“I grew up surrounded by people who hated their bodies.”
And so I was indirectly taught to hate my body, too. It wasn’t until I graduated high school that I really took it upon myself to rebuild my self-esteem. I stopped trying to change my body and learned to appreciate it the way it is. These are a few of the things I’ve done consistently that really helped me learn to enjoy and love the body I was given.
- Get dressed in front of a mirror. Even if you don’t like what you’re seeing, you need to know what your body looks like. Being familiar with yourself is a key part of learning to love your body. I still do this everyday and it has been incredibly helpful.
- Stop focusing on what your body isn’t and focus on what it is. Try to filter out those thoughts of “My waist isn’t small enough” or “My butt isn’t big enough,” etc. Focus on the good things, like how well proportioned you are or the lovely curve of your calves.
- Pick one thing that you love about yourself and focus on that. Tell yourself everyday that you love your lips, ears, ankles, that little freckle on your left thumb, whatever. Then add something else to the list. If you run out of things to love, that’s okay. But keep the focus on the parts of your body that make you happy, the parts that you are proud of.
- Don’t wear clothes you don’t feel comfortable in. This may seem really obvious obvious, but it is so important. We all have those days when certain outfits just don’t look or feel right. Even if you had planned on wearing that outfit on that day for whatever reason, just take a few minutes to change. Leaving the house in something that you’re not comfortable wearing can ruin your entire day. It’s very important to wear clothes that you feel good in.
- Don’t compare yourself to other people. As easy as it is to compare your body to someone else’s, with the entertainment and fashion industries catapulting their perception of perfection at us from every angle, try to avoid it. No two bodies are the same. People carry weight in different ways. People have different bone structure. You will never look exactly like the models or the celebrities, mostly because a lot of them are airbrushed into oblivion or fabricated from a computer program, but more importantly because your body is so wonderfully different from theirs. And that is something to take pride in. Your body is no one’s but your own; it’s completely unique. And wouldn’t you rather be unique than look just like someone else?
- Appreciate what your body can do and instead of focusing on how it looks. You can sing, punch, run, swim, eat, read, dance, tackle, bike, and jump because of your body. Your body is a magnificent tool that allows you to do all of your favorite things. Realizing and appreciating that is much easier than appreciating how your body looks, and it’s a great place to start in learning to love your body.
Not all of these things will work all the time. And not all of them will work for all of you. But at least give all of them a chance.
And know that this will take time. It takes patience and dedication. Boosting your self-esteem is not something that will happen within a week or two.
It took me a good two years to be completely comfortable with my body. And I still have bad days. There are still parts of my body that I am unhappy with. I still curl up under a blanket and watch Friends, trying to feel better about myself. But I am so much happier in general with my appearance because of these things. I hope they help someone else, too.
Written and loved on by Kelsey Griffin