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body love

5 Simple Practices to Love Your Body, Harnessing the Psychology of Body Acceptance

GentlePaige ReohrComment

Cultivating body love is a way to find more body acceptance, improve body image, and learn how to be comfortable in your own skin.

Read on for 5 science-backed practices that will help you love your body better.

Cultivating body love is a way to find more body acceptance, improve body image, and learn how to be comfortable in your own skin.  #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #bodylove #wellness #gentleisthenewperfect #acceptance

Body love is simply about finding body acceptance, quieting the inner body bully, and truly being comfortable in your own skin.

Grounded in mindful body acceptance and compassion, it’s not about making excuses, giving up, or taking the easy road.

Instead, loving your body is about reframing the conversation about body image.

Flipping the script on the relationship you have with your body, the way you view it, and the ways you talk to yourself throughout the day.

Body love is about squelching the inner body bully, and finding a gentler, kinder, way to be.

Which, interestingly enough, will lead to more health, happiness, and overall well-being.

Not to mention more ease in reaching health goals.

To help you cultivate more body love, we’ve pulled together five research-based, science-backed practices that will help you love your body right now.

But first, a word of caution.

The act of cultivating body love is not about perfection or all-or-nothing thinking.

To practice body love you don’t need to love your body every second of every day.

You’re absolutely allowed to have bad days, or to indulge in occasional moments of negative self-talk moments.

The point isn’t perfection.

The point is to practice.

Practice and the brain changes.

Practice and your the relationship with your body will change.

So ditch perfectionism and all-or-nothing thinking, and let’s get to the practices.

To help you simply and easily get  started, we’ve put together a free, downloadable Simplified Guide to Love Your Body.

Download the Simplified Guide to Body Love

Simplified Guide to Body Love

Download the free guide for 5 practices to love your body.

    no spam, just love headed your way

    Now, are you ready get to the body love practices? Let’s make it happen!

    5 Science-Backed Practices for Body Love & Body Acceptance

    1 | Gratitude

    Practicing gratitude is an amplifier, meaning, it allows you to enjoy and see all the good, amazing things about your body.

    Intentionally practicing gratitude also increases mindfulness, which, over time, will allow you to appreciate all the good things about your body.

    What it is:

    A practice of noticing the good, in this case, as related to your body.

    What it’s not:

    Starting a gratitude practice doesn’t mean that you can’t have painful or negative thoughts or emotions, that you never have a bad day, or that you never complain.

    How to do it:

    Get specific. For example, find gratitude for the way your heart beats, the way your breath feels going in and out, the way your legs carry you from place to place.

    Once you train your brain to look for the specific, you’ll be amazing at the number of little ways you’ll find gratitude.

    Then write it down. Try starting a body gratitude journaling practice. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for each night. If 3 is too many, start with 1.

    More resources: Using Gratitude When Life Gets Messy tune in

    2. Forgiveness

    Practicing forgiveness is the act of consciously forgiving yourself for past behavior or actions.

    Allowing the past to be in the past, forgiveness means taking healthy responsibility for what’s happened, while creating space for new beginnings in the present moment.

    What it is:

    A practice of forgiving yourself for past behaviors, actions, or experiences related to your body.

    What it’s not:

    Releasing all personal responsibility--you can own your past choices without allowing them to determine your future.

    How to do it:

    Find a quiet space, focus on your breath, and slowly breathe in and out. Actively forgive yourself for whatever behavior or action you’ve been holding onto related to your body.

    More resources: How to Breathe for Body Love tune in

    3. Feel Factor

    Practicing the Feel Factor means reframing the relationship with your body from how it looks, to how it feels.

    What it is:

    Tuning into how your body feels, then engaging in activities that allow your body to feel good.

    What it’s not:

    Obsessing or chasing perfection.

    How to do it:

    Ask yourself this simple question: how does my body feel?

    Then make it specific: How does my body feel before, during, after.

    For example: how does my body feel before, during, and after the third cup of coffee? How does it feel before, during, and after this workout? Before, during, and after this meal?

    Keep asking, listening, and making adjustments. Allow this process to be iterative, creative, and experimental. The more you ask and listen, the more you’ll learn exactly what you need.

