How to love yourself unconditionally and change your body perception!
Welcome to this post, I am super excited to share this very important topic on self-love with you.
Before I really dive into the topic of self-love, I quickly want to share my story with you, so you can have a better sense of why this subject is so important to me: Like most girls, at age fifteen I wanted to be thin, to look like one of the supermodels and to be able to wear anything I want to. No matter how much I weighed I always wanted my body to look better. Not a single day would pass when my friends and I would not discuss this matter and in that process unconsciously talk ourselves into a state of false body perception, so that it would take a decade or even longer to reverse this perception. So this was me struggling with accepting my body for the way it looked throughout my teens and my early twenties. And I was never overweight and actually always doing some kind of sport. I was really lucky because my mom is a trained nutritionist and I could ask her anything about a healthy diet. At fifteen years old, I just had no idea that I would change my diet in a completely different direction and in that tough process learn to love myself the way I am. A perfectly imperfect human being who is beautiful the way she is – just like you are.
As I mentioned before, I was never overweight but still, I wasn’t satisfied or at ease with my body. There was a point in my life where I was gaining more than 10 kg while traveling in Australia for a few months. This was also the start of my transformation. When I came back, everything changed for me, I really had to start looking at myself in another painful way in order to gain love and compassion. As I started to lose the weight I gained from my time traveling I also started to get acne. And this was the time where I went from eating everything from meat to vegetables to implementing a low-fat, sugar-free and vegan diet. During this time I was really scared of food, and I never wanted to admit this to myself but this was the hard truth. I was scared of eating something that would make me look more ugly and this turned the hate that I felt towards myself even further. It was funny though because at that time I lost quite a few kilos and my hate towards my body completely shifted to hating my skin/face, which was by no means a solution for any of my problems.
I never thought that I would have to struggle with acne in my twenties. I always thought that it was revenge for my body because I wasn’t struggling with acne in my teens. But now I know that acne is my salvation, a true blessing that has helped me to find back to my true self and a start for healing my false perceptions that I had my entire self for years and years. I always thought that I was a confident and beautiful girl/woman, but I was only living behind a facade. Hiding behind makeup and friends, and as I grew up and was confronted with the „real“ life, this facade began to crumble, I no longer knew who I really was.
Today I am still struggling, I still have acne but I no longer fight against it. I accept it and learn to love it every day of my life. And as I let go and learn to trust that all is for my highest good and that all that comes up is here to be released and healed it gets easier to accept and show compassion for it. My face is healing for months now, really slowly with ups and downs but still, it’s healing. And I still need a long way to go and I am thankful for that journey in my life. I now trust that food is good for me, I learn to enjoy things that I had banned from my diet. Foods that I have declared as “unsafe” are now back in my diet. I still learn to love food and enjoy eating everything I decide that is good for me. What helped me a lot in that process is listening to my intuition and starting to eat more mindfully. I wrote an entire post about this topic, you can check it out here.
It took me three whole years until I finally started to love the way I look. I am still struggling because it is a process of learning and re-learning over time and through hardships. Every setback is a blessing as I learn to work with them even better every time around. You know that one step back is followed by two steps forward. I learned to appreciate every single win, even a moment in a day when I had a positive thought and felt really beautiful while looking in the mirror.
I never thought that letting go could help me gain back the trust that I can accomplish anything I want in a healthy and uncomplicated way.
You have the ability to heal yourself. You are the only one in charge of your body and mind. You can seek healing and treatment from outside but true healing always comes from within. With food and self-love, I found back to the truest version of me. I learned and still learn to reclaim my power with love and compassion for myself. These are the most powerful tools that all you possess. Trust that and start practicing it every day.
I worked out some tools and answered them with the following questions that I hope can help you along the way of self-love and healing:
What is self-love?
I think that self-love is a simple act of kindness towards yourself. A part of your soul entering your consciousness – oneness. You are one with your body. Self-love is meaning to trust in your own abilities and embracing life in its fullest form.
What does it mean to truly love my body?
When you embrace all aspects of your body. When you simply accept it as it is, in its own natural form. When you don’t feel hate or shame, only love, and understanding. Try to be grateful for the things your body does for you. Be thankful for little things you can only do with your body (which should not be too hard as we need our body for actually everything). Remember, you only have this body, and you better not take it for granted, take good care of it now.
What can I do to accept my body?
Take it with you on adventures, accept the way it works for you. Think of all the positive aspects it provides you with. You know that there is at least one positive aspect. Love it and nurture it, never take it for granted.
When does acceptance for my body get easier or manifests itself?
With simple shifts in your thinking patterns. The thing is that you manifest ALL the time. Which is also not so good, because also the negative manifest if you don’t watch out for it. Keep focusing on the positive thoughts and only good things come to you. Be a mirror for the best and highest version of yourself. Try to imagine and day-dream how you love and accept your body. Catch the feeling you feel while doing that. Keep holding onto this feeling until it manifests, because you are the creator of your own reality. Love your body unconditionally and it will love you back.
How can I release fear of food?
Eat it and feel good now. When you want to make a change and decide to live another way, maybe change your diet or when you decide to omit a certain kind of food for a period of time. At first, it works out really well, but after some time we like to have at least a bite of this food. But you get so scared of the impact that it will have on your body. You forget that you are so fixated on this certain food, that no matter what you do, eat it or not you already manifested the negative outcome in our mind. There is no way that you can implement a healthy relationship with this food. Because you lost trust and hope, you are confused about what to do. There really is one simple answer to that: Eat and feel good now. Trust that you can eat everything. Feel good. If you feel bad about this certain kind of food, then reconsider. Try to think about it again and if it feels better, then and only then you can eat it. Give it time and really try to listen to your intuition. It will only guide you to your highest good, it won’t ever tell you to over-eat something that is not good for your body or have anything that harms it. This takes time but you learn along the way to trust it. Maybe this post about following your intuition might help you to learn to listen and trust yourself. Because self-love and intuition kind of stick together. Check it out here.
Connecting with your body in a conscious way can help the process of self-love.
Yoga, for instance, has helped me connect my body and mind. I think that any kinds of sports help you with that. Only when you challenge your body even a little bit you realize how great and strong it is. How amazing your body works and how many great things it can do. Acknowledge the many possibilities you can have if you reach a positive awareness of your body. When I do yoga, I connect my mind directly to my body. They work in perfect unison. If I am not really there, my balance and strength get out of balance and I am no longer capable of doing this practice 100%. After every yoga session, I am grateful and amazed at what my body and I have accomplished. I am grateful for the ups and downs. This nurtures the love I feel for myself and my body. I think this goes for any kind of sport that you enjoy to practice!
I hope this post could help you understand this topic a little bit better and that my story and the questions inspire you to start the journey of slef-love and acceptance. You know you can reach a life you desire, a life where you show compassion and love for yourself every day. Self-love is the key to everything.
Always remember: Be kind to yourself, because you deserve it.
Much love, Natascha
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