5 Uplifting Tips To Help You Accept Your Body

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5 Uplifting Tips To Help You Accept Your Body Title Card. In the background a woman in a black bra and panty set stands in front of an orange door and holds on to a bundle of pink balloons

Hello Sweet Friends:

Have you ever struggled to love and accept your body?

Total yes, right?

Body acceptance is capital H-A-R-D hard.

Our media is constantly telling us that we aren’t enough unless we look like whatever the current (and ever-changing) definition of beauty is.

And man, is it every exhausting and painful, right?

But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if you had the power to silence all of those painful “you are not enough” messages and make steps to accept your body?

Because you absolutely can! And I invited Allie Kim, a body confidence coach and self-love advocate, to help. She’s passionate about helping womxn, just like wonderful you, to stop hating their body and feel more confident in the skin they’re in.

Her uplifting, gentle tips are realistic and so incredibly helpful. I can’t wait for you to read them. So let’s dive in together!

Take it away Allie:

Body Acceptance Is A Process

A closeup of a woman's shirt. It says "resilient." You too are resilient as you work to accept your body.

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to be a woman in our culture. We see roughly 4,000 to 10,000 images in the form of ads per day and most of those are centered around the image of the “idealized” female body. These women are often young, light-skinned, slim, tall and, above all, digitally altered and enhanced to the point where they look unrecognizable even to themselves. 

While logically we KNOW this, it’s hard for our brain to distinguish between what’s real and what isn’t without a comparison. We just start taking it as fact. Soon we are taking in millions of images and telling ourselves that this is reality. (source 1, source 2)

A woman holds her phone to her chest and looks at the camera with a sad expression.

I think it’s important to point out that this “ideal” female body that we’re all being sold is only achievable in less than 5% of the population; we see this image everywhere and ~95% of the population cannot achieve it. Yet we are made to feel like we could if we tried hard enough. Oh, and if we spent gobs of money. (source 1, source 2)

It’s no wonder that most women believe that to be acceptable and desirable they need to change or alter their bodies. In fact, it’s been reported that 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies. (source 1, source 2)

But what if we changed this? What if we worked on body acceptance instead of body hatred?

A woman dressed in a jacket and a big scarf holds her scarf and smiles, looking down.

I know what you’re thinking, “But Allie, I’ve hated my body for so long now and you’re going to ask me to accept my body?”

I want to remind you that body acceptance is a process. Give yourself some grace and compassion while learning to shift your thoughts. Remember the goal is acceptance or neutrality; you don’t need to love your body or even like it to accept it.

Let’s work on this together with a few helpful tips:

Tip 1: Your Words and Your Thoughts Matter

Someone holds up a lightbulb against a blue and pink background. Your thoughts and ideas about yourself play a big role as you work to accept your body.

How long have you spent hating your body? Years? Maybe even for some of us it’s been decades? That’s a lot of negative thoughts about your body.

Here’s another way to think about it:

We have thousands of thoughts per day, many of which we repeat day in and day out. If even a quarter of your thoughts were about how horrible your body looked, and you thought that for 10 years, that’s millions of thoughts on how much you hate your body.

That’s a lot of body hatred going on! No wonder we have a hard time shifting our thoughts.

A woman sits in front of her laptop, ready to type. She pauses and looks off to the right, as if deep in thought.

Can you imagine what the impact would be if we changed these negative thoughts to neutral ones?

Instead of, “My legs would look better if I didn’t have all this cellulite.”

Try, “Cellulite is a natural part of the female body and 90% of women have it.”

or, “My legs are so awesome because they take me on breathtaking hikes.”

Related: 4 Reasons To Break “The Rules” And Love Your Cellulite

A woman rests her face on her hand and looks off to the side.

Instead of, “I hate my belly rolls. If only my stomach was flat, then I’d be attractive.”

Try, “My body is the least interesting thing about me and doesn’t determine my self-worth. I am a funny, smart, independent woman and that makes me sexy.”

Or, “My stomach is beautiful because it held my two precious babies.”

It’s not just the thoughts you have on yourself, you need to pay attention to your thoughts on other people.

Two woman sit together on a bed and lean on each other, starring at the camera.

Have you ever noticed that when you are judgemental of your body, you are quick to judge everyone else? Have you ever had these thoughts:

“I wish I was as skinny as her.”