    More resources:

    How I Learned to Accept My Body tune in

    Cultivating body love is a way to find more body acceptance, improve body image, and learn how to be comfortable in your own skin.  #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #bodylove #wellness #gentleisthenewperfect #acceptance

    4. Embracing Your Human-ness

    Having compassion for yourself and your body comes with embracing your human-ness.

    As in, knowing that the human body is perfectly imperfect, ever-changing, and not meant to fit an impossible standard of perfection.

    What it is:

    Practicing self-compassion by embracing the ideas that human bodies are perfectly imperfect.

    What it’s not:

    The easy way out Showing yourself compassion isn’t going soft or giving up.

    How to do it:

    In moments of body bullying, embrace your human-ness. Know that human bodies are perfectly imperfect, and try to talk to yourself the way you would talk to a loved one.

    Flip the script: reframe the narrative to the way you would talk to a loved one. Be kind. Be on your own side.

    More resources:

    How to Cultivate Self-Compassion tune in

    5. Triggers and Inputs

    Start paying attention to body bullying triggers, and then work to change the inputs.

    What it it:

    Awareness of the inputs that set-off body bullying.

    What it’s not:

    Blaming others (the media, influencers, social media) for the way you feel about your own body.

    How to do it:

    Start paying attention to moments of body bullying and ask: What set this off? Was it putting on a piece of clothing that no longer fits? Scrolling social media? Watching tv?

    Then work on changing the inputs. Change the things you can control. For example: Donate the clothing item that no longer fits. Follow people who inspire you in ways other than their bodies. Watch different shows. You have a lot of choice when it comes to what you consume. Use it.

    Resources:

    How to Nurture Self-Love in the Age of Digital Media tune in

    Start  implementing these practice today with the free, downloadable guide on Practices for Body Love and Body Acceptance.

    Download the Simplified Guide to Body Love

    How I'm Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season

    GentlePaige ReohrComment
    How I'm Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season. Say no to body shaming and yes to enjoying the present moment. #realfoodwholelife #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #bodylove #compassion

    How I'm Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season

    1 | Saying No

    No to body shaming, to self-loathing, to never ending self-criticism.

    No to working late and email notifications.

    No to living on social media instead of real life, and no the 24-hour news cycle.

    No to regrets.

    2 | And Also Saying Yes

    Yes to slowing down, to staying up late, to breaking the rules.

    Yes to backyard picnics, outdoor concerts, staycations, and road-trips.

    Yes to present, to today, to this moment, to right now.

    3 | Getting in the Pool

    I’m getting ready for swimsuit season by putting my swimsuit on.

    Getting in the pool.

    Running through the sprinkler.

    Soaking up the sun.

    4 | Being in the Picture

    This summer I will be in the picture.

    With my daughter and my husband during this beautifully, perfectly imperfect time in our lives.

    And when looking back at the pictures I want to say: “Look at how happy we were. How much fun we had. “

    “How young I was.”

    “How beautiful I was, without even knowing it.”

    Except, scratch that.

    Let’s change that to, “How grateful I was.”

    “How beautiful my life was, and I knew it at the time.”

    “How grateful I was for my strong body and the love I gave so generously to myself and to those precious people in the pictures.”

    5 | Savoring More

    How am I getting ready for swimsuit season?

    By savoring the season.

    Farmer’s market bounty.

    Snap peas from the garden.

    Hikes in the mountains.

    Juicy slices of watermelon.

    Ice cream cones with my girl, chocolate dripping down our arms.

    Bike rides around the river.

    Fresh peaches baked with vanilla and cinnamon.

    Rosé in the backyard.

    Marshmallows around the fire-pit.

    I want it all, and I want to savor every single last bit.

    6 | Leaning into the Mess

    Summer gets messy.

    Board game pieces and art supplies, shoes piled around the front door (why can’t anyone put their shoes away?!?), mud tracked through the house, popsicle wrappers strewn across the yard (why can’t anyone throw their wrappers away?!?)

    Dirt around ankles and under fingernails at the campground, a car full of camping and sports equipment.

    This summer?

    This summer I’m leaning into the mess for all its worth.

    7 | Practicing Gentle

    This.

    This right here is my swimsuit-ready plan.

    Practice gentle.

    Be kind.

    Let it go

    Forget about perfect.

    Because right here, right now?

    This is as perfect as it gets.

    Grab the Simplified Guide to Body Love

    5 simple practices to love your body better. So much goodness, totally free!

