Welcome to my body love series epi: 1 -“How can I love myself when I don’t like the way I look”?
I remember being 16 when I truly did not like anything about myself, I came across so many youtube videos that talked about self-love,
Women in videos talk and share why self-love is important, and we should just feel beautiful.
As a 16-year-old this was difficult for me to grasp,
I wondered, “How can I love myself when I don’t even like the way I look?”
and I know you must be thinking well loving yourself is not just about body
Yes, it is not, But it plays a huge part in your self-esteem and self-respect
Self-love is incomplete without self-respect and positive inner talk
The words you constantly think in your mind about yourself have a huge effect on your inner being
The treatment you are giving to yourself is not kind and is not a part of self-love
So to answer
Can you love yourself when you don’t like the way you look?
Yes, but keeping in mind that you do respect and stay kind to your body
You may not feel the most beautiful or perfect looking, which is fine
Body neutrality is equally important
You can still love yourself
But if you are constantly degrading yourself by saying things like
“I am not enough”
“I look ugly”
Then you cannot love yourself truly
In another way, you may practice self-love
But it will be an incomplete form of self-love
Self-respect is a part of love, So for those wondering “How can I love myself when I don’t like the way I look?
You don’t necessarily have to be in love with how you look, but it is important to accept and have neutral feelings toward your looks
It is a part of you, and each part of your body plays an important function in your to live.
You need to respect and value your body as a part of loving yourself
Without it, Self-love has no value!
I have been through this phase and…
If I am being honest, at that time, I never thought there would be a day,
I would actually love myself without changing anything about myself and not seeing my presumed flaws as flaws
But I did!
Its been years, and I don’t feel the same way I did back then
If you are going through the phase of life as I did
Maybe, feeling insecure about your long nose, your height, body type, or some other features
I can totally feel you!
I have been there, and I am grateful that I can share with you through this post some ways that helped me love myself truly when I did not like the way I looked or changed any parts of my body!
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My Back story with Insecurity
I think it’s important to share my back story before I go into detail about ways that have helped me.
I remember I started feeling insecure around when I was 10-11, although, it was subconscious, I used to feel low and not confident in myself.
With time it started to get more serious.
I was insecure about everything from my nose, height, body, acne, and braces
Not to mention, all of this started somewhere when someone pointed out this as an issue one or more times
“Your nose is too big”
“You are so short”
“Why do you have so much acne?” and many more criticisms
The thing is, those words stay with you forever. I remember who and what they said to me, which even now, I have not forgotten
When I reached the age of 16, I became aware and realized for the first time that I am insecure and dealing with body image issues
I learned it through the internet and youtube videos where people talked about these issues openly
It was only after that, I started to work on small things to change myself
It was not until I reached 18 that I finally felt sick of feeling this way, always worrying about my looks and feeling underconfident
This feeling, after so many years, had now become burdensome
and I wanted to feel free from it
I wanted to enjoy my life without constantly worrying about how I looked. I wanted to feel confident as much as other people did and to love and respect myself and so
I started my self-love journey, and in about a year, everything changed
Now, I no longer feel this way, and I am so happy and content with how I look
Trust me, you can feel this too! Hence, in this Post, I will share with you everything!
Why do I feel like I don’t look good?
Before sharing the solution, I feel it is extremely important to dive into this feeling we often feel and the effect it has on our life.
There is no single person in this world who has not gone through this stage of not feeling good or not liking the way they look.
Even Angelina Jolie has said in an interview, she often feels insecure about how she looks.
It all goes down to society and how we were brought up
We all see models with thin, small, and sloppy noses, having skinny bodies or hourglass figures
And we compare them to our real life
With social media, things have gotten even more serious!
To summarize, these are the main reasons why we often feel insecure about looks
- body shaming
- Always comparing
- Social media perfectly edited pictures and filters
- Movies and shows that often make actors look flawless
And especially as women, we keep thinking, about how we look all the time.
By going through all these issues for years, our mind naturally feels like
we don’t look good
Or not as good as the person in this picture or this celebrity
It has built low self-esteem, this is why we naturally feel like people are constantly judging and thinking we don’t look
because we think, we don’t look good!
Self love and Body Image
Many things come under self-love apart from our body image, but it also has an important role in loving ourself
I remember when I did not like the way I looked, I used to use negative self-talk
Saying words like my nose looks so bad”
“I wish I was a little taller”
“Everybody must think I look bad”
“Nobody would want to be friends with me”
This negative self-talk was contributing to my
- low confidence ( not being able to stand confidently and talk to people)
- Constantly looking for ways to change my appearance
- Always belittling myself
- Lowering my self-respect by not standing up for myself when someone made fun because I too did not like the way I looked
These were just a few things that affected my life daily and one of the reasons I struggled to love myself too.
