Recently I did a poll on Instagram stories and many of you voted for me to start sharing more self-care, self-love, body positive, and intuitive eating content. It makes me happy to see other people interested in topics I’m extremely passionate about. So without further ado, today’s article will go over what body acceptance is, what it is not, and I’ve also included 3 tips for accepting your body.
What is Body Acceptance?
Body acceptance is about coming to peace with your body and respecting your body for what it is. By accepting your body you can truly learn to appreciate all it does for you. I’m all about the body positivity movement, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming. If you think in general terms, somedays we have good days and some days we have bad days. That’s okay because we are not perfect, we are human. Body positivity is a great movement, but body acceptance can take the pressure off the need to feel positive about our bodies every single waking moment of every day.
Body acceptance does not happen overnight. Just like anything, there’s no magic pill or quick trick. Learning to accept and respect your body takes patience. We are so used to trying to fix everything, so sometimes acceptance can be hard. I’m not saying you have to like every single part of your body today. Instead, you can start by treating your body with dignity and holding it in high regard. This means being compassionate to yourself and meeting your basic needs.
You may receive backlash from friends, family, and other people. Our society seems to have ingrained this mentality that if you’re not constantly pushing, working, and improving that there’s something wrong with you or you’ve tossed the towel in. Of course, as a dietitian, I believe there are healthy and happy habits that can help us prosper more than others. Accepting your body doesn’t mean you’re disregarding your health. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel better. I just question you to look at your “why” and figure out what works best for you!
3 Tips for Accepting Your Body
- Shift your thinking from what your body looks like to what your body is capable of. This has been a major game changer for me. Our bodies are actually quite amazing. They carry us to and from our daily activities, create other lives, turn the food we eat into fuel, and breathe without consciously putting in the effort. If you’re not convinced, try coming up with a list of five things your body does for you.
- Watch your self-talk. Bashing your body can lead you down the demeaning cycle of body shame. I’m a major advocate of therapy, and my therapist always talks about “thought work”. It’s true that our thoughts create our own reality. First I recommend just assessing what you tend to say about your body on a daily basis. Sometimes it helps if you write these thoughts down because when you see them on paper or read them aloud it can be pretty eye-opening to how mean we can be to ourselves.
- Stop comparing your body to other bodies. This one is easier said than done. If you’re an avid social media user, such as myself, it can be easy to fall into the comparison trap. When scrolling on social media take note of how certain posts make you feel. Question why you are constantly comparing yourself to a certain user or feeling down on yourself. Sometimes we tend to make assumptions based on what we see. When in reality we really have no idea what the back story is. Ultimately if that user continues to make you feel this way unfollow them.
Who Can Help Me with Body Acceptance?
A registered dietitian or therapist specializing in intuitive eating, eating disorder/disordered eating recovery, or Health at Every Size.
If you’re ready to make peace with your body and food, I offer virtual nutrition coaching. You can learn more and apply to my program here.
Read more about my nutrition philosophy here.
Other Recommended Resources
If you’re looking for a self-help option, one book I recommend starting with is Body Kindness by Registered Dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield.
I want to disclose this is an affiliate link.