You can love your body. Or you can hate your body. But the truth is that you need your body. It’s here to serve and protect you, and be a tool by which you can be, do, and have all the things that you wish, dream, and hope for. The act of understanding how to love your body is one that may take time. And it's something that most of us will have experienced at some point. I mean, did you know that 84% of American women experience dissatisfaction in their lifetimes?
It’s not about waking up one day and cold turkey deciding ‘I’m going to love my body today!’ I totally get that it’s much deeper than that. We’re all guilty of being critics of our own bodies. We are all guilty of the little voice in our head that tells us our bodies aren’t good enough. And we are all guilty of believing it.
The perception that you have of your body is tied to your overall persona and can have some detrimental effects on you getting the things that you want. When we have a part of us that is out of alignment with our whole, we are unconsciously preventing ourselves from moving to the next step of our lives, whether that next step is to level up our business, or learning to love others. When we can’t first see our own perfections (and imperfections), we can’t expect to see them in others.
There comes a point when you just have to stop. The cycle must end and you have to begin to appreciate your body for the incredible things that it does. It allows you to move, taste, breathe, see and smell. When you learn how to love your body in a way that recognizes all of these things, you are right on track to the body love that you desire.
If you’ve been following the Hungry for Happiness mission for a while, you are well aware that I’m not into the whole “body positive” movement. I can see through the BS of the wellness industry in trying to trick us into being complacent about where we are and how we feel. If we don’t like something, we get to work on that part of us so that we can transform it. We can’t pretend that it’s always rainbows and unicorns because it’s not. You have to be honest with yourself so you can get to the next level of your evolution.
Learning how to love your body is about self-love. It’s the practice of understanding and allowing yourself to be all that you are and loving all of those parts. Self-love actually takes time. Especially if you’ve gone through years of hating and disrespecting your body. When you are with the parts of you that need your love, you begin to direct your energies to these parts in ways that promote internal healing and shifting.
Get curious about yourself and your relationship with your body. What do you want it to look like? What are you trying to achieve through this body love? When I was going through the process of learning to love my body, I had to get over the devastation of picking myself apart. Criticizing every part of me that had a flaw. After I began working with a coach, I started digging deeper into what my end goal was. I thought about what I desired most and the answer always came back to loving my body. That was my end goal. To be in full and complete love with the body that I have.
After years of doing this work, there are a few things that I’ve picked up along the way. Including the stages of learning how to love your body.
Stage one: Acceptance
This starts it all. It is the moment when you are honest with yourself and accept that you just don’t like your body. You have to accept and surrender in order to move through.
Stage two: Understand that it’s not the body itself that you hate.
You don't actually hate your body. It’s the fat on the body. Or the lines on the body. Or the rolls on the body. Or the cellulite on the body. Or the hair on the body. It’s not the actual body that you hate.
Stage Three: Body neutrality.
This is a concept that I love teaching when it comes to learning how to love your body. It’s about moving from the pressure of loving your body immediately to allowing yourself to gradually love your body. It’s impossible to expect that overnight you will be in deep love with your body. It could happen, but I haven’t seen it happen often. This stage is about letting go of the pressure to change and understanding that you are in the right direction toward loving it.
Stage Four: Body love
This stage highlights the aspects of your body that you are beginning to see as irreplaceable. You couldn’t do all of the incredible things that you do without your body. When you get practical, even little things like ‘I am grateful that my body can walk,’ can go a long way in the journey to learning how to love your body.
Learning how to love your body is about understanding where the dissatisfaction is coming from in the first place. It’s about getting raw and getting real so that you can open up to your own truth. And this is the exact work that we are doing in our Food Freedom Journey Monthly Membership.