you don't have to love your body
Melissa Toler

You Don’t Have To Love Your Body

Have you noticed? There’s a big “love your body” movement going on that is encouraging us to embrace our bodies, regardless of our size. I think it’s awesome and I’m happy to see something other than “10 Days To Tighter Abs” on the internet. It’s inspirational for many women, but it can be downright stressful for others. Some of my clients have told me that it feels like another thing they’re failing at doing. Where’s the love in that? I believe the world would be a better place if more women loved themselves and their bodies unconditionally, but I’m also a realist.

I know we live in a culture where every day brings a new “weight loss miracle”, and “for only $99.99 you too can get the body of your dreams.” I know we’re pressured to live up to impossible beauty and body standards we see in magazines, on TV and on the internet. I know loving your body can feel like just another thing to add to your to-do list that isn’t getting done. I get it. It seems unreasonable, and maybe even impossible, to wake up tomorrow and declare an unconditional love for the thighs you’ve hated since high school.

After years of self-loathing, I know it takes time and practice to advance to the self-loving stage; acceptance is the first step. You can never truly love something you reject. Let’s start with accepting and grow into loving. Here are 3 good reasons to start accepting your body today.

1. You can actually live your life NOW and not 20 pounds from now.

When you don’t accept how your body is at this very moment, you deny what’s true. Hoping, wishing, praying and striving to look like someone else is a waste of who you are as human being and this precious life you’ve been given.

2. You’ll be much happier.

Rejecting your body sets you up for a lifetime of chronic dissatisfaction. Do you want to spend the next years in misery, wishing for flat abs and toned arms? I really hope the answer to that question is “HELL NO!”

3. Life just gets easier.

Frolicking on the the beach actually becomes a pleasant experience and not a crisis that you stress about 3 weeks in advance. Your body may not be perfect, but I want you to know you’re worthy, lovable and deserving of being seen.

Okay, how in the world do you get on the path to body acceptance?

Make a commitment.
Acknowledge that constant rejection of yourself is not working and commit to doing something different.

Retrain your brain.
Your thoughts lead to your beliefs, which create your reality. One easy way to think differently about your body is to go on a media diet. That means letting go of all the magazines, books, and social media pages that reinforce the belief that something is wrong with you.

Practice acceptance DAILY.
Self-loathing and negative talk are bad habits you’ve perfected over time, so they just come naturally. Acknowledge the amazing things your body does for you every day, like keeping you alive. It may seem difficult and uncomfortable at first, but the only way to learn a new skill is to do it.

Here’s the bottom line: if you want to spend the rest of your life in a hate-filled war with the place you occupy every day, you have the freedom to do it. But being comfortable in your own skin is a choice. It’s YOUR choice!

*For more from Melissa, be sure to visit her site, Melissa Toler.

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Hey! I'm Melissa, a rule-breaking, food-loving body image coach. I share important life lessons from my 25 years of almost non-stop dieting and 4 years of fitness competitions. My goal is to teach women how to live life fully without having to change their bodies to do it.

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