How to Be Kind To Your Body

body kindness emotional health
Body kindness

Want to develop a better relationship with food and your body? Self kindness is key, and the good news is, you can learn it.

I spent many years of my life feeling uncomfortable in my skin. I picked holes in myself in the mirror, cringed when people took my photo and beat myself up for not being a size 10 – a lot.

When you feel that way, it’s quite difficult to be nice to yourself.

I know it's a bit chicken and egg, but an important skill to learn if you want to develop a better relationship your body and to feel at ease around food, is to start being kinder to yourself. 

There are so many industries profiting from women feeling bad about themselves that this can feel quite difficult. Self-compassion isn’t a trait that’s encouraged or that organisations can make money from.  Think about the derogatory words that diet culture encourages us to use about our bodies; 'flab', 'bloat', 'bulge'; and the hostile terms that are used to suggest how we should deal with it; 'fight' 'beat', 'battle'. All of this sets us up against our own flesh and becomes part of our internal dialogue.

The truth is, feeling shit about yourself is never going to inspire positive action.

Here’s the thing, you deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin. Your worth, relationships and human experience amount to so much more than your appearance, and the change starts with you.

Here are some great techniques that can support you in becoming a little kinder to yourself and to re-connect to your body:

  • Try writing a letter or journal notes to your body thanking it for the good things it’s done for you. “Dear Body, thank you for…
  • Avoid conversations with friends that get you drawn in to talking about how much weight you’ve gained or lost.
  • Practice getting better at looking at yourself in the mirror and saying kind things, or if you can’t stretch to kind, then just move to neutral. For example, shift from: ‘I hate my thighs’, to: ‘I’ve got thighs’.
  • Pay attention to your inner voice and question where the negative stuff is coming from. Practice talking back to it and challenging it.
  • Follow body kind/neutral folks online.

How do you feel about saying nice things to yourself? Do you feel comfortable about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

This article is part of a series of articles about things that can help you to escape diet culture and improve your relationship with food and your body, you can read the first article, “How to Quit Dieting Without Gaining Weight” here. The next installment will be about nourishing your cells and balancing blood sugars.