Most people would like their lives to be perfect before they allow themselves self-acceptance. For example, we want to change our weight before we accept our bodies. However, the truth is that self-acceptance and body acceptance are pivotal to lasting weight loss success and a lasting sense of fulfilment.
However, self-acceptance and body love can be tough concepts to grasp and even tougher to incorporate. The degree of difficulty doesn’t seem to matter if you are thin, very large, or somewhere in-between. It takes time and persistence to create a new relationship between your self and your body.
In a certain sense, building self-acceptance and body acceptance can be compared to the techniques required for creating a homemade tapered candle. To make a tapered candle, you start with only the wick and some hot wax. You first dip the wick into a vat of hot wax, pull it out, and wait for it to dry. Initially, the wick is just a string saturated with wax, but after a few dips, a very skinny taper candle begins forming. Building a taper candle requires much patience and you will need to dip and dry the taper many times before you form a candle of the width you want.
This is how the process of self-acceptance works. If you currently dislike your body, your body parts, or your self, you begin with the wick, which represents your desire to have a different relationship with yourself. You dip your desire into a pot of new actions and choices. At first, you might not notice much change. Yet each time you dip your wick of intention into the pot, you coat your life with a new layer of self-acceptance. Like the gradual layering of the wax upon the wick, you can create positive, self-loving thoughts that begin to take hold and form shape.
Building self-acceptance and body acceptance is a process that requires effort and persistence. Here are six new ideas to build a new relationship with your self and your body today!
Make Peace with Yourself
Here is a newsflash: You do not have to believe everything you think! You do not have to take action on your self-critical thoughts. Additionally, you do not have to eliminate your self-critical or negative thoughts. By the time you have thought certain thoughts, they are already gone. Instead of aiming to be erase internal criticism, make your aim be the conscious addition of new self-supporting thoughts into your personal repertoire. Look into your heart and gather up some new ideas about yourself. You know that your heart is kind and compassionate. Open it up and let yourself have a little of your own love. Imagine yourself drinking deeply, taking this love in, digesting and absorbing all this love into your own physical body.
Look in the Mirror
Make the bold move to have heartfelt generosity for your body – before you lose weight or before you have the perfect life. Of course, you are going to hear your own objections of why you should not love your body. Let those thoughts pass by and then . . . surrender. Move through your resistance and take this one little step to offer kindness to your body. Take a moment to look into the mirror, affirm how good you are, and admire and appreciate your courageousness. Look at everything you have – tangible or intangible – and feel grateful for your physical life. Your life may not be all good, but it is certainly not all bad either. Feel how wonderful it just might feel to ease up on yourself, even though you are not perfect or perfectly thin. Allow yourself to be clear that it is a feeling of confidence and self-acceptance that you are really wanting, not just the better body.
Live In The Now
When you are waiting for something to occur, you are not focused on what is occurring now. Yes, it is wonderful to be excited by the expectancy of achieving your goals. It is wonderful to feel the excitement fill your body as you imagine having what you want. However, it also necessary to bring your joy into this now moment of your present life. Instead of postponing your joy or pleasure, ask yourself how you can bring more meaning or fullness into your life today. What practical actions could you take that would make today better?
Accept What Is
For most people, accepting their current physical body is the last thing they want to consider. How can you accept something you want to change or something you hate? You don’t want to accept yourself right now. Instead, you want to change yourself or escape from who you are. However, there is no escape from anything. What you resist persists. Only by allowing yourself to accept reality can you then create something new. In other words, the only way out is through. The way to achieve the body you want is first to find harmony with it. Your body is not your enemy. Your body loves you and simply reflects your beliefs and energy contained inside of it. Gently ask yourself, “What are the feelings within me that have created this situation?” All along, soothe yourself with a wisdom that reassures that you are now creating an opportunity to know more about your heart, to know more about love.
Fake It Until You Make It
We are all human and almost everyone’s body has some perceived flaws or imperfections. However, hating your body and negative self-talk is destructive to your happiness and your goals. To form a better relationship with your body, begin to talk to it. Tell it nice things, tell it that it is doing a good job of being your body. At first, you might resist, or you might not think you have anything nice to say to your body. After all, you are still blaming it for making you feel so badly. However, it is important to build this new relationship with yourself. So being somewhere, even if you have to fake it. In Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA) there is a saying, “Fake it until you make it.” Meaning, say and do the behaviors you wish to embody until they become real. You could say, “Even though I don’t like my body in this current state, it is still my body and I choose to develop a new relationship with it.” You might not be able to say you love your body, but you just might be able to call a truce. If you never begin, if you never risk, you will never know the divine truth of who you really are.
Treat Your Body Well
When you appreciate your body, you are able to work in partnership with it, as opposed to fighting it. Learn to be in loving acceptance of your own beauty. Allow for the possibility that you deserve what you have requested, and you deserve to know and appreciate who you are. Take a chance and begin to play on this Earth while you are in a physical body. For example:
o Engage yourself in activities that lift you up. Let go of what pulls you down.
o Consciously seek out more experiences that feel good.
o Focus your eyes on what is optimistic more then on what is pessimistic.
o Laugh so hard tears come from your eyes.
o Dance and sing with wild abandon while listening to your favorite song.
o Tell yourself you are beautiful.
o Swing on a swing in the playground.
o Mail yourself a love letter.
o Clean out your closet and get rid of any clothes that don’t fit you.
o Wear clothes that you feel good in.
o Develop a partnership with food.
o Fall in love with yourself.
When you begin to accept yourself the way you are right now, you begin a new life with new possibilities. By developing self-acceptance you empower yourself to accomplish your goals and lead a richer, more rewarding life. Practice the tips above and learn to unleash the love and success you are looking for.
Dr. Annette Colby, RD can help you take the pain out of life, turn difficult emotions into joy, release stress, end emotional eating, and move beyond depression into an extraordinary life! Annette is the author of Your Highest Potential [http://www.TheHighestPotential.com/] and has the unique ability to show you how to spark an amazing relationship with your life! Visit www.LovingMiracles.com [http://www.LovingMiracles.com/] to access hundreds of content filled articles and sign up for a Free subscription to Loving Miracles! newsletter.