how to be proud of your body

I remember when my body image was at it’s all time low for me. My biggest issue was that I was never skinny enough, and because of that I was also struggling with a horrible horrible relationship with food. I was very strict about what and how much I ate, which eventually resulted in binges and a lot of confusion around what was right or wrong food- and bodyvise. I would often cry when I saw myself in the mirror, and always wear huge clothes that didn’t show any of my curves. I was sick of it, and honestly just wanted to be normal again because I knew that something was really off.

First thing first: I made a decision that I was done criticizing it, feeling bad about it, and hating it every day of my life. I was sick of hating what I saw in the mirror, and sick of having my mood depend on what my body looked like that day.

These are some of the steps I did, and still do to maintain my goal of loving my body:

Talk nicely to myself and about myself I made it an everyday task to look in the mirror and shred light on the parts of my body I loved. I started really small, because honestly it was unbelievably hard. At first I would point out something like my eyes, my ankles and even just my pinky finger. Then I smiled to myself, in the mirror, even if I didn’t feel like it. Also, when people gave me a complement about my body or appearance, I started saying ‘thank you’. No excuses! And I took that complement to me. Before this, if someone were to say they admired my thighs for example, I would have an habit of making myself small by saying something like “oh no, I really don’t like my thighs, yours are really beautiful tho”. Now that I was dedicated to let that habit go, I simply said “thank you!” This made a world of difference, because instead of denying what people told me, I gave myself the permission to believe that what they said were true.

Get comfortable with change My body will always change, it’s impossible to stay the same. Sometimes bloated, sometimes not, sometimes tan, sometimes pale, sometimes really jiggly when I walk, sometimes tight. Realising this, and knowing that it’s completely normal, is so important. This is also why we can’t depend our happiness on the way we look, cause it will always, always, always change. When I first started loving my body I looked different than I do today. But I slowly got to a point where I loved my body the way it was. I love it the way it is right now, and I will love it if it happens to be x kg lighter or heavier in the future.

Stop judging other people’s bodies This concept might sound a little out of topic, because we often think that body image issues exclusively has to do with our own body. But I came to realise that judging other peoples bodies was just as harmful. I had to adopt the attitude that, it’s just bodies! I made it a thing to catch myself when I looked at people on the street thinking “wow she’s so skinny” or “wow she’s got a little too much here and there”. Because let’s face it, a lot of us do that. Either unconsciously to make ourself feel better, or because we’re jealous. When I caught myself thinking thoughts like that, I acknowledged that I was doing it and sent that person and myself love instead. I just had this sentence I said to myself. Something like “you’re probably a wonderful person and so am I.” And then I let it go, and focused on all the lovely things around me that had nothing to do with anyone’s appearance

Your body is just a body. That’s all that it is. It’s a tool that enables you to experience joy, laughter and love. One of my best friends once said “I want my body to be a product of fun evenings with friends, eating amazing food and consuming a few too many glasses of wine”, or something along those lines. And I absolutely loved that. You body is also something you should be proud of and show off to people in the degree that you want to. Just like you do with your humor, your kindness, your singing skills, your intelligence. And as a bonus; the more comfortable you are with your body, the more you’ll inspire the people around you to be happy with theirs as well.

Anne-Line Erlandsen

Anne-Line Erlandsen 24 y/o. Holistic health coach currently based in Norway.

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