Do you dread warmer weather because you have to show more skin and it reminds you that you basically hate your body?

My Seven Tips for Body Acceptance to the rescue! I came across some wonderful tips on body acceptance from a blog called recoveryisbeautiful. Very sweet. I’ve added my own twist to them and formed them into my SIMPLE 7. I think you’ll find these quite useful.

TIP #1: If you know looking in the mirror is going to upset you, then don’t do it. Use full length mirrors when you are less critical of your body and of yourself. Ever have a “bad mirror moment” (I call them BMM’s) and go straight into a food trance because of what you thought you saw when it really wasn’t that bad? A glance from a bad angle can have disastrous effects.

TIP #2: Do NOT compare yourself to others. This will get you nowhere fast and probably back into a binge. You don’t know what else is going on with other people. Go ahead and obsess over someone’s  flat tummy. What you might not know is that he or she is battling cancer, taking care of a sick loved one at home or days away from eviction. A flat tummy might be THE highlight of his/her existence. Still want to lust? Your journey is your journey. What you see from the outside when you compare is only half of the story. Don’t make an unfavorable judgment towards yourself based on half-truth’s. Even better, just stop comparing. It’s not productive and it’s often unrealistic.

TIP #3: Appreciate who you are as a whole instead of focusing on broken pieces. In other words, appreciate all your body parts that don’t look the way you want them to or are obviously genetically predestined to be your “trouble” areas. Entertain the concept of actually loving the body you’re in right now. It deserves some love. It needs love. That includes your love handles, big thighs, saggy whatever and even a bloated belly. Not only that, love and respect and appreciate your brokenness. Being perfect is boring. It’s overwhelming to those around you. It’s a fallacy, for the most part. It’s not sustainable. It’s not human.

TIP #4: Start picking better foods. It’s that simple. Don’t know what those are. Google healthy foods. Eat better. Feel better. Look better. You’ll also start to appreciate and accept your body during the process. Notice I didn’t say move more. Of course, that’s a good recommendation but at the very least, proper nutrition. I know handfuls of fitness fanatics that are over fat despite hours and hours in the gym or on the pavement. Workouts are for getting stronger and reshaping your body (among many other awesome aspects) and that’s 100-percent important but dialing in your diet is critical to life-long success. Injuries, traveling, a crisis, etc., can lead to diminished exercise time. Understanding how to mitigate your health via your diet will save you every time. And, may I be so bold to say – pick better friends, lovers, companions; work environments, social functions – whatever and whenever you can so you are around loving, accepting and motivating individuals.

TIP#5: Thank your body for all the good things it does for you – all the time, 24/7, even when you’re a hater. Imagine what this would look like – if your constant, negative internal dialogue was vocalized to a real person. Devastating, demoralizing and paralyzing all come to mind.

TIP #6: Keep going and forgive yourself for mistakes. This is a very, very, very long journey. Don’t hold onto something that cannot be changed. Release destructive thoughts about actions that are in the past. Even five minutes ago. Move on. You cannot beam yourself into outer space every time you come across chocolate chip cookies or a potluck gathering. If you break down and break your “diet” or binge, agonizing over it will not reverse the situation.

TIP#7: If you have a true eating disorder, you probably need to get professional help. Cravings and addictions are emotional and physical and that means you can be overpowered despite knowing better. You are not weak or stupid. Food is a drug for you. Body acceptance is key to truly living not only in the moment but authentically and with joy. The negative talk and self-hate is extremely detrimental. Imagine saying the same things to someone you care about – yikes!

Any of these resonate? Would love to hear from you. Perhaps, you have your own tips to share. Here’s a good article on body acceptance with additional insight and tips.  And, just say no to BMM’s!