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Body Images

Self Acceptance and Loving Yourself


woman loves her tummy

Ways Women Love Their Bodies

Rebecca Emery / Getty Images
Becoming comfortable with your body is not about crash dieting and spending hours at the gym to attain that elusive hard body. While I agree that incorporating good eating habits and regular exercise into our lives is important, having a good body image is ultimately about acceptance and loving yourself.

Total self acceptance is something that rarely comes easily. Oh sure, we might easily fool ourselves into thinking that we love ourselves completely until something happens that tests our ideal thinking (divorce, weight gain, job loss, etc.). Do you love yourself without question? Or do you rely on other people to assure you of your physical desirability and worthiness of love?

Recently I've become too focused on my belly. I hadn't really paid much attention to my overall physical shape until the past couple of months when I realized that my stomach has miraculously grown into a bit more than a pudge due to a combination of aging, poor diet habits and too little exercise. To my horror, when I pointed it out to my husband he says this is no surprise to him and informs me that my stomach has been this way for a couple of years now... SAY WHAT?? He could have told me, don't you think? Obviously my husband has the unconditional love concept down perfectly in my regard. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful! I simply wish I could as easily love myself with that much compassion. Today I'm struggling with my body image, straddled with a repeat lesson of learning self acceptance and loving myself without exception.

What would your rather hear from your partner?

  • a) I adore your voluptuous curves.
  • b) Those cheese puffs you're eating are going right to your thighs.
I personally prefer to be surrounded by people who adore me. Although it feels good to have people around us who tell us how wonderful and beautiful we are I'm beginning to understand it is best not to fully depend on it. A reality check needs to be added to the equation. Naturally, no one wants to be in the company of a nagging or judgmental person. By all means, please limit your time spent with people who criticize or judge you by their unrealistic and harsh markers. But, I believe some gentle criticism or a soft version of tough love can be acceptable if given graciously. A sprinkling of outrageous praise with a pinch of gentle criticism is a palatable spice for my body-image diet.

We may never fit into society's measure of a perfect 10 body but a perfect 10 body image is definitely attainable.

Take care of yourself! Love yourself! Yes, You can be a 10!

Steps to Attaining a "Perfect 10" Body Image
Here I have outlined a few simple steps meant not only to help nurture and love your physical body, but to also help align your mind, body and spirit into a lovable image for you to embrace wholeheartedly.

Learn more about body images and loving your body
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