I hate my body. There’s no point in mincing words. When I look in the mirror, I’m disgusted by what I see.
You talk a lot about loving your body. It sounds great and wonderful, but how can I possibly learn to love a body that I hate so much?
I appreciate your honesty and know that many people, to varying degrees, can relate to your experience.
First and foremost, it’s important to give yourself the gift of professional help. When we are in difficult situations, it’s important to lean on the people who are trained to help us. Reach out.
Recently, I came across an amazing list compiled by the National Eating Disorders Association and Margo Maine, PhD. It’s 20 ways to love yourself, and it goes as follows:
- Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Fuel it.
- Create a list of all the things your body lets you do. Read it and add to it often.
- Become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.
- Create a list of people you admire: people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
- Walk with your head held high, supported by pride and confidence in yourself as a person.
- Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.
- Wear comfortable clothes that you like, that express your personal style, and that feel good to your body.
- Count your blessings, not your blemishes.
- Think about all the things you could accomplish with the time and energy you currently spend worrying about your body and appearance. Try one!
- Be your body’s friend and supporter, not its enemy.
- Consider this: your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, and your skeleton every three months. Your body is extraordinary—begin to respect and appreciate it.
- Every morning when you wake up, thank your body for resting and rejuvenating itself so you can enjoy the day.
- Every evening when you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.
- Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Don’t exercise to lose weight or to fight your body. Do it to make your body healthy and strong and because it makes you feel good. Exercise for the Three F’s: Fun, Fitness, and Friendship.
- Think back to a time in your life when you felt good about your body. Loving your body means you get to feel like that again, even in this body, at this age.
- Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself—without mentioning your appearance. Add to it daily!
- Put a sign on each of your mirrors saying, “I’m beautiful inside and out.”
- Search for the beauty in the world and in yourself.
- Consider that, “Life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way.”
- Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired. Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty.
After reading through the above list, it’s my hope that at least a few of the points will resonate with you. If they do, put them to work for you. And if you have any additional suggestions, please share them in the comments below!