The journey to body acceptance is a non-linear, evolving process that requires at its core – self-compassion and kindness. Click here for three reminders that I needed to reinforce that there's absolutely nothing wrong with my (or your) body.

It was just like any old commute home. I was sitting on the bus, listening to a podcast when I opened up Facebook and saw that a picture had been tagged of me.

As the image expanded – a wave of shame washed over me. Is that what I really looked like? I was trying to keep calm but the picture had triggered old, destructive thought patterns that sounded a lot like this.

I made it home and (this is hard to admit) had a meltdown. I allowed all of the emotions to pour of out me. And then, as I caught my breath and wiped my eyes, I read an extremely helpful article on how to “bounce back after a body image blow”.

This message, in particular, paused the old thoughts and made space for more positive ones. “We can use dark, painful incidents as a springboard to healthy choices, happiness, and empowerment.” – Beauty Redefined

With that in mind, I called upon these three empowering reminders that I needed to reinforce that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my or your body.

1. The world is messed up – you are fine!

We are not born disliking parts of ourselves. This idea is taught to us at some point during development and reinforced by the society we live in. I’m talkin’ about diet culture.

“Diet culture encompasses all the messages that tell us that we’re not good enough in the bodies we have, and we’d be more worthwhile and valuable if our bodies were different. Our culture is SO embedded with body – and weight-centric messages that they’re sometimes imperceptible. Diet culture is deeply ingrained in our everyday existence and prevents us from living our most full and meaningful lives.” – Body Positive Australia

In the book Intuitive Eating, the authors offer a few ways you can navigate the pressures of diet culture by “rejecting the diet mentality”. You can: throw out diet books & articles; get rid of the scale or calorie counting apps; reflect/journal on how dieting interfered with your life and get real with if they ever actually “worked”.

2. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Ragen Chastain talks about the importance of “perceiving beauty as a skill set” and taking responsibility for finding the beauty in others (and ourselves).

Social media, when used appropriately, can be an incredibly helpful tool in strengthening this skill. “If we want our media feeds to represent real life (and ultimately show us that our body isn’t strange, weird, or awful) we need to go out and actively find diverse images for ourselves.” – Jes Baker

Carve out some time to remove any accounts that collude with diet culture and add accounts that challenge your (body) beliefs. Here are 135 ways to diversify your Instagram feed.

3. You are so much more than your body.

My final and favorite reminder. When you are having an uncomfortable body day, know that it’s not your fault. You are not damaged – our culture is disordered. Then, say to yourself, I am so much more than my body.

“The and practice” can be found in the Intuitive Eating Workbook and one that I use often with clients and in my own times of need. Here’s how it works:

First – acknowledge the feeling you experiencing in neutral language – ie: I am having a challenging body day.  Next – think about characteristics that you value about yourself, which have nothing to do with your appearance. Put it together – I am having a challenging body day and I’m a good friend.

The lesson the picture meltdown taught me was that there really is no destination in body acceptance. It’s a non-linear, evolving process that requires at its core – self-compassion and kindness.

So, I tucked myself into bed (earlier than usual), thanked my body for what it does for me day after day and looked forward to a new, nourishing day.

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