As an eating disorder therapist in Sherman, TX I often talk to clients about how to accept and feel better about their body. Let me start by saying that loving your body is really hard. Let me also add it is not a linear process and there is no right or wrong way to love your body.
Loving your body is about loving yourself. It is about learning to respect, accept, and be patient with yourself. Loving your body does not mean that you wake up and say, “Hot DAMN I am a total babe! I am perfect!” No, loving your body means you don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect.
You can have parts of your body that you do not like. You may have areas that you are not comfortable with and you wish to change. Guess what, [firstname,fallback=], you can want to change your body AND still LOVE your body at the same time. When you love yourself, you respect yourself. You respect your body by listening to what it needs. You feed it when it is hungry, you express emotions when upset, you rest it when it is tired, you move it when you feel like moving it, you enjoy food, and you eat foods that can also nourish your body.
I’m not going to ask you to think positively about your body, because honestly that shit doesn’t work. What am I going to ask you to think about is how your body helps you. Think about all the things you are able to accomplish because of your body. What did your body do for you today? Did your body limit you in any way?
* Please note that physical disability, illness, or injury can and will limit how well your body can move and function. In this case I want you to consider all your body is able to still do for you. Think about how your body works and all that it is taking care of and doing throughout the day. Your body is keeping you alive, it is keeping you able to do things.
Remember you are more than a weight or a body shape or size. You are a person that has worth and value. Here is an activity I like to do with my clients in session. This activity is to help you align your thinking with things that matter to you and to help you have more mental space to do the things you really want to do.
You have 24 hours in a day…
How much time do you spend worrying, stressing, and thinking about your body and ways to make it look smaller or different?
The circle below represents the pie chart of your daily life. If you were to complete the chart with the time you spent each day thinking about and trying to make your body look smaller or different, how much time would be left to do the things you want to be doing?
Imagine living a life where you had more time and energy to do the things you wanted to do. How would this chart look different?
For me – I was able to start a successful business. I was able to travel. I was able to help more people. I was able to make more memories with loved ones. I was able to relax.
How would your life look different if you spent less time worrying about your body? It can help you to review your values and see how the things you do each day support your values. Does worrying about changing your body shape or size support your values? Try to focus your time each day doing things that support your values.
Perhaps you are not sure what your values are. I get it. That is a big, loaded question. I have a values worksheet that I use with my clients. If you want the worksheet, please just send me an email and I will email the values list to you.