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    Download the free guide for 5 practices to love your body.

      no spam, just love headed your way

      pin this post for later or share it with a friend!

      How I'm Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season. Say no to body shaming and yes to enjoying the present moment. #realfoodwholelife #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #bodylove #compassion

      How Yoga Teacher Training Helped me Ditch Perfectionism

      GentlePaige Reohr2 Comments
      How yoga teacher training helped me ditcher perfectionism and taught me that I am enough. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #gentleisthenewperfect #selflove #selfcare #healthy #wellness

      How Yoga Teacher Training Helped me Ditch Perfectionism

      Part I

      About 2 months ago I took a deep breath, grabbed a pencil, and began filling out an application to take part in a 200 hour yoga teacher training.

      Hands shaking and heart racing, I wrote answers to the standard questions.

      Name. Age. Number of years practicing yoga. Turned the page.

      How yoga teacher training helped me ditcher perfectionism and taught me that I am enough. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #gentleisthenewperfect #selflove #selfcare #healthy #wellness

      Stopped and stared at the medical history questions.

      Do you have physical injuries or illness?

      Umm, how much time do you have?

      Autoimmune disease. Lower back pain. Separated abdominals. Bad ankle. Ovarian cysts. Endometriosis.

      Should I stop now?

      Are you trying to get pregnant? Yes.

      Are you pregnant? No (but thanks for bringing it up).

      I put my pencil down.

      Looked again at my answers--my body on paper.

      Is this a yoga body?

      Tears fell onto the words, smearing the answers.

      So I folded it up, tucked it away. Went outside. Took some deep breaths.

      Is this a yoga body?

      Yes. This is me. My right now body.

      I can be sick and healing, grateful and shattered.

      I can show up.

      Broken in places, yet still whole.

      Okay, then.

      Time to answer the the questions.

      Slip the application into a pristine manila folder.

      Walk to the front desk. Hand it over.

      Just me. As is. Ready to start.

      Part II

      I got the email.

      You’re in. Welcome to yoga teacher training. Get ready. We start soon.

      Super. Perfect. Wonderful. Wait. WHAT AM I DOING???

      More specifically, have I lost my mind?

      Ah, there you are fear. I see you.

      Suddenly the image of every person I imagine awaiting me at teacher training clouds my brain.

      Probably twenty-something. Fantastically strong. Impossibly bendy.

      And just this vision of a studio full of Instaperfect yogis stops me cold.

      I can’t do a handstand to save my life and haven’t mastered chaturanga pushup.

      What if I don’t fit in? What if I’m not enough?

      Gotcha. The familiar soul-crushing, dream-killing combo. Fear + not enough.

      But this time the desire to become a student and teacher outweighs the fear.

      The thoughts don’t define me. They aren’t me.

      So I walk in. Simile. Say hello. Deep breath. Heart open.

      Enough in body. Enough in mind.

      Ready for now. Ready for what’s next.

      Part III

      Looking ahead it all seems impossible. There is no way. I can’t. Definitely not.

      Week one of yoga teacher training and I’m shoulder deep in overwhelm + self-doubt.

      The only possible way forward: dig deep and hold onto the present moment.

      Don’t spend so much time looking ahead. Focus on now. Today. One thing at a time.

      Okay, then. Five poses. Cue the shapes. Deepen. Breath. Great. Got it. I can do this.

      But then, week two.

      Time to stand up and teach.

      In front of everyone.

      Nope. No thank you. Hard pass.

      I am freaking out.of.here.

      It takes all my willpower to stay put. To not to stand up and run.

      I don’t know how to do this yet. I’ll mess up. Make mistakes. In front of everyone.

      So, no. I’ll pass.

      Stay in this safe zone where not trying means not failing.

      But then they call on me and I stand up and something comes out. Not sure what. It was sort of a blackout experience.

      I sit back down.

      The feedback: you did just fine.

      But we couldn’t hear you.

      Where is your voice? Oh. My voice?

      It’s stuck under the fear. I know it’s there, though. Directly beneath the surface.

      I can feel it. Almost hear it.

      So I keep standing up and making mistakes and letting it go and discovering what it right there waiting.

      And what’s right here?

      It is so much better than perfect.

      Part IV

      Beginning feels like jumping into icy cold water.

