Body acceptance can be a tricky thing to achieve.
We are shown in the mainstream, that your body is easier for you to accept if it looks a certain way or is a certain size. But what if your body is just not meant to be that size or type? Are you doomed for a life of battling your body and hating it? Not necessarily!
If you are wanting to learn how to accept your body as it is there are five main components to true body acceptance.
- Allow yourself to grieve your smaller body. This includes grieving dieting and trying to shrink your body. One of my favorite ways to do this is by writing a “grief letter” to your smaller body. In this letter, you express all the things you will miss about your smaller body (and/or dieting). Make sure to include all the good, the bad, and the ugly! What did you enjoy about dieting and your smaller body? What did you not like about it? Don’t hold back here! This grief letter is one of my favorite tools, however, remember that grief is a process and something that can keep coming back. Allow yourself to feel these emotions as they may arise and don’t try to avoid them or push them down.
- Practice expressing daily gratitude towards your body. Think of all of the things, big and small, that your body does for you. What does your body allow you to experience? Daily, I thank my legs for allowing me to walk about and ride my Peloton. I also take a moment each day to thank my lungs for breathing and my heart for beating – both without any conscious effort on my part! What are you grateful to your body for? Express that gratitude every single day!
- Diversify your feel on Instagram. This is a huge one. By curating an Instagram feed of people in all different-sized bodies, you are normalizing body diversity for yourself. Normally we are seeing one main body type everywhere. In magazines, on TV shows, in movies, etc – it’s all one body type! If there is a person in a larger body they are typically a joke or not a good character! We can’t really control what we see in the mainstream, but you can control what you see on your Instagram feed! Once you begin to normalize body diversity for yourself, it will help you to cultivate more feelings of accepting your own body – especially if it doesn’t fit into the “thin ideal” that we see everywhere in the mainstream!
- Stop weighing and body checking! All these things do is keep you focused on your body size. Want to get triggered back into dieting? Step on the scale!
- Practice reframing negative body thoughts that arise. When you notice a negative body thought arises, acknowledge it with curiosity. Get curious about where it’s coming from. Then practice reframing it, by reminding yourself that you are so much more than your physical body. What are some of your favorite things about yourself? Remind yourself of that!