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How to begin appreciating your body in 3 gentle steps

barefoot in San Diego

You can learn to appreciate your body, strive towards loving and caring for yourself, without the end goal of "loving your body".

In society, bodies are constantly evaluated and objectified. The shrinking body is celebrated, while the expanding body is frowned upon. People are told they “look great!” even if the reason for their weight loss is stress, grief, illness or disordered eating.

Many women spend years of their life yo-yo dieting. And in mid-life when their bodies refuse to shed any more weight (because of reduced metabolic rate and other reasons), they feel flawed and broken.

Your body carries you through life. You can “love" your body from an appreciation stand point, but you don’t need to love your body aesthetically, or what have you, in order to respect it. Your body doesn’t need to be evaluated, as much as diet culture tells you otherwise.  

So this Valentine’s Day, I want to show you 3 gentle steps so that you can begin appreciating your body. 

3 gentle steps towards body appreciation

  1. Begin by acknowledging that all the beliefs, thoughts, opinions you have about your body were shaped by society and diet culture throughout your life, starting in childhood and continuing on in adolescence and adulthood. You weren’t born having an opinion about your body. Acknowledge this. This awareness is important.  

  2. The second step is a little more involved. Write out all the thoughts you have about your body, including the shoulds. Identify how those thoughts make you feel. Next, in front of every thought, I’d like you to write “It isn’t a fact of life/It isn’t true that (your thought)”. You can also write “There’s a possibility that (your thought) isn’t true”. Or, “It makes sense that I would have the thought (your thought) about my body since this messaging has been drilled in me since I was born. And I understand that thoughts are not facts”. 

  3. The final step of the three step process towards body appreciation is to write down all the things you can think of that your body has done for you. How has your body allowed you to experience life? Your body has done - and does - A LOT! So instead of shit talking your body today, take some time on this Valentine’s day to express some gratitude towards your body. You're not writing anything that isn't true here. Hard facts. How do you feel after writing this list compared to the list (or thoughts) above? You can engage in a little self-care today through this body appreciation exercise.

I share these 3 gentle steps with you which shouldn't take too long, but are also not necessarily easy. We carry years of being conditioned to hate our bodies, unless and until they look a certain way. 

I am passionate about helping women make peace with food, their bodies and themselves. 

If you’d like some support in this body appreciation process, head to my coaching page to learn more about how we can work together.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day and happy body appreciation!


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