The act of embracing one’s own body has never been more prominent than it is today, but it begins by taking that first brave step of acceptance. Here are 3 ways you can begin the commitment to loving your body and yourself.
The body positive movement has shifted to an almost glamorous state of popularity. Pictures of half nude women embracing imperfection are normalizing what a natural, untouched body looks like. While this is powerful, the sheer amount of bravery it takes to become more accepting of your body is not emphasized enough.
How do you define bravery?
Bravery is an act of courage. It is showing up even when nothing makes sense and fear is rampant. Bravery is a bridge linking two impressive thoughts: your desire for a better body image to the acceptance of that image.
We are told not to be scared, and to just love our body as it is. The problem is, this message implies that your feelings don’t matter. What if instead we focused on bravery and still allow our feelings to come along for the ride?
You don’t need to be fearless or even fully committed to loving your body. Just follow through with these 3 acts of bravery:
1. When you think about complaining, find gratitude for what your body allows you to do.
It takes incredible bravery to decouple your identity from your body size, and to know who you are regardless of any physical changes. Believing that you have to look a certain way to please everyone else will keep you stuck. You discover who you really are when you stop trying to control your body, and use that energy and brain space to engage in life.
2. When you want to criticize yourself, remain curious about what makes you you.
Being brave in your body is about realizing you have gifts that are meant to be shared with others. We all have our own unique gifts, and this is what makes us interesting, valuable and worthy. You can’t be these things if you are trying to be someone else.
3. When you are dwelling in shame or negativity, practice self-compassion and look for opportunities to grow.
The exciting thing is that you get to do life different than anyone else. You can cultivate your own goals, dreams, and passions. You can like snow and mountains when everyone else likes the beach. You can eat ice cream for breakfast or stay home on a Saturday night dancing to music and eating take-out.
After all, our bodies are temporary, and it is the experiences we create that define us. How you make people feel, what you accomplish and the legend you create is not. It takes bravery to focus on aligning with your values over making your body more acceptable to others.
Let bravery be the infrastructure that supports you in building autonomy and confidence. Let it carry you to a place where you need less validation from others,
And where you make your own happiness.
Adapted from the original article.
Haley Goodrich, RD, LDN is a private practice Registered Dietitian based in Pittsburgh, PA inspiring others to have a healthy relationship with food. Specializing in eating disorders, disordered eating, and intuitive eating, Haley’s mission is to show that healthy doesn’t have to be restrictive or defined by how you compare to others. To stay inspired to be your healthiest you, visit Haley at INSPIRD Nutrition.