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How to Cultivate Body Acceptance and Love Yourself Unconditionally

body image Jan 23, 2023

We live in a society that constantly tells us to conform to specific standards of beauty or fitness. From hourglass figures to “toned” muscles, it’s hard to keep up with the constantly changing standards. Even when we know that these standards aren’t for us, it can be hard to break free from these expectations and learn to accept our bodies as they are.

As a Black woman, I know that many of these standards were not created with women who looked like me in mind. That’s why I'm here to help you explore the steps you can take to cultivate body acceptance. No matter what size, shape, or weight you may be, these three tips will help you get on the right path.


1. Make Peace with Your Physical Limitations

No one is perfect, and that includes our bodies! Our physical limitations are part of what makes us unique and special. So instead of feeling defeated by them, make peace with them by embracing what you can do.

Since getting diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren's syndrome, coming to terms with my limitations has become critical. Even though I could run my first marathon, there were limitations to training that I needed to overcome. Honoring those limitations helped get me through eighteen weeks of training and complete that marathon without injury.

Thus, I hope this clarifies that you can strive for health while learning to feel more comfortable in your skin! Accepting your body doesn’t mean settling for where you are now. Instead, it means recognizing that wherever you are is okay, too.


2. Celebrate Your Achievements

We all have something we're proud of regarding our bodies—so why not celebrate it? Whether it’s running a marathon or being able to carry your groceries up the stairs, it’s important to find small ways to celebrate yourself.

One way that I’ve helped my clients with celebrating their accomplishments with non-scale victories (NSVs). NSVs include everything from better digestion to increased energy to lower body sugar. The point is that you’re celebrating progress that has nothing to do with changing how your body looks.

Therefore, there are many ways that you can appreciate the strength and capability of your body. From specific fitness goals to achieving NSVs, celebrating your accomplishments can go a long way toward cultivating self-acceptance.


3. Find Compassionate Support

We must surround ourselves with people who will support us unconditionally on our journey toward self-love and acceptance. This can be anyone from a close friend to a counselor. The main criterion is choosing someone who will lift you instead of tear you down.

While this isn’t always the case for clients I work with, for my client Veronica, that person just happened to be her spouse. Having her spouse be someone she could lean on made a massive difference in her journey. It made the health changes she wanted to make so much easier to maintain.

If you’re single and like me, you might benefit from an online community or meetup group with people on the same self-acceptance journey as you. The point is that you don’t have to go through this journey alone. There are family and (virtual) friends who want nothing more than for you to succeed. So, don’t hesitate to lean on those when you can.


Final Word From Tomesha

Accepting our bodies is no easy task—but it is possible! By making peace with our physical limitations, celebrating our achievements, and finding compassionate support, we can learn how to love ourselves unconditionally—no matter our size or shape! So don't despair if you've been struggling with self-acceptance.

Focus on taking small daily steps toward cultivating body acceptance, and eventually, you'll reach your goal! Remember: You are worthy of respect just as you are right now. You don't need to change anything to be accepted by yourself or others. Good luck on your journey toward self-love! And if you need help along the way, don’t hesitate to comment below.