imperfections. Focus on showering yourself with love at all times. Because if you don’t take the time to love you, who will?

I challenge you to focus less on what you want to change and more on what you’ve already accomplished. Love yourself a little more this week. I promise you already look good but do what you need to do to be fully happy with your physical appearance. The only opinion that matters is yours.

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