This is something I know alot of people struggle with, especially after having children. I have seen so much positivity about body image on social media recently but how do we learn to love ourselves again? It’s easier said than done. You can be told one hundred times by one hundred different people that you are beautiful and that you should love your own skin but what makes it really sink in?
Mostly I see it being said that women should be proud of their bodies. You grew a child! You gave birth! You created a life – of course it’s going to sag in places! But you should love it anyway. This easily becomes a way to continue to point out the negatives of a post-birth body. Why do we associate ‘mum bods’ with stretch marks, fat tummies and saggy boobs? Of course people are going to grow to hate these aspects of themselves when it’s what’s pointed out. Yes we should be proud, but should we just focus on the negative changes our bodies go through? What about the ever growing smile on a mother’s face, the new found strength and muscles she requires whilst chasing a toddler, the glow, the stamina! Why point out anything at all? Every body reacts differently to childbirth and every woman’s mind reacts differently to the changes. Some people are fine with it, others find it harder to cope with. Yet this doesn’t mean they don’t try to love their bodies. Don’t feel like a failure because you’re struggling.
I wish I had the answers. I love my body, I am comfortable in my own skin but I can’t give you the confidence to feel the same way. All I can do is encourage you. Here’s a few things you can do to try and help you fall back in love with yourself.
- Think about your favourite features, physical and otherwise. Include all of your favourite qualities. Make a list or focus on some of these features every morning.
- Speak to yourself in a positive manner. You can control that little voice inside your head. Next time you find yourself saying something negative about yourself try to turn it around or shift your attention to something you like about yourself.
- Study your body. Pay more attention to your reflection, look at your body in the mirror and get used to how it looks.
- Never compare. Ever. There are no two bodies that look the same, nobody shape is normal or a preference. We are all born different and we shouldn’t try to fit a mould that is physically impossible.
- Start small. If you really are unhappy start to make tiny changes. No big diet, no saying your fat. Do it for your health, not for the scales. One hurdle at a time, start drinking more water then when you’ve got into that habit try to walk more often when you can. Stop the pressure of trying to fix everything all at once for all the wrong reasons.
- Love yourself. You can’t change it. There is nothing wrong with the way you look. Think back to when you where younger, you didn’t spend all this time beating yourself up about your appearance. Find your carefree younger self.
- If you feel upto it, ask your friends and family how they see you. Nobody see’s you how you see yourself right now. The things niggling at you nobody else would take a second glance at. If you don’t want to ask them just think about how they might answer.
You truly are beautiful!