I cannot tell you how many times on a daily basis I run into people who are carrying around an unhealthy and unfortunate amount of shame and self-loathing towards their bodies.
This guilt and negative emotional pattern can in turn contaminate every part of your life and self-perception, from the clothes that you put on in the morning, to your feelings of acceptance and happiness in your job/friendships/relationships, to your sex life, and (most importantly) to your relationship with your self when you are all alone and there is nothing left to use as a scapegoat for the ultimate reality of your unhappiness. Learning to love yourself regardless of your size is one of the most crucial and beneficial gifts that a person can give themselves.
The most amazing thing about this problem, is that I have found that it lends itself to nearly ALL body types and sizes. And, while I sit secretly imbued in disgust and resentment when a very thin friend of mind regales her negative body image and personal feelings of shame regarding her body, it is important to keep perspective on this point. Nearly everyone, no matter how skinny/tall/perfectly shaped they may look, feels this way about themselves from one time to another. So, it is important to promote healthy body image regardless of size, even when that seems difficult.
Tools for learning to love your body no matter what your size:
- Buy clothing (and, perhaps more importantly, underwear) that fits you and allows you to feel comfortable/sexy/pulled together/happy. STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE SIZE ON THE LABEL. There is nothing worse than feeling like you have to starve yourself for a week to fit into that dress you bought a size too small, because you just couldn’t bring yourself to buy a size 6/14/24/whatever.
- Talk sweetly to yourself. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you look. Bonus points if you can do this naked, a little reminder to your heart here and there will go a long, long way.
- Do not give people who delight in making you feel fat/ugly/unlovable/unworthy a SINGLE SECOND more of your time. Wash your hands of them (but have compassion, because probably the root of their meanness lies in their own insecurities).
- Move your body. Walk down the street/carry your groceries/have amazing sex/pick up your children. You will feel better with every step you take. Bonus points for doing something like hula hooping which will both cause you to move your body around, and also allow you to express some sensual creativity.
All the best from us.