How To Not Hate Your Body: 4 Ideas That Work

 / 

,
How To Not Hate Your Body: Ideas That Work

How to not hate your body? What can you do if your aim is improving your body image? Dealing with body image issues is challenging, to say the least. However, it is possible to stop hating your body without losing a single pound or focusing on the weighing scale. Let’s explore how to stop hating your body and loving yourself more.

Sometimes I get emails that tear me up with their honesty and vulnerability, recently I received one that particularly touched me.

“I wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your podcast! I always look forward to the 20-30 minutes where I can just relax and listen to your discussion.

I have always struggled with my weight, despite healthy eating and exercise… While I have never been obese, I have always been above-average and so, body image has become a target for my mental illness to unleash upon.

I purposefully avoid mirrors, cringe at photos of myself, and tell myself that when something does not work out romantically for me, the reason is my weight and body size.

I look at other women and recognize that they are not better than me in any realm except they are thin and I am not. It becomes the common denominator in all of my unhappiness.

I’m not even sure the obvious solution (drastic measures to lose weight) will provide me with comfort I seek.

I guess my question is, how do I separate my body image (from) self-worth and how do I learn to love the body I have?”

Related: Why Body Image Has Nothing To Do With How Your Body Looks

This is the six million dollar question.

In our culture we’re constantly exposed to photo-shopped adolescent models selling everything from the right purse to the newest aging cream, older physiques are mocked as being “dad bods” having “bat wing arms,” and there’s always the newest six-pack (or eight or ten) abs craze right around the corner.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum of underweight, overweight, bigger thighs, no butt – you can despise the way you look. And that self-loathing, as the writer above tells us, will likely only feed depression and demoralization.

When it turns really sour, it can develop into “body dysmorphia,” which is critically obsessing about a certain part of your body, and doing all kinds of “things” to change it.

However, the wise email writer above also knows rationally that weight loss doesn’t solve the problem of low self-esteem. For example, weight loss surgeries can be a wonderful tool to help with a change in your relationship with food and my gastric surgery patients have shown tremendous drive and courage in having the procedure.

Yet, all of them have found that there are many feelings to work through that eating helped them to avoid or deny.

Our culture may be changing slowly. Brands like Dove are using more diverse body types. There are Facebook pages, YouTube channels, and workout groups encouraging healthy lifestyles rather than how thin your waist is.

But how many of you click that link on social media that promises the loss of ten pounds? Even if you tell yourself, “This is stupid. They’re just trying to sell me something…” But you still click.

Whatever shame you carry about your body is controlling your fingers. And your mind. So what can you do, every day, as you try to love the body you’re in?

Years ago, I was struggling with my own body image, leftover from what had been a journey with anorexia. My therapist told me to go home, take off all my clothes, and sit in front of a mirror. I was supposed to talk to myself about what I liked.

I was horrified. But I did it.

That exercise has stuck in my mind. It may have been the first time I’d searched for something positive to say about my body, rather than raking it, and me, over the proverbial coals.

What are four ways that have nothing to do with a number on a scale where you can work on a more positive body image?

How to not hate your body

How To Not Hate Your Body? 4 Things You Can Do (Without Losing A Single Pound)

1. Stop shaming yourself.

Shame will not help you and it will not lead you to make positive change; all shame will do is keep you stuck.

“I’ve got such fat ankles.”

“Look at the way my nose juts out.”

“I need to lose at least 100 pounds before anyone would be interested in me.“

How to not hate your body

You can tune into what your shame is repeating over and over, and confront it.

Say to yourself, “Is this helpful right now? Is this what I’d tell my best friend?” If not, stop, even if you have to yell at yourself. “Stop!” Then replace that thinking with positive comments.

Sit in front of mirror, naked, if you like. But replace the shame with affirmation.

Related: 5-Step Game Plan For Building A Positive Body Image

2. Use non-scale successes to encourage you to become who you want to be.

I loved what a gastric patient once told me. She was focusing on “non-scale success,” meaning good things that were happening that weren’t about some number on the scale.

Walking in the park with fewer stops, and fitting more easily behind the steering wheel of her car were two that come to mind.

Again, her goal was weight loss. But this could be true of anyone trying to love their body shape or size. In fact, Valerie Bertinelli celebrated her own healthier mental health after staying away from the scale for three months.

What’s a non-scale success?

“I’m laughing more than I used to when I’d weigh myself four times a day.”

“I got through an office lunch meeting without worrying about how I looked eating.”

“Someone told me I looked nice today, and I simply said, ‘Thank you.’”

Notice the things that are changing, mentally, physically and emotionally, and enjoy them. Give yourself credit for positive change.

How to not hate your body

3. Stop projecting what you see onto others and risk being seen.

Think about it. The first thing someone sees about you is what you look like. You’re short, you’re tall. You’re blonde, you’re red-headed. You’re muscular and fit, you’re thin and lanky.

If you hate parts of your body, you may isolate, not wanting anyone to see what you see. Never mind that what you see is highly likely to be completely irrational, and that you’re projecting your own image of yourself onto others.

You may go to work, and come home, or do things for your kids, but never do anything where the attention might focus on you.

So begin to reach out; you can start slowly, but start. In the grocery store check-out line, make small talk with the cashier. Call an old high school friend and catch up. Go to an early church service or to brunch with a neighbor. Volunteer for a small role in your child’s school or to walk dogs at a local shelter.

