You Don’t Have to Love Your Body

I don’t love my body–most of the time, I have even claimed to hate my body, but when I really think about it, I appreciate how well it has dealt with all the crap I have put it through.

I don’t think it is important or necessary to love your body. I think it is completely normal to wish you had a different body–I know I do it all the time! But I think it is important to accept your body and find something you can appreciate about it.

I have mentioned this in a previous post about dieting, but whenever I gave up a diet because it wasn’t working for me (I wasn’t losing weight or it was too difficult to stick to for any length of time), I tried to tell myself that my body was just fine the way it was. I tried to tell myself that I didn’t need to change, but that society’s definition of beauty needed to change.

I wasn’t entirely wrong, but I knew some of what I was telling myself was just a lie to make myself feel better about giving up. Society’s definition of beauty does need to change or at least, embrace diversity in body types and shapes (and skin tones, but that is an entirely different topic). We need clothing designers that can create clothing lines that compliment these different shapes and these clothing designers need to get the same support as those who design for the body types that currently are preferred on the runway.

As usual, I digress. I am not about to tell everyone that they need to find real women beautiful or to use the word “curvy” to describe someone like me, who is obese. But they do need to at least acknowledge that every body is different. And it isn’t okay to expect everyone’s body to fit into a handful of shapes and sizes. I don’t find every shape and size attractive, but then I don’t think my opinion on shape and size should define what is beautiful.

And beauty is more than our bodies as I have seen time and time again. With that being said, I do think that physical beauty and attractiveness does afford some greater benefits than others. I don’t like it, but I know it happens.

I have spent many years being disappointed with my body as a whole because I knew it didn’t make me look healthy to most people, let alone attractive. What do most people think of when they see someone who is obviously obese? As a child, I thought they were lazy and stupid (or had no willpower). They ate too much (and usually ate the “wrong” kind of food) and didn’t want to exercise. Being obese, I know these are the things my body says to people and that isn’t attractive.

So with all that, I really can’t look in the mirror and honestly say “I love my body.” I can’t because I don’t. Maybe I could fake it until I believed it, but then if I loved my body so very much, I might not want to change it. As my body gets healthier, I am growing to appreciate it more.

I appreciate that despite being so obese, I haven’t had a lot of issues with diabetes (prior to my current blood sugar monitoring). I didn’t get asthma until I was 23. Now that I am no longer eating gluten, I don’t struggle to breathe. I am sure the weight loss also helps. I feel like if my body is responding positively to the changes I am making, then I should continue to do what I am doing because when my body feels better, I feel better.

Maybe I will grow to love my body.

So I would encourage you to appreciate your body even if you don’t love it.

Image © Raphotography | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images


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