How to Feel Good about Your Body: A Journey Within


Jessica had always struggled with her weight, and her father’s hurtful comments about her body stung. He would call her “chubby” and make jokes that made her feel bad about herself. She began to criticize herself like he did, and she started to believe that she wasn’t good enough because of her size. As a single woman trying to find a partner, Jessica often worried about what men would think of her body.

One day, Jessica went on a dinner date with a man she met online. She was excited to meet him, but her hopes shattered when he said, “You know, you’d be even prettier if you lost a few pounds.” Jessica felt crushed. She ended the date early, went home, and cried herself to sleep.

For a while, Jessica felt down about herself. She ate comfort food and avoided going out. But as time passed, she started to think more about her experiences. She realized that she had been facing discrimination about her body her whole life, from her father’s comments to the hurtful words from her date.

Challenging the negative ways you see yourself can be difficult, especially when it comes to weight and body image. Weight discrimination is pervasive in our society, and it can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health and self-esteem. From an early age, we are bombarded with messages about how the “ideal” body should look, and those who don’t fit that mold often face ridicule, shame, and discrimination. It’s not surprising that so many women think, “I don’t like my body.” As women age, we see idealized images of thin, young women and promises of eternal youth if we buy their products. The resulting negative body image can lead to depression, social withdrawal, lower self-esteem and eating issues.

Negative views about weight are the biggest factor in causing distress and body dissatisfaction, even more than discrimination. How can we change them?

The body positivity movement and body neutrality are two approaches that aim to combat these harmful societal messages. Body positivity encourages people to love and appreciate their bodies. It challenges the idea that there is one “perfect” body type and celebrates self-acceptance.

Body neutrality, on the other hand, focuses on appreciating the body for what it can do, rather than how it looks. This approach encourages people to shift their focus away from appearance and instead value their body’s functionality, health, and well-being.

Both body positivity and body neutrality can be helpful tools for people who have experienced weight discrimination and body-shaming. They provide a framework for challenging negative self-talk and building a more positive relationship with your body. Don’t push yourself to adopt one or the other; only you can decide what works best for you.

Many people will want you to focus on health and weight loss. Of course, your health is important. But it can be hard to prioritize your health if you don’t begin to accept where you are right now.

Here are some tips for you who want to be happy with your body:

1-  Be kind to yourself.

Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would give to a close friend. Remember that everyone has things they don’t like about themselves, but these don’t define your worth as a person.

2-  Question media images.

Think about the pictures and messages you see in magazines, on TV, and online. Remember that they often show unrealistic and impossible standards of beauty because they’re trying to sell you something. Reality is different. Even models are touched up. Try to accept yourself the way you are.

3-  Focus on what your body can do.

Try to appreciate all the amazing things your body can do. Do activities that make you feel strong, capable, and confident, like exercise, dance, or yoga.

4-  Choose friends wisely.

Spend time with people who make you feel good: Find friends, family members, and media who encourage loving your body and yourself. Have conversations that make you feel good about who you are, instead of ones that make negative comments about bodies or compare yourself to others.

5-  Practice Self-Care.

Taking care of yourself reminds you that you deserve love and respect. Engage in regular self-care practices that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. This might include getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating healthy foods, managing your stress, and engaging in activities for joy and relaxation.

6-  Engage in Joyful Movement.

Exercise can be a powerful tool for enjoying and appreciating your body, but it’s important to approach it from a place of self-care rather than punishment. Instead of exercising to change your appearance, focus on activities that make you feel good. Whether it’s dancing, hiking, swimming, or practicing yoga, find forms of movement that you genuinely enjoy and that celebrate your body’s capabilities.

7-  Practice Gratitude.

Cultivating gratitude for your body can be a powerful way to shift your mindset to the positive. Take time each day to appreciate your body for all that it does for you, from enabling you to breathe and move to allowing you to experience pleasure and connection with others. Keep a gratitude journal and write down three things you appreciate about your body each day.

8-  Ask for help if you need it.

If you’re struggling with feeling bad about your body or unhealthy eating habits, don’t be scared to talk to a therapist or counselor who can help guide and support you as you work on accepting yourself.

Bottom Line

It’s important for women to understand that how much they’re worth isn’t about how they look or what others think of their bodies. Remember, learning to love your body and to love yourself takes time. It also means questioning the ideas about what’s considered beautiful that you’ve learned over the years.

Be patient, celebrate the things that make you special, and know that you deserve love and respect. By doing these things and surrounding yourself with positivity, you can create a life where you feel more confident, happy, and true to yourself.

This journey will serve you well in all aspects of your life, including dating. Embrace your unique beauty, celebrate your body, and know that you are inherently worthy of love and respect, just as you are.

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  • Tina says:

    Hi, I used to be a size 3 and then after kids I gained and just kept gaining now I’m a size 22 last I checked. I’m so very unhappy with the way I look there are times I don’t want to get out of bed. I mean what’s the sense right? I’ve had family say rude remarks to me especially a sister that always has been rude. I just want to lose weight, get healthy and feel better about me! I’m miserable 😢

  • Tina says:

    Hi, I used to be a size 3 and then after kids I gained and just kept gaining now I’m a size 22 last I checked. I’m so very unhappy with the way I look there are times I don’t want to get out of bed. I mean what’s the sense right? I’ve had family say rude remarks to me especially a sister that always has been rude. I just want to lose weight, get healthy and feel better about me! I’m miserable 😢

    • Dr. Susan says:

      Hi Tina,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Accepting where you are in life isn’t always easy, is it?

      The thing is, it’s pretty hard to start changing your situation until you can accept it.

      If you don’t want to get out of bed, it makes me concerned that you might also be depressed.

      Depression can make the weight loss journey even harder.

      It’s a good idea for you to consider making your situation easier by getting some help.

      One good thing about COVID-19 is the availability of online help for these kinds of problems.

      A lot of insurance companies wouldn’t cover these types of online services before and now they do.

      Even without insurance, you can get some help.

      Here’s some info on how to find someone to help you.

      Congratulations for taking that first step toward changing your life!

      Please keep us posted on your progress.

      Dr. Susan

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