"I'm not attractive to my husband,"

she said. To which I asked, “did he tell you this?”

“Well, no. But I can tell. I’m heavier than when we met, I’ve had a baby…I hate the way my body looks now.”

After a few minutes of honest conversation we revealed that she was no longer attractive to herself. Her own eyes didn’t like what they saw - not those of her husband. In fact, her beloved had even affirmed her new, softer body. But none of that matters when you’re your own meal girl.

Body shame. Body insecurity. Body disapproval. Body hate.

These things extend far beyond the time we spend in front of the mirror. They extend to our confidence, to our self value, to our sex lives and to how (we think) other people see us.

And so often, our perceptions of how other people see us is nothing more than a projection of how we feel about ourselves.

So, how do you see yourself? Are you the hottest thing since sliced bread? Or are you doing your best to remain unseen, hiding behind an over-sized tunic?

Let’s be real. You don’t have to think you’re Beyonce, but if you want the people around you to respect you, love you, believe in you and have confidence in you, you have to be all of those things for yourself first.

And we SUCK AT THIS. Because:

  1. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to others - other people and/or other (younger) versions of ourselves.

  2. We look for confidence in external sources rather than searching for it internally.

  3. We confuse perception with reality. Just because I feel a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s true.

  4. We don’t know how to love (or even like) ourselves despite the fact that we’re not exactly where we want to be, failing to keep ourselves open to self-improvement opportunities.

So, what’s the solution?

I know I’m messed up, Nicole. What can I do about it!? For starters:

  1. For everything you want to change about your body, find one thing you’re grateful for. Not necessarily how something LOOKS but how it WORKS.

  2. Aim for body neutrality. Forget “loving yourself” right now. We are under enough pressure, the last thing we need is the pressure to learn how to love something we don’t even like looking at. It’s normal not to be feeling yourself all the time - lose that expectation. Aim for neutral.

  3. Realize that vanity is a luxury. There are more important things about you than how your skin hangs on your curves.

  4. Be kind to yourself. It’s perfectly OK to want to change your body but you will never succeed by hating it.

Is this something you can relate to? Something you’d like to learn more about? Something that flutters your heartstrings?

If so, I’d love to hear from you! Drop a comment below, shoot me an email, and simply say, “Yes!” I’m dreaming up a FREE body neutrality mini-course but before I fully invest in the process I want to make sure that this is something that feels worth your time and energy.

Does body neutrality sound like a step up from how you feel about yourself right now? If so, hit me up.

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.