Or, “Thank goodness I’m not that big.”

It’s ok if you do this because guess what? I did it too. In fact, I’ll bet you almost all of the population has done this at one time or another.

A group of four people stand together, laughing.

And if it’s not about body size it sure as heck is about something else. The car they drive, the size of the house they live in, the job they have, the money they make, we compare all the time.

Notice when these thoughts are coming up. It’s important not to shame yourself for them, instead recognize the thought and replace it with something neutral like:

“I really love that top on her, it brings out her eyes.”

Tip 2: Pay Attention To What You Surround Yourself With

A woman holds her phone up, fingers ready to scroll or type. When working to accept your body, unfollow or limit any social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself.

Remember those 4,000 – 10,000 images we consume per day? How many of those are images of the same woman? Okay, maybe not the exact same woman, but the same body, skin, hair, eyes, etc.

If that’s all we see, of course, we are going to feel bad about ourselves. Look at everything you consume from social media to magazines, books to TV. I’m not joking when I say everything. And find out what isn’t working for you.

Take a look at your social feed first since this seems to be the biggest one. Look at each account that fills your feed and ask yourself, “do they lift me up or bring me down?”

A woman holds her phone and begins to type a message. When working to accept your body, unfollow or limit any social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself.

Remember you have the power to control your feed. I give you permission to unfollow or mute anyone that isn’t making you feel your best. Even if that person is your friend, at the end of the day, you are the only one living your life. And if you spend your time living it for other people, you will never be happy.

Next, diversify your feed with people that do make you feel good. People of all different body types, skin tones, ages and abilities. Again, above all else, pay attention to the way these accounts make you feel.

Now do this with everything else.

Watch more shows highlighting people with different body types. I don’t know about you, but I love Shrill!

A phone sits on a white table, below a green plant. Tiktok is open on the phone. When working to accept your body, unfollow or limit any social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself.

Read books that are body positive like:

  • “The Body is Not an Apology” by Sonya Renee Taylor
  • “The Things No One Tells Fat Girls” by Jes Baker

You can also:

  • Look at models like Tess Holliday and Ashley Graham
  • Read up on Health At Every Size (HAES)
  • Shop at places where they show women of all shapes and sizes like Swimsuits For All and Fabletics
  • Take a yoga class by Jessamyn Stanley
  • Listen to a podcast by Sophia the creator of She’s All Fat.

There are so many ways to diversify what you consume on a daily basis.

A woman stands in a field and looks down, as if deep in thought

This also means the clothes in your closet. If you’re hanging on to those “someday” clothes, they have got to go. Honestly, is seeing those clothes, knowing that you can’t fit into them really motivating you? Or are they bringing you down? I’m going to go out on a limb and say they are bringing you down.

Toss them, donate them, box them up and put them in the attic, whatever you have to do. And fill your closet up with things that fit you. Remember, the only person that knows the size of your clothes is you.

A woman leans against a mirrored window on a large building,0 posing for the camera. Her reflection is visible, posing the same way.

Still having a hard time getting bigger clothes? I ask you this, what would make you feel better, walking into a closet full of clothes that fit, look amazing on you and that you love to wear, or walking into a closet full of clothes where nothing fits and they make you feel bad about yourself?

Maybe you’re thinking that you can’t afford a new wardrobe right now and that’s okay. I encourage you to think outside the box. Go to thrift stores, upscale second hand stores, or one of my most favorite apps, Thred Up. Whatever it is, get excited about it!

Tip 3: Your Beliefs About Yourself

A woman smiles and rests her chin on her hand. Her shirt says "resilient." You too are resilient as you work to accept your body.

While this is kind of like the first tip, this one’s more about the overarching belief you have about yourself. The one that your thoughts ultimately lead up to. This is usually something like, “I believe that I’m not enough,” or “I’m unworthy of love, belonging, etc.”

Related: 3 Things Everyone Should Know About Positive Affirmations

If you don’t know your belief, that’s okay. I want to ask you this question:

What are you hoping that “ideal” body will bring you? Let’s face it, we don’t want that “ideal” body just to have it. No, we want something to come with it. We are hoping that it brings us love, acceptance, or belonging. These are the things that we don’t feel but we so desperately want to… and we think being thin will get us.

