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10 Reasons You Should Love Your Body No Matter What Others Say

10 Reasons You Should Love Your Body No Matter What Others Say

“You could be so pretty, if only you lost weight.”

“You eat such healthy food, why are you fat?”

“I’m glad you didn’t ask me to pay for that, because I don’t think you should be drinking something with that many calories.”

These are actual comments that people shared with me when I asked them about the nastiest things other people have said about their bodies.

If you’ve ever received a crazy comment like any of the above, you’d be familiar with the feelings that flood your entire being immediately after: Incredulity, shock, anger, embarrassment and maybe even shame.

I know how I felt when I was 22 pounds overweight and asked: “Why are you so fat?”—I wanted to dig a hole in the ground and never come out.

But I didn’t. And here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t either.

1. The only opinion that matters is yours

“Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown your own inner voice,” said Steve Jobs in his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, and he was right.

Ask yourself these questions: What do you want? What’s important to you? How can you get there?

Be true to yourself. Your answers to these questions will be the beacon that guides you to the values that are most important to you, and the more you’re in touch with them, the less likely you’ll be swayed by nasty, insensitive comments about your body.

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There are, however, exceptions to this rule: If someone you love thinks that you might be doing something that could be harming your well-being or the people around you, their opinion should be considered; off-hand, thoughtless comments by acquaintance and strangers? Not so much.

Whatever your goal is, regardless of whether it’s fat loss, weight gain, or simply building your body confidence, focus on the things that will bring out your healthiest, happiest self instead of spending your time reacting to other people’s opinions about what you should look like, eat, or wear.

2. You’re perfect just the way you are

So you don’t have a thigh gap or a tiny waist. So what?

“My thunder thighs will never fit into skinny jeans,” complains a friend of mine from time to time. But make no mistake—she doesn’t hate them. Those thighs of hers make her a strength powerhouse in and out of the gym. They allow her to squat with 200 pounds worth of weightlifting plates on her back and finish half marathons at lightning speed.

Her ‘thunder thighs’ are doing things that they were made to do, and so much more. In other words, they’re perfect. And so are yours, together with the rest of you.

3. Nobody knows your body better than you do

You’ve already lost 20 pounds, with another 20 to go.

Sugar, which used to be your weakness, is no longer something you crave for.

Those jeans that you couldn’t zip up 6 months ago? They fit!

You’re more energetic, confident, sleep better and couldn’t be happier with the gentle transitions you’ve been making with your food, fitness and health.

Guess what? The colleague who asked why you were “still so fat” despite your eating healthy doesn’t know all that—all the more reason not to take his or her insensitive comments, or anyone else’s, to heart.

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4. Somebody else wants the body you have

While I was out running recently, a woman who was headed towards me suddenly gave me a look of frustration, threw her hands up and yelled at me: “But you’re already skinny!”. A little later, someone else went: “You’ve got an amazing butt!”

Ironically, I wasn’t feeling very confident about my body that day, and was wishing I had someone else’s figure.

My friend with ‘thunder thighs’? She’s also got sculpted arms, a tiny waist and legs all her friends would kill for.

It can sometimes be hard to see your own beauty when you’re constantly wrapped up in all the things that you think are wrong about it, but there’s always someone out there who wishes they could have your gorgeous hair, beautiful skin, strong legs, or sexy shoulders.

Here’s an exercise you can do to help shift your perspective: Ask someone you trust to list what they love about the way you look. Write their answers down (they might surprise you) and celebrate them!

5. Today’s definition of ‘perfect’ isn’t realistic or healthy

Turn the pages of any magazine and all you’ll see are women who look they’re about 6-feet tall, have bony torsos, are extremely skinny, have large breasts and walk on legs for miles.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t fit that description and don’t know many women who do either.

Let’s take a couple of steps back to the 1400s, when large hips, fat rolls and cellulite made up the ideal (perfect even) woman—a huge contrast to our current expectations of what a woman should look like, despite juggling marriage, kids, full-time work, a social life and everything in-between life throws her way.

Realistic? Nope. Healthy? Not in the least. Damaging? Very. Should you love your body even if it doesn’t fit this stereotype anyway? Hell yes, because women don’t come from a cookie-cutter assembly line.

Just ask model Kate Upton, who’s been called ‘fat’, ‘well-marbled’ and ‘lardy’. Upton ended up having the last laugh by landing herself coveted spots on the covers of magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair and Sports Illustrated, not to mention a gig as the face of Guess.

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6. Your body changes with time

I started out as a scrawny, skinny kid who hardly ate. When puberty hit and my hormones went into overdrive, so did my appetite. Depression throughout my teen years then triggered binge eating—something I struggled with for many years.

As a result, my body ballooned in ways that I wasn’t comfortable with. It left me feeling terribly insecure, shy and socially awkward.

When I transitioned into my early 20s, I decided that I’d had enough, and started taking control of my body with exercise, fixing my issues with food and learning how to manage my emotions.

Over the years, my body has transformed from scrawny to big to lean, back to big, and I’m pretty much settled on lean and muscular for now.

But what if I were to get pregnant? My body will change again…permanently (hello wider hips, stretch marks and loose skin!), and I’d have a different set of issues to deal with.

No matter what stage in life you’re at, your body’s not going to look or feel the same five to ten years from now. Embrace it, love it, improve it and take care of it the best you can—it’s the only one you’ve got.

7. You’re too busy living life to the fullest

Life’s too short to let yourself get knocked and stay down by unsolicited comments from people who hardly know you, about your body.

You’re too busy making things work: Your career, family, spouse, kids, close friends, workouts, and everything else that you love to dwell on the negativity (and insecurities) of others.

8. Someone else’s negativity is about them, not you

Do you have someone in your life who literally takes offense at the fact that you’re starting eat more healthily, exercise and re-prioritize your habits? If your answer is “yes”, chances are they’re a major source of not-so-positive comments, sent via delivery express, your way.

In fact, the unpleasant things that people say about you almost always stems from their own insecurities or jealousy, and have nothing to do with you.

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You’re rocking the boat they’re on, and they don’t like it because it means they’re going to have to face their cold, hard truths and start changing too.

What can you do about the haters? Live well, focus on people who elevate you, and get better, not bitter.

9. There’s no one else like you

It’s human nature to want to be accepted and validated—we all want to be liked and loved. Sometimes, this results in us saying “yes” a little too much, following the crowd or not standing up for ourselves when someone disrespects us.

But here’s the thing: The more you say “yes”, follow the herd and mute your voice, the less comfortable you’ll be in your own skin and less likely you’ll be to reach your full potential (and this includes looking and feeling your best).

Want to find your own personal flavor? Ditch the people pleasing (and opinions about your body that are not yours) and focus on what makes YOU special.

10. The less you care, the more at peace you’ll be

“Don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are,” says Eckhart Tolle in his book, A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose.

According to Tolle, we are fields of conscious Presence. In other words, we are not the skin we’re in, the hair we have, the clothes we wear or the six packs abs we flaunt.

The less reactive you are, the more alive you can be in the present moment, and the more peace you’ll experience in your life (and body).

Featured photo credit: http://kaboompics.com/one_foto/1006 via kaboompics.com

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Michele Lian

Food Coach

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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