Sure, it’s easy for movie stars and athletes to look in the mirror naked and think, “I look goooood.” But what about for the rest of us mortals?
One thing I know for sure is that you do not need the perfect body in order to love yourself naked.
Yes, there are real live, non-perfect people that love who—and what—they see when they look in the mirror. It is possible for you too. You can start practicing today with the body you already have.
Here are five things that people who love themselves naked do differently.
What Body-Confident People Do Differently
1. They appreciate the little things.
Your body is your one and only vehicle through this amazing life. Not only does it work pretty darn well without you having to do too much, but your body also is the vessel through which you:
- see a spectacular sunset while sitting next to the one you love
- feel the warmth and strength of your best friend’s hug
- taste the exquisite smoothness of dark chocolate with a sip of red wine on a romantic date night
- hear the sound of your child’s laughter
- smell Mom’s freshly baked cookies
If you take the time to notice and appreciate the little things, how can you not appreciate the miraculous body that brought them to you?
2. They think about death.
Not in a morbid sort of way, but in a “Live life to the fullest!” sort of way. Listen, one day you will die and so will I. It can be scary to think about. So we avoid it.
On the other hand, death can be a great motivator and a wonderful source of freedom.
When you reach your death bed, will you look back and think, “I wish I had obsessed about my weight some more”? Or will you think, “I wish I had just stopped worrying about my body and enjoyed swimming at the beach with my kids”?
Life is much too important to miss it because you couldn’t see past your dress size.
3. They listen.
Many of us have tried to cultivate our listening skills when it comes to conversations with other people. But people who love themselves naked take the time to listen to themselves. They listen to their body and their feelings.
Our bodies have a unique language: we call them emotions. In our busy, hectic lives, it is so easy to tune out and numb the messages our bodies send us.
The pathway back to ourselves is to patiently, curiously listen to what our bodies are trying to say when we feel stressed, lonely, excited, or bored. We can learn to look for the hidden messages in our feelings.
4. They forgive themselves.
Forgiveness can be a tough nut to crack. Often, the #1 hardest person to forgive is the one in the mirror.
We are tough on ourselves because we mistakenly think that a harsh lashing will be the motivation we need to do better the next time.
On the contrary, allowing ourselves to be flawed, imperfect humans gives us the hope and motivation to try again.
Dr. Kelly McGonigal, best-selling author of The Willpower Instinct, found that dieters who were encouraged to forgive themselves after a binge were less likely to overeat later. People who practice self-compassion rebound faster and feel more optimistic about their efforts.
We all mess up sometimes. Forgiving yourself is the key to getting up, dusting yourself off, and moving forward towards accepting that person in the mirror.
5. They know that perfection is a myth, but awesome is a practice.
We are all too familiar with the image of the ideal body that we “should” have. How could we not be? It is on every advertisement from clothing to food to cosmetics. The underlying message is, “You are not ok as you are. Therefore, you are not happy. But you can become happy if you will just buy our product.”
This is an illusion. Even if you buy the product, or lose the weight, or look just like the model in the commercial, you will still be imperfect. It is part of the owner’s manual that comes with being a human.
People who love themselves naked don’t strive for an ideal that is outside of them. Instead, they look within and find ways to cultivate and maximize the gifts that are unique to them.
We each have a unique light to shine on this world. We practice being and creating awesome when we lean in to our own individual beauty.
What is one practice that you use to love yourself naked? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.
Lizzie Merritt, M.Ed. uses her experience as a former science teacher and a fitness professional to write about weight loss psychology and positive psychology on her blog. She is the author of 7 Ways to Willpower (available on Amazon). You can click here to get your copy of her FREE special report, 23 Simple Weight Loss Hacks.
Photo by Ivanna.H