Words by: Allie Bloom (she/her) @avocado_allie
I vividly remember sitting in front of my bathroom mirror at the age of 10, squeezing my belly, crying, hoping that if I squeezed hard enough it would somehow disappear.
When someone DMs me and asks “Allie, how did you get so confident?” I always tell them it was a long journey that did not happen overnight.I struggled with my self image and hatred towards my body for many years. I grew up in the 90s, reading J-14 magazines and idealizing what was deemed as the “perfect body” at the time. I longed to look like Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera.
I dreamed of how great life would be if I could just be thin.
I didn’t wake up one day and miraculously find body acceptance. It was a long process of coming to peace within myself, making efforts towards compassion, self love, and true acceptance.
The truth is, spending time hoping to be something or someone other than who we are is exhausting. Thinking ahead to the future about how you hope to look and thinking back to the past and idealizing how you used to look takes time away from the present moment.
Being in the present moment and simply just being: that is freedom. Freedom from all of the hateful self talk. Freedom from the “what ifs”. It is so incredibly liberating.
Whether or not you plan on changing something about your appearance, that doesn’t matter. A path to body acceptance starts with simply acknowledging your body exactly how it is today, in this very moment. Body acceptance is about being honest with yourself. That means on days where you maybe don’t feel comfortable in your body, simply acknowledging it. Rather than placing a “good” or “bad” label on that feeling, just let your body be. It is just a body.
Now, body acceptance can look different for everyone and this is just my personal interpretation. I am not here to tell you definitively what body acceptance is, I will leave it up to you to make that decision for yourself.
I will, however, share a few things that have played a large role in my body acceptance journey. Here are a few tips that I have found helpful:
Follow accounts of people who look like you
For me, seeing amazing creators loving themselves and embracing their imperfections was a huge part of my journey. To see someone who looked like me, it started to break down those inherent beliefs of the “ideal body type” I’ve held onto from childhood.
Start to normalize seeing other body types and ones that look like yours.
Have conversations with your body
It’s not uncommon for me to speak out loud to myself. If I'm not having a great body day I will literally speak out loud “I am not having a great body day” or “I don’t feel good in this outfit” whatever it is, saying it out loud gives me a chance to get it out of my head. Oftentimes I can move past that thought once I acknowledge it.
Other great options are to keep a journal, have an internal conversation with yourself, or having a section in your phone notepad for getting icky thoughts out.
Changing your self talk
Once you start having more conversations with your body, practice shifting the narrative.
For example, I have gained weight in the last year. It happens. I’m on medication and that was a side effect. Rather than having thoughts of “my body is bad” I have learned to shift my self talk to something like “My body has changed”. It is a fact, but there is no emotion attached to that statement. It is simply acceptance.
This takes time, but gets easier with practice and repetition.
This one might not be for everyone. But it has personally been the most impactful thing I have done to come to a place of acceptance.
Drawing yourself can be so liberating, and you don’t have to necessarily be an artist or even good at drawing.
By looking at yourself and drawing it, it give you the chance to see it for what it really is. This may sound scary to some, and that’s good! Overcoming the fear of seeing yourself is a good step towards accepting yourself without judgment.
Move and connect
In my times of hating my body the most, I would try to detach myself from it. I would not allow myself to look in the mirror and I would even be scared to touch it in the shower. Ignoring your body doesn’t make it go away.
I’m not saying to do an intense workout, unless that’s your thing. Rather, find small activities and ways of connecting more and being present with your body.
Some of my favorite activities include:
- Dancing around my room
- Caring for my plants
- Taking walks
- Restorative Yoga
Sometimes I like to lay on my floor and put my hands on my chest to just feel my heartbeat.
Treat your body with love and compassion.
Do something nice for yourself. Lately I’ve been spending more time on my skin care routine. Not even necessarily for the sake of having glowy skin, but to spend time being present with my body and treating it well. Doing something nice for it as a thank you.
Take a bubble bath! Maybe buy something that has been in your wishlist for a while! Anything that makes you feel good. You deserve to feel good and pamper yourself.
Add a few drops of Tonic to your bath to soothe and restore skin.
As I said before, this is just my personal interpretation and your understanding of what acceptance is may look completely different. However, it is my truest belief that everyone deserves to have peace and comfort within their body. Breaking down years of negative self-talk and questioning what we’ve been told by the media about how to feel about ourselves, it is not an easy task.
It can be done though, with love, compassion, and patience.
Allie Bloom is a Social Media Influencer, Life Drawing Model, Certified Yoga Instructor, and advocate for self love and body acceptance. She uses her platforms to break down traditional beauty standards, uplift others and in the process explore herself and what it means to truly love yourself.
Connect with Allie:
Momotaro Apotheca and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Momotaro Apotheca is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition.