Fall in Love with Your Body

By: Melissa Motyka

People will tell you that learning to love your body is a journey with no end date. I know this to be true, because I’ve been navigating this path for seven years. I also know that there are times when speaking negatively about your body comes more naturally than embracing what you’ve been blessed with inside and out. It can be a messy and emotional inner battle to look in the mirror or pull on a pair of tight jeans and say, “I accept my body today.”

But the thing with falling in love with your body is this: body-love has no social-media-fitness-model requirement. It doesn’t ask you to spend hours in the gym, or to perfectly plan each meal. It doesn’t ask you to punish yourself for what your body is or isn’t. All it asks is that you accept your body for all the beautiful things it does for you everyday, and to show it the love it deserves in return.

Let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief, shall we?

photo: Rodolfo Sanches Carvalho

photo: Rodolfo Sanches Carvalho

If you’re on a similar journey, I want you to know that your body is so deserving of your love – just as it is, right now. Not when you attain a sick-pack. Not when you think you look “good enough.” Right now.

How you’ll fall in love with your body will be so unique and personal to you. But here are four ways to practice loving the body you’ve got to help you get there.

1.    Acknowledge the beauty and strength of your whole body

It’s easy to get caught up in the hating game when it comes to our bodies. But I challenge you to think about the true strength of your body today - apart from how you think it looks.

Each part of your body serves a purpose, sustains you, carries you from place to place. How amazing is that? It is constantly working to protect you, feed you, heal you, and strengthen you to its best ability. Your body is your home, and it’s the most beautiful one you will ever own. Isn’t that an incredible thought?

2.    Create your own body-love mantra

On days when I’m having a harder time embracing my body, I repeat a mantra to myself. It’s something along the lines of “My body is healthy and strong and it is so good to me.” This helps me remember how wonderful and tough and resilient my body is. It reminds me that my body is working so hard for me. It reminds me of my progress, both physical and mental. Create a few body-love mantras, save them as a note in your phone, and read them on tough days.

3. Be more forgiving

When I started my health and body-love journey, I thought that I could only be happy with my body when I was eating perfectly and working out on a tight schedule. The thing with that kind of mindset is it doesn’t allow room for flexibility, life, or forgiveness. My advice for a happy mind and body? Eat the cake and enjoy it without guilt. Be okay with missing a workout if it means more time spent with family. Take a vacation and let the great outdoors be your gym - or just enjoy your time away lounging.

4. Eat and move in ways that make you feel good

There are so many “quick-fix” diets and workout regimens out there and the truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.

The best thing you can do to fall in love with your body is to eat and move in ways that feel good for you. Maybe it’s yoga a couple times a week and a plant-based diet. Maybe it’s a walk at lunch while you check your emails or listen to a podcast. Maybe it includes pizza with your person every Friday night. Whatever it is, take the pressure off having “the perfect body” and do the things that actually make your body feel its best.  

I can’t promise that the road to falling in love with your body will be an easy one. But one thing I can promise? You and your body are absolutely worthy of that love - right now, just as you are.

Melissa is a writer and lifestyle photographer from Toronto. Some of her favourite things include traveling, hiking, eating breakfast for dinner, and cuddling her cats Phoenix and Nova.