How long did it take to learn how to love your body?

This is a question that I get asked often and the answer is: it didn’t happen overnight, it took a lot of time, energy and effort! It’s not an answer that everyone is receptive to hearing, after all, we are human beings and we love quick fixes!

Wouldn’t it be a dream come true if we could all watch Embrace and magically become hardcore body lovers, throwing off our clothes running down the street naked declaring ‘I have embraced’?

Fixing an issue that has lived with many of us for years and years, and for some, a lifetime requires a hearty and solid solution. Yes, it might require you to go deep, and yes there will be tears, but the great news is that a big change is possible and your journey to body acceptance can start right in this very moment.

Let’s start at the beginning…

I’d like to make one thing REALLY clear: I don’t expect anyone to be able to flick a switch inside their head and just LOVE THEIR BODY. However, what we can do is make the commitment to learn to love our body regardless of age, life experience, body shape or current circumstances.

Making this commitment – for a lot of people – is the first step to embracing. For me, my road to embracing was quite laboured and somewhat complicated; I often felt that I was on a rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions.

In a nutshell, my journey to embracing went like this:

“I hate my body, so I am going to get it fixed – off to the surgeon I go!”

I’m high fiving the surgeon and fist punching the air convinced that I am going to get my body back. Days later I experience an epiphany: how am I going to teach Mikaela to love her body if I can’t love mine? Righteo, surgery cancelled. However, I am still plagued with the thought: what does it feel like to have the perfect body? Next step is to train, train, train. Fifteen long, hard weeks of restricting and weighing food, and training like a demon. I’ve finally reached the holy grail:

“I can wear a bikini and I look great!”.

Hmm, this is strange. Why am I not happy? My lesson was that having the perfect bikini body doesn’t actually make me happy.

“Wow! My body is not an ornament; it is the vehicle to my dreams!”

My journey to embracing took me months of training, months of unlearning behaviours and values that were ingrained in me, and months of reading and educating myself to learn and embrace new behaviours and philosophies.

I once thought that an overweight person couldn’t be healthy. I once was so consumed with the notion that health only meant physical health and rarely gave thought to emotional, mental or spiritual health. And yes, I once thought that having the perfect body would make me the happiest person on earth!

Fat, ugly and disgusting!

There was a time I described myself as fat, ugly, disgusting, broke, sad, and unhappy. Now I describe myself as happy, unstoppable and so freaking liberated! This feeling is so great that I’ve committed my life to help people flick the switch and join this Body Image Movement because after all, it is not the sole purpose of our time on earth to be at war with our body.

What action can you take to get a step closer to Embracing?

Firstly, make the commitment and say it out loud ‘I am committed to learning to embrace my body’. Then choose one action that you can implement in your life that will move you towards embracing. For example:

  • Do not weigh yourself on the scales.
  • Do not buy magazines that make you feel crappy about how you look.
  • Do not count the calories when you exercise. Just move your body for pleasure and be present in the moment!
  • Remind yourself of all the things that you are grateful for – write a daily gratitude journal.
  • Start each day with a positive affirmation.
  • Watch Embrace!
  • Spend ten minutes on social media, following all of the fabulous life-affirming characters in Embrace (surrounding yourself with feel-good, positive people is an integral step to body acceptance).

Start by taking one step towards embracing and when you’ve mastered that action, choose another action, and when you’ve smashed that, choose something else (and so on and so on). Just keep building until one day you think ‘I could actually fling off my clothes and run down the street naked if I wanted to!’

And finally let’s acknowledge that we are all exquisitely unique and everyone’s road to unconditional love will vary, but it is always possible. We weren’t born into this world hating our bodies; this is a learned behaviour. So just like we’ve learned to hate, we can now learn to love.

What are you going to do this week to Embrace?

 Please post below to share your body positive plans with our loving and supportive community.

Do you need help on your journey to Embrace your body?

Embrace You is a 4-week online program that will teach you strategies to learn to embrace your body exactly the way it is. You can begin the program by signing up for the next available round. LEARN MORE

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