You can love your body and still want to change it.

You can love your body and still want to change it.

Scroll through your Instagram newsfeed right now. How many captions are telling you to shrink and lose weight, get toned and build muscle, or on a totally other end of things, accept your flaws and your body how it is? We are constantly being told we aren’t enough and to either love your body as it is and accept that or be so extremely unhappy that a change must happen to achieve happiness.

Now, why can’t we love our bodies and still wish for change? Take me for example. I am confident with my body and physical appearance; however, I still feel like I can make changes and enhancements. I love how strong I feel right now, but I know I can get stronger!

For a long time, media was bombarding us with messaging saying that you can’t possibly be happy the way you are. The only way to be happy and satisfied was with change, and usually, that change came from getting smaller. To counteract that, I feel that we have now gone the opposite way. We are sending messaging out into the world saying that ‘you are enough’, ‘you are complete the way you are’, and to ‘accept and love your body’. Unfortunately, I don’t think that helps us any more than the original negative messaging. 

I know it won’t be the case for all, but by accepting your body it is almost as if you are throwing in the towel. I think we forget that loving our bodies and seeking change don’t have to be independent of one another but can rather work in conjunction. When you love your body, the changes that occur come from a healthy place of love rather than hate.

An exercise you can try at home is the following:

  • Identify what you love about your body and why.

  • Identify what you are unsatisfied with regarding your body and why.

  • Make an action plan to improve your relationship with those less loveable things. It may mean setting fitness goals, nutrition goals, or seeking professional advice and support to love your body a little more.

  • Remember that there is more to your physical attributes than appearance alone. Can you hold a plank? Or better yet can you carry your groceries or kids? Those are some awesome things too!

Everyone has a completely different experience and journey with their body. I am definitely not here to say yours is wrong but remember to not let social media influence that personal relationship you have with your own body too much. We only get one body to live in so let’s take care and love the heck out of it!

Yours in self-discovery,