How I Learned to Love My Body, As-Is

As someone who struggled with orthorexia, body dysmorphia, poor self-esteem and anxiety for years, it’s safe to say that my body and I have had a…complicated relationship.

As a dancer, I spent years punishing my non-petite body—pinching it, clenching it, sucking it in, offending it, rationing its nourishment, saying harsh things to it and projecting sheer loathing at it. It’s no surprise that, for years, its shape and its health shortcomings continued to plague me. My hormones flew out of whack, and I developed PCOS. Painful cystic acne flared up well into my twenties. I couldn’t enjoy the occasional beer with my friends without immediately gaining five pounds (and then spiraling out of control). But looking back, my body was simply treating me as horribly as I treated it.

It’s taken a long time—lots of naturopaths, therapists, doctors, new diets, pills, herbal treatments, talks with friends, nature hikes and journaling—but I finally understand why I simply couldn’t “get healthy” for all those years (despite being incredibly active).

You cant heal a body you hate.

My flaws is what makes me beautiful

So much of poor health is related to chronic stress, and there is nothing more innately stressful than hating your body. It doesn’t matter what diets you try, how much exercise you get, how well you sleep at night. Our thoughts exert massive control over our health (the very existence of the placebo effect is proof enough of that). If your thoughts aren’t on your side, there will always be something holding you back from true healing.

The only way to truly heal is to show yourself love and tenderness. So what if you’re curvier/hairier/more muscular/skinnier/shorter/plumper than you think you should be? It’s important to value your body for what it is in the moment.

We only have one life and we only have one body. I wasted a solid decade fighting an un-winnable battle. In the end, surrendering to self-love was the only thing that helped. Don’t waste your precious time futilely hating your body. Instead, love that body and unearth the self-confidence that you’ve buried deep, deep down. In return, your body will take you to incredible places, and you’ll do incredible things.

I know, loving your body is a constant challenge. Some days are harder than others. But by embracing your imperfections and showing yourself that you deserve love, you can allow your body to heal, both inside and out. Remember, you have a lot to offer the world, and you’ve been gifted this beautiful body to do it in. Hating the way you look won’t help you feel better, so try unconditional love. You’re beautiful and amazing, and every cell in your body deserves to know and feel that.

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Images via Getty

29 comments

Michael F
Michael Friedmann13 hours ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

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Barbara S
Barbara S21 hours ago

thanks for sharing

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Greta L
Greta L5 days ago

thank you

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Peggy B
Peggy B6 days ago

TYFS

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Chad A
Chad Anderson8 days ago

Thank you.

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Lesa D
Lesa D10 days ago

thank you Jordyn...

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Joanna M
Joanna M10 days ago

I think most of us gradually become more comfortable in our bodies with every passing year...you just live long enough to see a lot of things, and then you realize the little imperfections really don't matter.

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Melanie S

I just turned 50 and I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin.

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Danuta W
Danuta W10 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn10 days ago

Many thanks to you !

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