      Breath catches. Gasping. Floundering. Flapping.

      Trying to figure out which way it up.

      But then, maybe, release.

      Find the air. Breath in. Breath out. Let go. Find the float.

      Halfway through yoga teacher and realizing I just need to float.

      And breathe.

      Give up perfect. Open up.

      Make a choice: a ) try to teach my 30 minute midterm perfectly--nail every cue, by the book, nothing missed; or b) simply go for it--bring my true self, make mistakes, leave things out, and oh that’s right, be vulnerable.

      B it is. So I show up. Really go for it.

      And midway through I realize--omg--I actually love.this.so.much.

      Every single word comes out with a giant smile because it occurs to me (late to the party, I know) that I’ve been missing the point.

      The perfect-seeking, thinking I need to look a certain way or bend a particular direction, fear of failure, all if it.

      That’s what was making the water cold.

      But now I realize it’s really just helping people connect with themselves and feel their breath and--of course--it’s not really about me.

      It’s about us.

      And the water is actually warm after all

      Part V: The End/The Beginning

      I went into yoga teacher training holding onto all that I’m not, clinging to the ways I don’t fit neatly into the box.

      You know this "yoga-box," right?

      Bendy, young, calm, thin, perfect, totally + completely zen.

      Which isn’t exactly me.

      So I decided I was only there to learn.

      Independent observer, taking in the information, risking nothing.

      But, I also committed to the practice and to the work.

      Ten weeks. Practice. Do the work.

      And guess what?

      I still can’t do a chaturanga pushup. Or a handstand.

      I’m still six feet tall, prefer yoga pants over jeans, and make awkward jokes when I'm nervous.

      But also.

      But also I’m a yoga teacher.

      Or rather, I’m exactly who I’ve always been--teacher, storyteller, awkward joke-teller.

      After all of this I fully understand that there isn’t a box, or if there is, I don’t need to squeeze my way into it.

      So maybe you need to hear this today, if you’re feeling less-than, not-enough, or staying safe because you've bought into this idea, too, yoga or otherwise: there is no box.

      Just you.

      As you are.

      And you are right where you need to be.

      You know exactly where you’re going.

      Trust that you are enough.

      #gentleisthenewperfect


      How yoga teacher training helped me ditcher perfectionism and taught me that I am enough. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #gentleisthenewperfect #selflove #selfcare #healthy #wellness

      How Looking at My Body Through My Daughter's Eyes Changed Everything

      GentlePaige ReohrComment

      This morning as we as we were getting dressed she stopped me.

      “I want to hug my favorite belly,” she says.

      This has been a thing, ever since she was old enough to talk.

      Mama’s belly.

      My favorite belly.

      How looking at my body through my daughter's eyes changed everything. #realfoodwholelife #selflove #bodypositive #feelgoodeffect #gentleisthenewperfect #practicegentle #bodylove #acceptance #selflove

      She comes over, wraps her tiny arms around my waist, nestles her head into my midsection.

      “I love this big belly,” she whispers, so softly I can barely make out the words.

      She whispers without judgement, without knowledge that big can sometimes mean bad.

      Ugly.

      Shameful, even.

      To her my belly is simply big in comparison to hers.

      “This is my favorite part of your body, mama,” she says gazing up.

      “Oh?” I respond. “Why is that?”

      “Without this belly I wouldn’t be here. It was my home, and I love it,” she states.

      Matter of fact.

      As simple as that.

      I look down, seeing through her eyes.

      The stretch marks.

      The subtle roundness.

      The fact that I haven’t achieved the elusive (and highly prized) flat-abs-post-baby, even though my baby is almost 6.

      The autoimmune disease that brews just beneath the surface.

      The miscarriages and cysts and infertility.

      She sees none of it.

      And looking down I can let that all go, too.

      To see a body that carries battle scars and struggle, but also beauty and love.

      Real, pure, unadulterated love.

      Thank you my girl.

      Thank you belly.

      You’re my favorite, too.

      Grab the Simplified Guide to Body Love

      5 simple practices to love your body better. Download it now for free!

      Simplified Guide to Body Love

      Download the free guide for 5 practices to love your body.

        no spam, just love headed your way


        How looking at my body through my daughter's eyes changed everything. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentleisthenewperfect #practicegentle #bodylove #acceptance #selflove