Give yourself the gift of body acceptance

IT’S FREE, Y’ALL.

Okay, I know you’re probably all gifted out by now. But I’ve gotta give a shoutout to the very best gift in the whole wide world: body acceptance. It’s free, I reach for it every single day, and I only wish I could gift it to other people, too.

You may have heard of the body love movement, and if you’re already there: good. for you. Seriously, that’s amazing! Body love makes everything (everything!) easier.

But body love in a world full of body hate is an uphill battle, so it’s important to remember that it all has to start somewhere. Body acceptance is step one.

So what does body acceptance even mean? For me, it means facing the many aspects about my physical self that I have obsessed over, cried over, and punished myself over, and giving in to all of it. No more clinging to a distant ideal of perfect; no more poring over “inspiring” before-and-after transformations and wishing I’d be next.

If I were to try to distill my version of body acceptance into a single, self-affirming sentence, it would be something like: “I didn’t get to choose my body — nobody did — but I acknowledge and accept it just the way it is, for better or worse, right at this moment in time.”

If I were to distill it even further, it would be: “Oh well.”

Because in practice, here’s how body acceptance sounds in my head:

My thighs are big. Oh well.

My belly isn’t flat. Oh well.

My face is chipmunky. Oh well.

My skin is fussy and zit-prone. Oh well.

My body type just doesn’t tone up. Oh well.

And on and on as needed.

If you’ve read this far, chances are your relationship with your body is pretty complicated. But body acceptance doesn’t have to be. It all starts with your words to yourself. And if you can’t say anything nice, try something neutral.

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