Do anything you can possibly think of to begin building relationships and most importantly, to feel engaged with others — to be visible to others.

4. Watch out for excuses.

“I haven’t talked to her in over a year. I can’t call her now, out of the blue.” Yes, you can.

“I didn’t keep things up the last time, I got scared and dropped out. How will this be any different?” You’re sabotaging your thinking before you ever get started. How many times did you have to try to ride a bike before you succeeded? And you had training wheels. Getting and staying engaged is a lot harder — it’s a skill like anything else.

Related: Beyond Beauty Standards: 9 Ways To Improve Body Image

This isn’t an easy journey. It takes time and practice. You’ll feel extremely vulnerable.

But vulnerability makes you stronger.

Check out Dr. Margaret’s Tedx Talk on YouTube, and also don’t forget to tune into her beloved podcast, The Self Work Podcast.


Written By Dr. Margaret Rutherford 
Originally Appeared On Dr. Margaret Rutherford
body image issues

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

How To Spend Me Time? 8 Best Ways To Make The Most Of Your Solitude

How To Spend Me Time? Best Ways To Make The Most Of It

We all know that life can get pretty hectic sometimes, with deadlines to meet, errands to run, and a never-ending to-do list. But in the midst of all the chaos, it’s really important for you to carve out some “me-time” to recharge your batteries and reconnect with yourself. So, how to spend me time, and make the most of your precious moments alone?

Well, this article is going to explore some of the best me time ideas, and how you can have an amazing time by yourself. So, are you ready to figure out what to do so that you can make the most of your alone time? Let’s get started.

Related: 10 Things That Make An Intr



Up Next

8 Body Flaws Men Find Irresistibly Attractive In Women

Body Flaws Men Find Irresistibly Attractive In Women

Today we are going to explore a topic that’s not just interesting, but honestly, a bit heart warming too! We are going to talk about the “imperfections” and “body flaws” which women feel awkward about, but men absolutely love!

You know what I mean; the tiny body flaws that we are convinced make us less attractive. As women, we often regard them as shortcomings or things that take away from our beauty, but they are the very things that many men fall in love with.

So, let us plunge into this and find out what are those “body flaws” that men really adore about us, and what men think about women’s bodies.



Up Next

5 Signs You Are Afraid Of Being Seen: Invisible Walls

Signs You Are Afraid Of Being Seen: Invisible Walls

Do you ever feel like you are afraid of being seen, and that’s why you have erected several walls around you so that no one can see your vulnerable side? This article is going to explore five signs you are afraid of being seen and what the fear of being seen really means.

Deep down, most of us want to be seen and accepted for who we are. Showing up fully in your relationships and allowing yourself to be seen is a vulnerable experience that requires you to let your guard down.

On the one hand, taking such a risk can feel incredibly anxiety-provoking, while on the other hand, not taking such a risk can cause your relationships to feel stagnant and block them from growing.



Up Next

Dating With Low Self Esteem? 6 Tips For Navigating The Dating Scene with Confidence

Dating With Low Self Esteem? Tips For Being More Confident

Ah, the exciting universe of dating! Dating in the modern world can feel like a rollercoaster filled with thrilling emotions and fluttering hearts. But what do you do when you suffer from low self esteem? What does it look like, dating with low self esteem?

Dating with low self esteem can feel as difficult as trying to solve a Rubik’s cube with one hand tied behind your back. Interactions may be marred by negative self-perceptions which can make you doubt your worth and desirability. However, don’t let that scare you, because low self-esteem does not necessarily mean doom.

In this article, we are going to t



Up Next

How Do Dogs Help with Depression: Exploring 5 Pawsitive Impacts!

How Do Dogs Help with Depression: Psychological Benefits!

The attachment that humans make with dogs goes beyond affability. To learn how do dogs help with depression is to consider not only the happiness they bring but also their deeper healing capacities for mental health

In the present fast-paced and challenging world where mental well-being is as important as physical fitness. The connection between humans and dogs is both ancient and deep. For centuries these creatures have been more than pets; they have been trusted friends, company during difficult times, unfailing love, etc.

This articl



Up Next

What Is Dismissive Avoidant Attachment: 5 Alarming Traits And Ways To Cope

What Is Dismissive Avoidant Attachment Style: Traits

Are you or someone you care about finding it tough to open up about feelings and build close connections with others? Despite your best efforts, you seem to self-destruct in relationships.  If these scenarios sound familiar, you might be dealing with what is dismissive-avoidant attachment

This pattern often begins in early childhood and is not something one can consciously control. Individuals with a dismissive-avoidant attachment style might not fully understand why they face challenges in relationships or tend to distance themselves from intimacy.

The good news is that there are ways to navigate and overcome these struggles. In this article, we’ll delve into the dynamics of dismissive-avoidant attachment, offering insights and st



Up Next

What Does It Mean To Be Autosexual? 6 Signs You Are Sexually Attracted To Yourself

What Does It Mean To Be Autosexual? Signs You Might Be One

In a world that is constantly growing and changing, especially when it comes to sexual orientation and identity, it’s important to come to terms with all the different ways humans can be human. Some people see themselves in the mirror and feel deep love and attraction. Well, that might be a sign of autosexuality. But what does it mean to be autosexual?

They don’t need someone to tell them they are attractive, but those people exist, and something like that has a name — autosexuality. Rather than caring about others, this orientation looks directly at one’s own pleasure sexually.

In this article we will