A woman stares into the camera and smikrs. You can see a body of water behind her and a blue sky.

But, as many of you probably know, when you were at your thinnest, you probably still didn’t feel the way you thought you were “supposed” to feel. That’s because we are constantly sold the idea that dieting and being in a thinner body will “fix” everything.

But, what if I told you that you have more power than you ever thought you did?

You have all the power! It’s already inside of you, you just don’t know you have it. You have the power to choose your beliefs about yourself. That’s right!

A woman in a black bra and panty set stands in front of an orange door and holds on to a bundle of pink balloons

You see, most of the time our beliefs about ourselves form in our childhood, then every time something “bad” happens it’s just evidence in the bank confirming that belief. But, when something good happens, we don’t have the same outlook. So we go through life confirming this belief that wasn’t even ours to begin with, but something that was given to us. (source 1, source 2)

Now you’re an adult, no longer do you have to be tied to those beliefs you were given. You get to choose your own.

However, we can’t go from, “I believe that I’m not enough,” to “I know that I’m enough,” and fully believe it. Our thoughts are like, “yea right you believe you’re enough, that’s a load of crap.”

A woman looks over her shoulder and smiles. She's standing outside, there are mountains in the distance.

And you know what, our thoughts are right. This is why we start our new belief with, “I am in the process of…” this way we are not “tricking” our subconscious into believing something that we know isn’t true. By saying, “I am in the process of,” we’re affirming that this is something we are working towards, something we want to believe even if it’s something that we don’t fully accept yet.

Try saying something like:

“I’m in the process of knowing I’m enough,” or, “I am in the process of knowing I am worthy of love no matter what my body size is.”

The key is that it needs to feel good to you. You need to not only want it but believe it.

A notebook, post-it notes, pencil and yellow roses sit on top of a wrinkled blue plaid blanket. Post its with affirmations and helpful messages can be a helpful tool when working to accept your body.

Now, you need to write your new belief everywhere:

  • Put it where you are triggered the most, like on your bathroom mirror or in your closet
  • Write it on a post it note and put it on the door to see it before you leave every morning
  • Put it in your car
  • Make it a screensaver on your phone
  • Set an alarm to go off two to three times a day

Whatever you do, get in the habit of seeing your new belief everywhere.

Tip 4: Get Your Thoughts Out Of Your Head 

A woman sits in a wicker chair and journals. Journaling can be a helpful self-care activity when working to accept your body.

Have you ever noticed that once you have a negative thought you can’t escape it? And then that thought seems to grow legs and gets bigger and bigger until you’re in a full-blown shame spiral?

Boy, have I been there! And here’s the kicker:

Everything in your head feels 1000% real… but if you were to speak your thoughts, you would know just how silly they (usually) are. I mean are you really “the grossest person to ever walk the planet?” I think not.

Next time you find yourself going down this shame spiral, pause, take a deep breath, get a pen and paper and write everything down. If you can’t write it, speak it. I’ve had to do this in the car more times than I can count. Don’t worry, most people think you’re just talking on your hands-free phone.

A woman looks out the window, at the sunny day outside.

Getting it out takes the power away from the words you are telling yourself. And you can see them for what they really are.

Next, you can ask yourself, “Is this true?” While yes, there can be truth to it, 99.9% of the time this isn’t ALL true. Looking at it logically and not emotionally really helps to shut that shame spiral down.

Related: How To Tap Into The Power of Positive Thinking

Tip 5: Never Underestimate the Power of 1% 

A black letter board sits on a shite table. There's a pink cell phone above it, two pencils on top of it and a pink fuzzy blanket beside it. The letterboard says "Be proud of how hard you are working." Remember to appreciate your effort as you work to accept your body. Every little step counts.

With the advancement of technology, we have become a now generation. Literally everything is at our fingertips. I mean we can even get anything delivered to us at any hour of the day within an hour, depending on where you live of course.

We don’t take slow progress very well. But I ask you this:

How long have you spent hating your body? Years, maybe even for some of us it’s been decades. That a lot of negative thoughts about your body. Give yourself grace and know that this will take some time.

All we are looking for is 1% better than yesterday, that’s it.

A letter board sits on a desk beside a laptop. It says "You Got This." A reminder that you've totally got this as you take steps to accept your body.

