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Why you can’t love your body unconditionally

For the longest time, I struggled to love my body. There are times today when I still do, even with all the knowledge and experience I have as a Self-Love Coach.

So what gives? How come truly loving our bodies feels like an unobtainable fairytale?

The reasons why we feel resentment towards our bodies varies from person to person and is extremely intimate. I used to hate my body growing up because I felt like my body was the last to develop among a sea of beautiful girls. I naturally don’t have large breasts and remember immature boys and mean girls making fun of me for being a member of the “itty-bitty-titty-committee”. As an adult I’ve struggled with my relationship with my body as my mind changes faster than my body does. Whether I was working out hard, trying to chisel my abs, or wanting my belly to be bigger throughout pregnancy, its always taken my body longer to show results than my shift in mindset. Which is incredibly frustrating!

As a Self-Love Coach, with the knowledge that things take time to develop, I still find myself getting impatient with my body at times. When I get frustrated and impatient with my body, nothing aggravates me more than forcing myself to speak positively. Positive self-talk, when I’m genuinely feeling upset, feels like it does more harm than good. I just don’t believe the words I’m saying and feel like I’m lying to myself. I feel like a failure, yet guilty for struggling to be positive and more accepting of my body-ultimately at war with myself.

Have you ever had a similar experience?

If so, you’re not alone! Nearly every woman I have worked with, including myself, has struggled with loving their body unconditionally.

An important component of self-love is to accept our darkness as much as our light. In order words, your “ugly” as much as your “pretty”. One is not better than the other. Both are needed to create harmony within us. Being artfully composed of both dark and light, is in our nature. So why fight it?

Why fight the days when you feel dark and ugly by trying to cover it up with misguided positivity? Covering up your true authentic feelings just because it isn’t “pretty” isn’t self-love, it’s self-deceit. It’s also disempowering on your journey to creating a strong lasting relationship with yourself that stands the test of time.

I’ve found that allowing myself to feel how I genuinely feel, getting comfortable with my darkness and focusing on a body neutral mindset, has helped me create a committed and peaceful relationship with my body. If you’re wondering what a body neutral mindset is, its a self-love mindset that promotes accepting your body as is and recognizing its remarkable abilities and non-physical characteristics instead of its physical appearance.

Body neutrality gives us the space to acknowledge that it can be difficult to love your body daily, especially when you might be feeling bloated or feel that your clothes are not fitting you like they are supposed to. Sometimes we feel down and tired and we don’t feel good about our body shape or appearance-and that’s okay!

Body neutrality means taking a neutral perspective towards your body, meaning that even if you’re having one of those off days, you don’t have to fight your emotions and pretend everything is hunky dory in order for you to live happily and appreciate your body. When you think about all that your body allows you do, from a functional/ability point of view, its easier for authentic appreciation for your body to blossom.

Think about all the things your body allows you to do. Your body can jump, carry groceries, hug loved ones, create life, give birth and so much more! Your body is truly incredible! So even if you’re having a day where you’re feeling bloated, you can still feel appreciation for your stomach by saying, “I’m grateful for my belly because it allows me to digest food on its own” or anything else that comes to mind.

Because a body neutral mindset doesn’t focus on what you look like, but how you feel and what your body can do for you, its more flexible and supportive throughout your journey to self-love. Combing a body neutral mindset and allowing yourself to feel how you authentically feel, even if those feelings are “ugly” and uncomfortable, gives light to a very important fact-just because our bodies change, doesn’t mean our worth does.

Throughout my pregnancy, this message has resonated with me deeper and deeper, as I see and feel my body change in ways I’ve never experienced before, at a rapid pace. Some days are harder than others, especially when I look at myself naked and wonder if my abs will ever come back. Instead of running away from those feelings, embracing them and showing appreciation for my body’s ability to grow life re-centers me and empowers me to have more respect and compassion for my body as it changes.

I don’t think anyone is truly in love with their body every single day and if there is someone saying they are, I think they are avoiding some uncomfortable feelings they’d rather cover up rather than explore. Give yourself permission to feel uncomfortable and consider what your body can do from a functional point of view. I promise, your relationship with your body will completely change forever.

Xoxo,

Elena

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