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How Can I Make Peace with My Body?

Jessica Pontis, LCSW

We all know that Chicago weather in the spring can be a roller coaster, some days it’s beautiful and sunny and the next day it’s snowing. While it may be inconsistent now, we can all recognize that warmer weather is just around the corner. While some look forward to the summer months, it can be anxiety-provoking for those who may be uncomfortable or self-conscious about their bodies. For those who struggle with body-image issues, it can be a constant battle to work towards looking at ourselves in a more positive light. Everyone deserves to feel confident and comfortable with themselves, so let’s look at some ways we can work to build a better relationship with our bodies and our self-image.  

Understand Happiness Isn’t Achieved by Looking a Certain Way

What’s the motivation behind wanting to look different? If you ask yourself this question and the answer is to be happier, take a moment to evaluate that. While it’s important to acknowledge that fat bodies are treated very differently than thin bodies, and fatphobia can impact the access that fat people have to resources, this is a macro-level issue that needs to be addressed. Thin bodies are not more worthy of happiness just because they are thin. 

Explore How You Judge Other People’s Bodies

While we are critical of our own bodies, it’s also not uncommon for us to be critical of others’ bodies as well, after all, we have been fed the idea that thin is better. If you find that you are judgmental of others appearance, call into question where that comes from, and work towards acceptance of others as much as acceptance for yourself.  

Be Mindful of Social Media

If you open your Instagram and the only thing you see is people who are selling workouts or diets aimed at blasting belly fat, perhaps it’s time for a bit of a change. If there are social media accounts that don’t work to uplift you then I encourage you to rid them from your life. Follow spaces and influencers who are of similar size and shape to you, who are proud of how they look and encourage you to be proud of your body as well.  

Explore Your Body as It Is Now

When we feel uncomfortable in our skin sometimes we may try and avoid interacting with our body all together. I encourage you to do the opposite. Familiarize yourself with your body, how it feels when we do something pleasurable, learn what makes your body feel good and let it have that.  

Connect With Your Sensuality

Sometimes we think or feel that to be sexy or desirable we need look a specific way, and if we don’t look that way, we may deny ourselves physical intimacy and satisfaction. Indulging is self-pleasure and masturbating is an excellent way to connect with our body and relearn how awesome our bodies can be, no matter how it looks.  

Thank Your Body for What It Does for You

A lot of the time we struggle with body positivity more than body neutrality, which is working to not put any judgment on our bodies and simply work to accept it for what it is. Thanking your body for what it does for you is a way of practicing body neutrality. Thank your stomach for letting you enjoy delicious foods, thank your legs for carrying you through the day, thank your arms for the way they can embrace others.  

The journey of learning to love our bodies can be difficult and these tips are just scratching the surface, but if you’re interested in working with someone to help you through this process, or would like to connect with someone to walk with you on this journey reach out to one of the licensed therapists with Symmetry Counseling. Our Chicago counselors are here to help. You can reach out to us online, or by calling us at (312) 578-9990 to set up an appointment for therapy in Chicago, Arizona, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

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