Does that mean that you failed if you had a backslide? No, not at all, tomorrow just aim for 1% better. I know it’s hard to see the impact of 1% at first, but as time goes on that 1% compounds and catapults you higher than you could ever imagine.

I’m not expecting you to ace this the first time you try all of these tips and neither should you. The important thing is that you make the decision and go both feet in.

Remember that you are worth it! You are worth healing so that you can focus on the things that truly matter in your life, the things that you’ve always wanted to go for but never had the confidence to do.

Final Thoughts

A woman stands in front of a grafitti wall and holds a smiling balloon in front of her face.

It’s Sara again! Wasn’t that so helpful everyone? Thank you so much Allie for sharing such an important message about working to accept your body and be kind to yourself.

Self-love isn’t always easy. We’ve talked about that bunches and bunches. I love that Allie reminds us that, when it comes to your relationship with your body, it’s ok to focus on self-acceptance and take it one baby step at at time.

Every little step counts, sweet friends. And little by little, you’ll go far. Who’s ready to take a step forward?

Excited to take some steps forward to accept your body? Which tips spoke the most to you? Any advice you’d add to the list? Share all your thoughts and feels with us in the comment below.

Health and love,

sara-signature

Thought of the day: You deserve to feel confident and happy.

About Allie Kim

A photo of guest writer Allie Kim, a body confidence coach and self-love advocate. She's passionate about helping womxn, just like wonderful you, to accept their body and feel more confident in the skin they're in.

Allie Kim is an ex-fitness competitor who traded her sparkly bikini for self-love and body acceptance. After being at war with her body for decades, developing an eating disorder, spending huge amounts of time and money chasing after that “perfect” body and still not feeling happy, she knew there had to be another way. Now she’s on a mission to help women break free from the diet mentality and live the life they were meant to live, free from guilt and shame around food and their body. Helping these women to reclaim what diet culture has stolen from them and to help them learn to respect and accept their body. Because bodies come in all shapes and sizes and that’s what makes us all beautiful.

You can find her goodness right here:

1 On 1 Coaching | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

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Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

Sara Flanagan is a wellness writer and the creator of www.mshealthesteem.com, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join the Health-Esteem Family today and share in the journey.

27 Comments

  1. Reply

    amayszingblogs

    August 21, 2020

    I love this! Self-love and Self-care are always the best choice Don’t let your mind bully your body.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      That’s such a fantastic way to put it – Don’t let your mind bully your body! I love it! And it’s so true. We really do deserve to have a kind, caring and compassionate relationship with ourselves. <3

  2. Reply

    Ben

    August 21, 2020

    These are such awesome tips. So many people have trouble accepting their bodies, whether they’re overweight, skinny, ripped, or some variation. It’s not always about what you look like. Sometimes, it’s about what you say to yourself.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      Self-talk has such a powerful effect on us! I couldn’t agree Ben. Working on creating a kind, loving and compassionate internal dialogue can truly be a game changer!

  3. Reply

    emily

    August 21, 2020

    These are great tips, as acceptance is something I have struggled with for years, thanks for sharing this

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      I’m really happy Allie’s tips resonate with you! I hope that they’re helpful. Sending you tons of love as you journey forward <3.

  4. Reply

    Samantha

    August 21, 2020

    Oh these are so good! Watching how we think about others as well as ourselves is so important. I find that comparison isn’t helpful on this journey at all.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      I love that you brought that up Samantha! Comparison truly is the thief of joy. It’s definitely important to do our best to work past it.

  5. Reply

    Emily Fata

    August 21, 2020

    So true! If you are unkind to yourself, it can take a detrimental effect on your whole body both physically and emotionally! Self-love and self-care are key. 🙂

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      Absolutely! I love how you put it in the lens of self-care and self-love Emily! Those are really important foundations for our well-being. <3

  6. Reply

    Clarice

    August 21, 2020

    I love how you put things in the lens of gratitude. Yes, we should learn how to appreciate our body and I really lovd how you say that “my legs are awesome because they take me on breathtaking hikes.”

    If we think, speak and act this way, there would be no hate and no body shaming.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      Allie’s words are really so well put! Focusing with gratitude can do so much. I think it’s an important part of body acceptance and absolutely helps to fight against hate and body shaming too. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us Clarice! I’m really happy you enjoyed Allie’s guest article.

