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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 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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