Loving Yourself at Any Size
“If only I could lose those last 10 pounds…”
“If only those jeans in the back of the closet still fit…”
“If only I could put on a swimsuit again…”
Many of us unwittingly send ourselves less-than-loving messages day in and day out, creating a sense of dissatisfaction with our bodies and, in turn, our lives. During this month of love, maybe it is time to turn the message around and create greater appreciation and even adoration for ourselves – no matter what the size.
“Life is too short to spend it worrying about a number on the scale or what someone else might think of us,” said Dr. Jewelia Wagner. “Our bodies are capable of some pretty amazing things, and they are truly deserving of love at any and every size.”
To start the process of turning loathing into loving, consider the following suggestions:
- Pay attention to the messages you are sending yourself. Is most of your self-talk negative? Are you constantly putting yourself down or beating yourself up? Pay attention to what you are thinking, saying and doing, and begin replacing “I would look so much better if I weighed 20 pounds less” with “I am doing my best, and my body is amazing.” When a negative thought creeps it, let it go with an exhale and try to find a more positive mindset.
- Remember that you are not a number. You are more than your weight, more than your clothing size. Remember that your friends and family love you for who you are and not how you look in a bikini. If you are concerned about your health, you can take proactive steps to increase your activity level or improve your diet, but regardless, you will always be more than a number on the scale.
- Recognize what your body can do. Instead of focusing on can’ts or shouldn’ts, notice what your body does for you every day: takes you the places you need to go, helps you care for and embrace the people you love, reminds when you are hungry or tired, keeps you grounded and alive. The systems of the human body are complex, efficient and pretty impressive.
- Focus on your favorites. When it comes down to it, what do you love most about yourself? Your smile? Your brain? Your strong legs? Your open heart? Take time each day to recall what you love about yourself and your life.
- Treat yourself with tenderness. When you care for yourself the way you would a beloved friend or relative, you will likely invite in more self-care and less self-loathing. See yourself through rose-colored glasses more often.
“When we truly love ourselves for who we are and not what we look like, we tend to take better care of ourselves,” added Dr. Wagner. “We can also spend more time enjoying life and less worrying about the mirror.”