Self love and body positivity and repaired self-esteem don’t happen overnight. I’ve talked about bits and pieces so far and I want to finally start helping you guys find that love in yourselves. I want to give a little assistance (hopefully) to the question: But where do I start?!

Let me answer that with another question, Where do you think you should start? See we all want to love ourselves, have a positive body image and demand respect and be a positive role model for our kids, right? It doesn’t all just fall in your lap once you decide you want it unfortunately, but, your success will depend on where you start and where your priorities should be.

So instead of doing this blog about how to start ____ I’m going to list a few things that might narrow down what exactly in your life is standing in your way.

  1. Evaluate your relationships. Do you let toxic people walk all over you? Do you have a significant other who seems to only criticize your dreams and suggest that you are incapable of success? Do you have family that makes you question your self-worth and you let it happen just because they are considered family? OR is it that you are surrounded by amazing, loving and supportive people and you’re your only enemy?
  2. Let go of who you “should” be. Are you critical of your body because you THINK you should look a certain way? Are you shy because you believe you should be seen and not heard? Are you giving up dreams of yours because of the pressure to be a certain kind of parent? Are you wearing makeup and clothes you don’t like because you think you should be “fitting in?”
  3. Spend time embracing. Take time to celebrate who you are, just as you are. Start small if you need to but start to love that curve in your nose. Love the shadows under your eyes and the way your bottom teeth are a little crooked. Look at everything you see as a flaw and imagine looking at it in your son, your daughter, your best friend, your wife, your husband, etc. Love your thighs and your skin and your freckles and everything else. Take your time on all the little things but realize that your life doesn’t get worse when you love the little things about you.

I don’t want to make this post just a long-winded list of suggestions, if you are anything like me you want to not just read a list of “20 ways to improve your life” and by the time you’re at #13 you forget what 4, 8 and 11 were that you thought were good ideas. Read those three points over and over again and spend a couple of minutes thinking about what your life would be like if you were a little kinder to yourself. That’s it. You don’t have to have it all figured out, you don’t have to be role model number one the second you read this, just do me a favour and imagine it. Imagine your life if you were a little less hard on yourself and spent a little more time celebrating your existence.

I want you to wake up everyday and say to yourself or at least think to yourself or write it on your mirror, whatever works: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME.

Now ignore the fact this could be generalizing health etc. and although there are mental health things that i want to be grouped in with this I mainly want to have something for you to get some perspective on your body and how you treat yourself as a person and how you determine your worth.

I asked some of my friends to tell me if they could change one thing about their body what would it be? Answers include changing stomach, hips, thunder thighs, neck, pale skin that shows dark circles, lose 20lbs, longer legs, jaw line, etc. Now don’t just keep reading, take a second and think about this. Think about your answer. I’ll wait.

Now think about if whatever that issue you have is didn’t matter. Sure it still exists but what if you didn’t give power to those dark circles? What if you grabbed those thunder thighs and thanked them for making you curvy? Imagine allowing your stomach to just exist, without directing hate to it. We are so quick to have an answer, this question/post was considerably more answered than when I ask what people are proud of or grateful for.

I have big ears that stick out from my head and I’ve mostly always hated them. I have stretch marks and I still get zits and my forehead is more of a six head. You know why none of that matters? Because when I walk into a room and my husband smiles at me I know he isn’t seeing what I don’t like, he’s seeing everything he loves. When I play with my nephew do you think he is worried that my ears stick out of my hair when it’s kinda flat? No, he cares if he can knock the garbage can over without us stopping him.

We put so much thought into what we would change if we could, what we think is wrong or “flawed” about ourselves. We have spent our lives learning how to not fully appreciate ourselves for the brilliant and beautiful and caring human beings we are, we just worry about a few extra pounds or little details that others don’t care about.

It takes time to learn to allow your body to simply exist, to take up space, to forgive yourself for all those years of hatred you forced upon yourself; But do me a favour and try. Try to enjoy more of your life, try to accept that you are amazing and worthy just as you are. Try to accept compliments without commentary, simply say thank you or compliment the person back, allow yourself to let people tell you how awesome you are or look! It’s a long road but learning to love yourself can change how you experience your life and the world, so let yourself enjoy being you, just as you are.