Freedom Beyond Food #2: The 3 Stages to Loving a Body You Hate

By Shelsey Jarvis

(Did you miss the first post in this 3-part series?  Click here to read "One Small Change for Radical Weight Loss Results")

The “body love” movement is an amazing idea. The concept of having millions of women coming around to loving their bodies no matter what their shape and size, and fully celebrating themselves. It sounds great.


Because, wouldn’t the world be such a better place if women didn’t need outside approval to love themselves? I truly believe it would.
3 Stages to Loving a Body You Hate (hint: it's not about drilling affirmations in your head that you don't believe)  |  Left-Brained Hippie

So I tried getting on board. I tried accepting the fact that I was bigger than I wanted to be. I tried accepting the fact that my butt was destined to never fit into a size 6 jean ever again. I tried to feed my body good foods and treat it well.


But the reality was, I just didn’t love my body. At all. I didn’t love the way it looked, felt, or moved. I hated shopping. I hated that it constantly craved junk. I hated that my belly would spill over the top of my jeans.


We’re told to embrace and love all that stuff, but what if you just don’t? How do you go from a place of self-loathing to truly loving the crap out of your body?


Is it just drilling “I’m beautiful” affirmations into your head? Because I’m a mindset coach, I know full well that affirmations like that often do more harm than good. Think about it--when you say something like, “My butt is amazing”, but don’t believe it yet, your subconscious will immediately respond with “no it’s not, it’s all dimply” or some other smart-ass comeback.


And it actually ends up doing more harm than good.

Drilling affirmations in your head that you don’t believe can actually do more harm than good. http://bit.ly/2pxONI9

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So I started thinking about this. Knowing what I know about mindset, I know that the secret sauce to receiving is focusing on what you already have that you’re grateful for.


Which got me to thinking; what do I already love about my body?


While I couldn’t honestly say I loved the way it looked, I COULD honestly say that I loved how my heart beats all by itself. Blood runs through my veins and knows exactly where to go. My lungs breathe air without me thinking about it. Every time I eat, food is digested without any intervention from me.


I realized that there are 3 stages to loving my body.


The 3 Stages to Loving a Body You Hate

1. Appreciate the function.

The human body is the slickest machine on the planet. The trillions of cells all working together with a common wisdom. I mean come on--our bodies GROW OTHER HUMAN BEINGS with very little conscious effort on our part. That’s freakin’ awesome!


So start there. Start by appreciating how our bodies work. How our brains fire off messages to move our body parts at lightning speed.


Incidentally, I created a meditation to listen to before each meal that focuses on this aspect of body love. It played a huge role in shifting my relationship with my body, and it has massively impacted my eating habits with no conscious effort. Grab it here.


2. Appreciate the feeling.

Once you’ve gotten to a state of total appreciation and awe over how your body functions, move on to how amazing your body FEELS. How does it feel to just lay in bed at night? Can you feel that sweet, relaxing feeling running through your legs? How does it feel when you go for a walk? Or do yoga? Or go swimming? Or play on the floor with the kids? Start focusing on the positive sensations that you’re capable of feeling.


Doesn’t it feel awesome to just get present to how your body is actually feeling and talking to you?


When you get really in tune with your body, you’ll notice that it gets really easy to understand its cues, and give it what it wants. For example, maybe you’ve been eating at McDonald’s for years, and never noticed that it gives you heartburn. You might have just believed that you’re prone to heartburn in general, and you may never have linked it to a specific food. But when you start noticing how good it’s possible to feel, you’ll naturally find yourself put off by foods that you used to love, because you know how crappy it’ll make you feel.



3. Appreciate your appearance.

This is the last one for 2 reasons: 1, because it’s generally the one you pick apart the most, and 2, because when you fall in love with the function and the feeling, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to love the appearance.


I don’t have to tell you this, but you don’t have to be “skinny” to have a beautiful body. However, if you’re carrying excess weight, you’ll probably notice that by making an effort to love the function and feeling of your body, the weight has started to come off without much effort.


Weight loss is a side effect of getting in tune with your body.


Weight loss is a side effect of getting in tune with your body. http://bit.ly/2pxONI9

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The Action Steps

Get in touch with your body before you eat.

For me, that means meditation. I take 5 minutes to listen to my mealtime meditation audio (which you can steal here) and it has helped me and many others to eat more mindfully and understand their body’s cues more clearly.


Redirect your negative thoughts.

Cut the balls off of your negativity. When you catch yourself criticizing your thighs, think about how awesome it is that there’s muscle under there that knows how to move because of an unconscious signal from your brain. Amazing.



Want to make it easy on yourself to start loving your body TODAY? Download your free Mealtime Meditation Audio to notice a drastic difference in how you treat your body--without placing restrictions or crazy demands on yourself!

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About the Author

Hey, I’m Shelsey, and I help female online entrepreneurs clear the mindset gremlins that are sabotaging you from the inner corners of your brain. Join me in the Left-Brained Hippies Facebook community!

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