  7. Reply

    Ronnie E.

    August 21, 2020

    Everything you wrote is on point! I’ve learned to love my body the hard way but thankfully at my 30s I started appreciating myself a lot more than I did when I was younger.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed Allie’s guest post! I found her words so helpful and kind too. I’m so sorry you learned to the hard way, but it’s wonderful to hear that you’ve found your way to a better space and have created a kind and loving relationship with your body. That’s fantastic! We all deserve that! <3

  8. Reply

    Lucy Clarke

    August 21, 2020

    Our self-talk indeed has an important role in this. It takes a lot of effort and consistency but when we learn to let go of limiting beliefs and showing love and compassion to ourselves, we can hold on to a growing glimmer of hope each day. 💖

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      That’s such a lovely way of putting it Lucy! I couldn’t agree more <3. Working on kind self-talk really does create such a wonderful growing glimmer of goodness within us 🙂

  9. Reply

    THE JOYOUS LIVING entertainment + disabled blogger (@thejoyousliving)

    August 21, 2020

    great post. as someone who has gained weight due to my health, i like how you suggest having a diverse feed on social media. that’s a tough one when most of our friends are skinny minnies.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      I think seeing more diversity in our feed is so important and for so many different reasons! It’s really is something wonderful that we should absolutely endeavour to do. As is muting or unfollowing accounts that make us feel bad. Social media should be a space you can go to to connect and feel good.

      I know Allie shared some suggestions, but if you want more options for body diversity, neutrality, love and confidence in your feed, I love:

      https://www.instagram.com/meg.boggs/ – Meg Boggs is an athlete and author that shares fitness for every body

      https://www.instagram.com/bodyposipanda/ – Megan Crabbe is an author and creator who shares uplifting posts often focused on body acceptance and taking down fatphobic ideals

      https://www.instagram.com/i_weigh/ – Founded by Jameela Jamil, this is an inclusive space that amplifies the voices of others and shares a body neutral, anti-diet culture messages

      https://www.instagram.com/tiffanyima/ – Tiffany shares a lovely body confidence message

      I hope you adore them! If you have other suggestions for people I should check out, let me know :). Sending you tons of love.

  10. Reply

    Nkem

    August 22, 2020

    A friend said something to me a while ago that stuck with me. She said she spent years hating her body and criticizing her body and that didn’t work, so she’d try the opposite to see how that works. It’s a simple as making that intentional shift in your mind! Simple, but not easy, I know.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      I love your friends point of view! That’s beautiful. Like you said, simple shifts are still very difficult. But if we try to put as much energy on being kind to ourselves as we often do towards being mean to ourselves, the change can be incredible. And baby steps count! So, even if it takes time and effort, it’s absolutely worth it! Thank you for sharing such awesome advice and insight 🙂

  11. Reply

    Marie

    August 22, 2020

    I have even struggled so far as to see other overweight people as more beautiful than me. I would think if they can look beautiful and be overweight, I can too! And then I would look in the mirror and be horrified by how I looked. It is always a struggle.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      I’m so sorry you’ve struggled through that Marie! You’re absolutely not alone. Diet culture and societal beauty standards really give our inner critic a lot to work with. But your inner critic doesn’t deserve a megaphone. I hope Allie’s advice helps. I especially love how she encourages us to appreciate baby steps and recognize that 1% better is awesome! We are all beautiful, no matter our shape or size, even if diet culture wants us to believe otherwise.

  12. Reply

    Emman Damian

    August 22, 2020

    I agree! Body acceptance is capital H-A-R-D hard! It takes courage to be comfortable in our own skins. Also, it’s so difficult to diet!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      It really does take a lot of courage, time, patience and love to get to a comfortable, neutral and/or loving place. Diet culture and society beauty standards really make it so challenging!

  13. Reply

    Natalie

    August 27, 2020

    Great article. These are really great tips. I totally agree, body acceptance is hard! As someone who was heavily overweight I know how hard is to look at yourself in the mirror and be comfortable with what you see.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 3, 2020

      I love Allie’s tips so much! I’m really glad they resonated with you! I think so many of us struggle with loving our body, and societal beauty standards and diet culture do not help us at all. I’m sorry you’ve struggled too. I hope that you’re feeling more comfortable and happy in your beautiful skin.

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