How to Love Your Body at Any Size
Step 1: Find some perspective. In the grand scheme of things, whether or not you can fit into those size 0 jeans has absolutely nothing—zero! zippo! zilch!—to do with your value as a person. Hey, did you just roll your eyes? Then try this. Think of some women, past or present, whom you admire. Was Rosa Parks, the African American woman who refused to move to the back of the bus, a hero because of her dress size—or her courage? Is Ellen DeGeneres so beloved because of how tightly she can notch her belt—or how hard she can make us laugh? Has Hillary Clinton risen so high in government because of her waistline—or her brain? Ask yourself what you hope people will celebrate you for.
Step 2: Be physical. You only get one body to live in (and love) in this lifetime, so you might as well appreciate it. Rather than obsess about how you look, consider for a moment what you can do. Have your legs carried you to mountaintops? Have your arms offered comfort to friends who’ve needed hugs? Keep a gratitude journal, where you list all the cool things your body has helped you accomplish each week. Read it whenever you’re feeling down.
Step 3: Surround yourself with positive people. Body hang-ups can be contagious. If you spend all your time with friends who disrespect their own bodies, you may begin to feel pressure to do the same with yours. Don’t give in! Make it a policy among your peers to voice only positive body thoughts, and support each other in doing so. You’ll see soon enough that it feels so good!
Step 4: Embrace your curves (or your lack thereof). Whatever you have, work it! There is no single definition of pretty or sexy or beautiful. It’s up to you to define for yourself. Don’t let anyone else do it for you.
- Ban the negative self-talk. You’d never, ever tell a loved one that she looks too skinny or too fat, too tall or too short. Give yourself the same due respect.
- Toss your scale. Why give your power away to a number? If you’re healthy and strong, that’s all you need to know.