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  • March 18, 2024 4 min read

    Loving our bodies is not easy. Living in a world where we are constantly served up body image standards that 90% of the time are unattainable is challenging. We are sold the lie that when we get to a certain weight we will be happy. While it is true that looking great and feeling good go together, we believe that the feeling great part comes first. 

    How you feel in your body and the thoughts you have towards it determines the amount of love you have for it. It’s important to understand that you have power over shaming, self loathing thoughts and feelings. Being in a state of self-hatred is a choice.

    Sure, at times some of us may need help to overcome negative thoughts and feelings; it can be incredibly hard to change harmful habits and find a positive mindset.

    However, ultimately there is hope and it starts with knowing how to love your body well. In saying that, here are 5 liberating ways to love your body.


    1. Listen to your body

    Knowing what your body needs and wants can only be done when you listen to it. Stop and breathe. What is your body saying to you now? Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Is it telling you to eat, drink, or fast? Do you need to get outside and give it a good old dose of vitamin D?

    Maybe it wants you to push harder, to have a good stretch or lift a little extra weight. Likewise, It could be telling you to stop, rest, sleep or stand if you have been sitting for too long. If you feel unwell, what is it asking of you?  Be aware of how your body reacts to stress, deals with strong emotion and copes with a change in your routine.


    2. Nurture your body

    Once we listen then we respond. Nurturing your body is all about responding well to what it is saying to you. How do you need to reply to the signals your body is sending you? Is it crying out for good nutrition? Maybe it is asking for a massage? Is your brain calling on you to give it fresh air, sunshine and a break from screens? Does your skin need moisture? Do you need to book an appointment with your dentist to check your teeth? Is it asking you to loosen your bra or buy a different style of underwear? Nurture is caring and considering all the big and little ways we can keep our bodies clean, fit and healthy. 


    3. Be grateful for your body

    Before you criticise how pale your legs are, don’t forget that they walk. Before you complain about the size of your nose, remember that you can smell. Our bodies were not first and foremost designed to look a certain way, they were created to experience what it means to be alive. The older we get the more we realise what a gift it is to have a body that can take in a full range of physical and emotional experiences.

    Being grateful for the ability to see, for the use of all our fingers and toes, for the strength in our arms or a functioning bladder is to realise the pure miracle of who we are. The next time you are tempted to judge and compare your body, remember to be thankful for all the amazing things it can do. 


    4. Don't compare it to other bodies.

    It seems like a no-brainer but loving your body means exiting the cycle of comparison.  You can do this by firstly guarding your eyes, ears, heart and mind. Notice how you feel when you look at certain images. Embrace your uniqueness and allow imperfections to become something you celebrate rather than something that frustrates. Practice self compassion and realise the way you look is not always in your control.

    At the end of the day, you are who you are, you have the genes that you have and you have got to work with what you’ve got. Know that how you look and the way your body is, isn’t a reflection of your worth. Although others may confuse beauty with value, the truth is if you are here, alive and breathing, you are deserving of love, respect and friendship. 


    5. Express yourself 

    There is no greater feeling than freely expressing who you are. Learning to love your body requires us to bring it out of hiding. Now, for you, that could mean breaking out the bikini this summer. It could mean wearing beautiful jewellery, dying your hair bright purple, or piecing or inking your skin.

    It could mean expressing your body through dance, yoga, sport, or being a part of a marching band.However, expressing it doesn’t have to be done in an outlandish way.We suggest you let your personality lead and convey who you are in a comfortable way.