The Body Love Timeline

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I believe that learning to love your body is vital.

I believe that learning to love your body – no matter what that body looks like, feels like, has done, will do, or won’t do – can help you lead a more fulfilling life.

I believe that learning to love your body through acceptance and patience, understanding and tenderness, can open you up to a world of opportunities and joy.

But I don’t believe that learning to love your body is easy or quick or a process that can be accelerated. It can take a long time. A really, frustratingly long time. It can take years or decades. It might even take most of your lifetime.

And there will be setbacks. You will meet people and have experiences that make your quest to love your body tougher and longer. You will lapse into loathing, you will have errant angry thoughts, you will struggle.

And that is perfectly, 100% fine. Learning to love your body is not a race. It is not a task that can be performed by two people in precisely the same way. And it is not a do-it-and-be-done kind of deal. It’s a constant curve, a continuum of experiences and feelings, a gradual process. It is utterly unreasonable to set yourself to the task and then beat yourself up for failing to meet arbitrary deadlines or hit imaginary benchmarks.

You don’t have to feel awesome every day. You don’t have to rid your brain of every negative thought. You don’t have to love every inch of your body every single moment, and you don’t have to hurry.

The body love timeline is different for every person. Allow yours to unfold as it will.

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  • Thanks for reminding us that no one is perfect and that one bad day (or a week full) is not impossible to come back from. This article is a fantastic reminder that the road to loving and appreciating one’s self is a lifelong process.

  • Carol

    I was just thinking this yesterday. In the same way that your body can’t recover from a wound before it’s ready to, your mind and spirit can’t heal from negative body image and self-talk overnight. It’s not even a straightforward or linear process, the way recovering from a flesh wound might be. Some days you may feel great, and the next day, you’ll be triggered and you’ll be plagued by body hatred again. The only thing that works for me is to consistently try to make choices that honor and value my body (exercising, eating healthy food, wearing attractive clothes) and forgive, and empathize, with myself when I don’t make those choices. It also helps to read blogs like Already Pretty and see images of beautiful, confident women who are being honest about both their beauty and their doubts and worries. Thanks, Sally, for what you do!

    • Sal

      Rock ON, Carol!

  • Rebecca

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been going through a rather trying time with my body lately and I really needed this reminder. Thank you again!

  • Anne

    Thank you Sally. I’m having tendonitis issues in my knees, joint issues in my hips, and now I have the flu. I’m not loving the way my body is treating me lately. My body is starting to feel like that two year old that you nurture and love who repays you with tantrums and melt downs. This too shall pass? I’m trying to look at this flu thing as a big time out.

  • This is SUCH an crucial component of working on loving oneself. Here we are trying to resist the urge to want to be PERFECT (perfect body, skin, job, hair, face, relationships, car) all the time, and then when we still have hang ups, we get mad at ourselves all over again for not loving our bodies/selves PERFECTLY.

    Can we just collectively give ourselves a break, please? The striving for self love is what’s important.

  • What a beautiful post. May I share it on my blog Feminist Dating? Of course I would credit you and provide a link to your blog!
    http://feministdating.wordpress.com/

    xxx

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  • Thank you for sharing this post! Sometimes, young women and men struggling with body image acceptance get frustrated at themselves because they haven’t made progress or reached the point that they would like. This post puts it all into perspective..that you can love your body on your own timeline. Every inch, every step, every leap counts on the path to finally accepting who you are. Thanks for sharing!