Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? Or do you avoid the mirror altogether? Many of us, unfortunately, are not happy with our bodies. But beating yourself up for the way you look only hinders your ability to look and feel better. Though it takes some practice, learning to love your body can make all the difference on your journey to success.
"You need to learn to love your body before you can be successful at a weight-loss plan," stresses meeting-goer Abbie, who has been on the plan for one year.
"It's hard for me to say I 'love' my body, but I'm content with it. I like what I see, even though there is still room for improvement." It didn't used to be that way, but once Abbie started to accept her body, she felt like it was easier to try to change it.
"You have to make choices about how you're going to spend your time and energy," she says. "This is definitely a better way to live."
A new outlook
Cary, who recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with Weight Watchers, was typically thin growing up. Once she entered her 20s, she slowly gained weight. "I rarely looked at myself in a full-length mirror, and when I did, I got really mad at myself for letting this weight gain happen."
Now at goal, though, Cary takes every opportunity to look in the mirror, smile, and then cry out of happiness. "Learning to love my body has given me a different outlook on life," she says. "I can do anything and be successful at it. There is no stopping me."
3 steps to greater self-love
Cia Ricco, psychotherapist and author of Living As if Your Life Depended On It!, explains that every time we say negative things to ourselves, we lower our self-esteem, lose motivation, and have less momentum to take care of our bodies.
"Negative self-talk makes us feel like hell," Ricco says. What a person should do is "accept what is," and grow from there. She offers the following advice to those who want to stop loathing and start loving their bodies.
Acceptance is the platform for change. Once you accept yourself and your body the way you are now, you can be catapulted into free choice and free will — a positive spirit that will help you set goals and be motivated enough to achieve them.
Envision yourself the way you'd like to be. Tell yourself how great you look now, but get excited about looking even better. With that mental picture, and positive reinforcement, looking and feeling better will be a snap.
- Imagine you are speaking to your best friend every time you look in the mirror. Would you ever tell them how fat they look? Would you ever tell them their thighs disgust you or their stomachs are grotesque? Why, then, would you hurt yourself like that?