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  • Writer's pictureBernadine Otto

How do I start loving myself?

‘’When you love yourself, life loves you back’’- Unknown

I struggled with loving myself for years, when we are born, we are loved, people and your parents telling you how loved you are. As a little girl you don't even think about loving yourself. But as you grow older, you get lots of pressure, you meet people who make you feel not loved and it makes you miserable, or you go through some sort of trauma. A few years ago, I was struggling to love myself, just looking at myself in the mirror was a task that I did not like doing. For many years I struggled to even say the words. I would look at people and think do they love themselves? How do they get to that point in their lives?

So, I set on a mission. I started to reach out to all women, by asking them why or not they love themselves. 80% of women told me that they hate the way they look, some told me how they hate their bodies, their hair, their eyes, and the list goes on. And that they are constantly on a diet. Losing and picking it up again. 20% of women told me that they love everything about themselves. So why does some women love themselves and some do not.

Is it really that simple? Today the media is the highest influencer on body image. Women comparing themselves with other women and images on social media, in magazines and online. Women with a negative body image finds that it impacts their everyday lives. Many women avoid wearing a variety of clothing and use clothing to hide their bodies. For example, many women will wear big baggy sweatshirts or sweatpants to avoid showing their stomach. Or wearing long pants to avoid showing their legs.

Most women also avoid activities to protect themselves from negative body image. Many of my clients have not gone to a swimming pool for in a long time. I always tell my clients to face their fears and start loving their bodies while working towards the body they want and slowly embrace their bodies.

Loving ourselves is so important. If you hate your body and tell it constantly, then it will not want to work with you to lose weight.

Not to mention that you will be exhausted from this constant battle with yourself. Showing love and acceptance to your body has energizing effects.

It enables it to work with you to create a slimmer, happier you. Instead of saying, I don't respect or love my body, say this instead: I love and respect my body!

So many of us hides from us, and we do not know who we are. It is not selfish to love ourselves, when we start loving ourselves, we will see amazing results in ourselves, relationships and with other people. Loving yourself is necessary before you can authentically offer love to someone else. Loving yourself and accepting yourself begins with never criticizing yourself for anything. I call loving ourselves the miracle cure. When we start loving ourselves magic starts to happen in our heart, body, and our soul.

Here is a few ways on how you can start loving yourself a little bit each day.

- Start to write 3 things down what you love about yourself.

- Affirm that your body is perfect just the way it is. Take sticky notes and write a positive affirmation on each one and paste it all over your house.

- Think of your body as a tool. What 3 things does your body do for you each day?

- Think back at a time when you loved and enjoyed your body. What feelings comes up?

- Show gratitude towards your body. Write down one thing that you are grateful for .

- Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat this affirmation: I love myself, I love myself. Even if you don't think so, if you do this a few times it will get easier.

Remember loving our bodies/ourselves is not just a switch that you put on and off. Every small effort that you make everyday will get you closer into loving your body.

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