12 Ways to Help You Love Yourself

12 Ways to Help You Love Yourself

This is one of my favourite shirts! I bought it back when I was struggling with loving myself and my body. That was over 3 years ago and every day I have worked extremely hard to abandon perfection and strive for real self love.

The weight loss and beauty industry makes its money by teaching women that we aren’t good enough the way we are. They have set unattainable standards that have led most young girls and women to live a life where they hate the person looking back at them in the mirror. There is a cream to fix our stretch marks, lifts to shape our breasts, fillers to hide our wrinkles, body shapers to change our shape and pills we can take to fix almost anything. There are programs on top of programs on top of programs promoting the perfect beach body and photoshopped images bombarding us every where we go. How much money have you spent trying to look better or younger or thinner? How many times have you looked in the mirror and said something hurtful to yourself? How many times have you looked at someone else and wished silently that you looked more like them? Have you ever stopped to really ask yourself why you feel that way about yourself? We didn’t feel that way when we were born, it’s something we have learned over the years of hearing the messaging that’s thrown at us every single day of our lives. Aren’t you tired of feeling like that? Don’t you want to love yourself and have that weight of trying to be something your not taken from your shoulders? I promise you it is freeing to love yourself. It’s not always easy but it is worth it.

You’re never going to look like the girl in the magazine, you’re not suppose to. You are you and that is good enough. Focus on being the best you, take care of your body, love your body, speak kindly to your body and your whole life will change into this beautiful place where you can focus your energy on everything else. Think of all the amazing things you could accomplish if you weren’t using your time worrying about having the perfect body. If you weren’t focusing on stopping the aging process or obsessing over stretch marks and scars that aren’t going anywhere and are absolutely beautiful right where they are.

Our bodies are suppose to change. Why we are obsessed with the idea of looking 19 forever is beyond me. Ageing is natural and beautiful. Stretch marks and scars are your bodies story of what it has gone through. They are beautiful and intriguing. And the number on the scale is just a number. Instead of obsessing over the number we should be obsessing over how we feel. Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes and is the only thing that matters. Why we think six pack abs are healthier then a couple of belly rolls is beyond me. It can actually be the opposite. Not everyone who is in amazing shape is healthy and not everyone who has extra weight is unhealthy. I’m healthier now at 130lbs then I ever was at 105lbs. I’ve got rolls, sagging skin, wrinkles that are starting to show up and stretch marks that cover my stomach, breasts and thighs. I’ve got cellulite and a bunch of me jiggles and you know what? I’m healthier then I have ever been before. I take care of myself and love myself more then I ever have before. You can feel the same way too.

I didn’t need to buy any magic pill or program to feel this way. It’s absolutely free! I want to share how I got here with you because it is so incredibly important because loving yourself can change your life, your kids lives and the lives of everyone around you. If every woman loved themselves it could change the world. So let’s change the world by changing the way we feel about ourselves.

1. CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY

Start changing how you talk to and about yourself. This won’t be easy at first but correct yourself every single time. When you grab at your belly and utter those hurtful words, mine were this is disgusting, change them to this stomach carried my children, it produced life or if you haven’t had kids yet something like this belly is mine, it’s beautiful and it hurts when I laugh uncontrollably. Find words that mean something to you and correct yourself with them and use them often.

2. WRITE IT DOWN

Write in a journal about your feelings towards your body. Write everything your body has done for you in your life. Write what every scar, stretch mark and wrinkle has lived through and refer to it as often as you need to.

3. MAKE THE MIRROR YOUR FRIEND

Stand in front of the mirror naked and get acquainted with your body. Learn every inch of it. Stand there everyday for 5-10 minutes and get comfortable with the person looking back at you. Look at yourself and thank your body for everything it does daily. Compliment your body. This is hard and awkward at first but it really works.

4. GET ACTIVE

Start using your body. When you workout out and accomplish things like a hike, run or workout you get a rush of endorphins that give you a sense of accomplishment and pride. Also small victories like being stronger, less winded, having more energy, sleeping better are all benefits of being active. Start walking outside more. It’s a great way to be active and a great way to clear your mind and be alone in your thoughts.

5. EAT TO LIVE

You don’t need a fancy or strict diet plan. Start eating foods that make you feel good. Be honest with yourself do you feel great, lively or energetic after eating a pizza, burger and fries or a tub of icecream? No you feel weighed down, bloated and tired. Your stomach probably doesn’t feel very good after either. Eat foods that make you feel light, energetic and happy. Yes good food makes you happy. So find foods you love and get creative. You don’t have to stop eating those things you love but everything in moderation and learn to make a better version of it. I still eat pizza and burgers but I also make cleaner, lighter, more balanced versions of them too. The goal is to feel good not to count calories and obsess over what you are eating. Change your relationship with food! Learn to be in control of it, rather then letting it control you.

6. EMBRACE YOUR SIZE

Buy clothes that make you feel good about yourself. This is more important then people realize. If your squeezing into a pair of jeans that don’t fit go buy a bigger size. It’s just a number and it feels better to put on clothes that are comfortable and fit properly then to put on the tiny pair that used to fit and be uncomfortable every time you put them on. This is important when your pregnant too. Also take a supportive friend with you if shopping is something you struggle with. Make it fun and stop letting what size you wear make you feel bad about yourself. I use to be a size 0 I’m now a size 6-8. It doesn’t matter. Buy the clothes in your size and rock them.

7. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE

My friend group has changed drastically since learning to love myself. Some people don’t want you to be happy with who you are. You don’t need that in your life. Spend time with people who are positive, who make you feel good, who see you as the beautiful person you are. Follow self love role models on social media and read there posts often. It can be that jolt you need to keep you on the path to self love. And reach out to people who have learned to love themselves, there’s a community out there, become a part of it!

8. READ THE BOOKS

Read books on happiness, creating a life you love, and ones about self love. There are so many good books and reading them will help you grow as a person. The more you grow the more you love yourself.

9. TAKE PHOTOS OF YOURSELF

The amount of times a woman has told me she doesn’t have photos of herself pregnant, or photos with her kids, or photos with her friends because she hates the way she looked/looks is heartbreaking. Your kids are going to want photos of you and they aren’t going to care about your weight or stretch marks. They are just going to want to see you. Also take sexy photos alone. You don’t need to send them to anyone or show anyone. Keep them to yourself. Learn to feel sexy in your own skin it is empowering.

10. GET OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Book a boudoir shoot or empowerment shoot. There are amazing photographers now dedicating themselves to photo shoots that help women embrace their bodies. If that’s not for you sign up for a race or a challenge. Something that will challenge your body and work towards doing it. These things can change how you feel about your body and what it is capable of.

11. ENJOY LIFE AND DON”T APOLOGIZE FOR IT

Don’t apologize for your body. Don’t feel you have to cover up or hide it. If your body makes someone uncomfortable that says more about them then you. You are allowed to enjoy life fully with the body you have. It is your body, own it and be proud of it. Love your life and take up space in this world. You have every right to. Stop missing out on things because you feel uncomfortable. Do the things anyways. Swim with the kids, go to the beach with your friends, put on that dress and go to the event. Stop missing out.

12. BUILD UP AND EMPOWER WOMAN AROUND YOU

Every woman you know is or has struggled with loving them self. Just because you look at them and see beautiful doesn’t mean that is what they see when they look in the mirror. That’s not what they were taught to see. Remember that, because people look at you and think your beautiful just the way you are too. Be kind always. Making others feel good about themselves will make you feel good about yourself.

Your body is capable of incredible things. It wasn’t made to just be pretty to look at. It was made to live. So live and know that you are good enough just the way you are. You are good enough even if you are on a weight loss journey too. You can love yourself while trying to better yourself. But abandon the idea of perfection. Abandon the idea that you can only love yourself once you look a certain way. If you don’t love yourself now you won’t love yourself later. Learn to love yourself. Your appearance should have no effect on that because your appearance is and always will be changing. So love yourself now and through every stage in life.

 

-Sky Edwards

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