Self-love is incomplete without self-respect and positive inner talk, as I mentioned at the starting.
Our inner dialogue, the way we speak to ourselves and let others treat us the way they want, plays a huge part in self-love
If you constantly keep saying to yourself “I am not good looking”
You will let others make fun of you too
My point is, Both self-love and body image are connected.
So to love yourself, you need to change your perspective and behavior toward your body image.
If you are going through body image issues!
I will share some tips that helped me 🙂
How to love yourself when you don’t like the way you look- 11 things that helped me
1. Realizing my insecurity
The first important thing that opened my way toward starting my self-love journey, was realizing that I was insecure and going through body image issues.
I started feeling this way when I was 10, but nothing changed until I was 16, and I realized that I am going through insecurity and low self-esteem.
After learning about this, is when I started to learn more and find ways to overcome it.
Realize and accept your feelings
Be honest with yourself and become aware of how you feel
This is being vulnerable with yourself, which you may find challenging in the start but,
It is important because it will help you work towards loving yourself
2. Accepting How I look
Easier said than done
I know, but eventually, you need to accept how you look
And by that, I don’t mean- you should accept, the fact you don’t look good because that is not true
At the end of the day, You have to realize, that the beauty standard that is created is not real
and they change as the trend goes
Our body is not a trend
Back in the day, the skinny fit was a trend, everyone wanted to look skinny and wear low-rise jeans,
years later even that changed to hourglass thick figures, and now skinny fashion looks like it’s going to coming back.
Our body, as I said is not a fashion trend.
It plays a deeper role in our life for us to survive and function every day.
You cannot go around changing your body all the time because that’s what is trending.
It is not only toxic but too much
Accept how you are and embrace each part of your body
Changing my inner dialogue
Changing my inner dialogue was one of the most helpful ways that I learned to love myself and embrace how I look.
Even though my negative inner dialogue started when people pointed out a few features, or you say my “flaws”
But it got worse by me. As it is said, “nobody criticises us more than we criticise ourselves”
I used to constantly in my head affirm things and think all the time negatively.
Eventually, it was out of control and exactly what was contributing to my negative body image the most.
I struggled to love myself…
During the lockdown, I decided to practice positive affirmation and change the way I speak to myself and my body.
I would keep practicing affirmation saying to myself
“I love and accept my body as it is”
“I am beautiful”
“I love my nose”
“I am grateful for my body”
“I look pretty today”
Yes, in the beginning, it was pretty awkward and felt like a lie, But as I kept going with each word trying to feel each word as I speak
as Months passed, I did not even realize that so much had changed, I stopped criticising myself and feeling genuinely beautiful
Weirdly, there was a time when I looked at my nose and told my friend. I think my nose does not look bad at all, it’s pretty normal!”
This was a huge, like HUGE change in my mental health and self-love
Never, in the million years i had thought, that I could even feel this way about my nose
Trust me, as you will start to practice and make an effort in changing your inner dialogue and be more mindful of your words
The feeling that you don’t look good will fade away slowly…
Being kinder to myself
While the negative self-talk was one of the most contributing factors in not feeling good about how I look
There were many more small yet harsh things I did to myself
I needed to be kinder to myself, it is the first way to love yourself
Being kind to my body and everything else with it
There are few ways you can be kinder to yourself
- Practicing positive self-talk
- Embracing myself
- Hugging myself at the time!
- Practicing gratitude
- Taking care of my health and body
- Practicing self-care
- Doing things that make me happy
- Dressing up for myself
- Celebrate small accomplishments
- Taking time off
Try to observe what are some ways, you end up being rude or harsh on yourself?
When are the times you end up doing this, notice and change it then and there
Reverse it with more kindness and love!
When you love someone, you also respect them for who they are
When someone else makes fun of you or put that person down, whom you love, you get defensive and take their stand. right?
Then when you love yourself, and somebody bullies you or makes fun of how you look
You have to do the same
It was really important for me to change that and build self-respect
I remember, in school or just normal friends would put me down by making fun of my insecurities
I never said anything because I just could not
I let it be and felt hurt
With that somewhere, I let others disrespect me, and they started doing it more.
If I could go back to that time, I would have done things differently and not let them make fun of me.
Because, now I have learned to love and respect myself
No matter who that person is, you should not let them disrespect you or make fun of your body
Building self-respect is an important part of loving who you are, so
How does one build self-respect?
To build self-respect, one must first value themselves
If you think too low of yourself naturally you are not respecting yourself
This means that self-respect is also equally tied to our self-esteem
What do you think of yourself?
Do you value your life, your body, and everything it does for you?
If I give you what truly helped me build love and respect for myself
was quite weirdly, Exercising
I remember in lockdown, I used to work out every day and sometimes two times a day
Initially, it was to lose weight and get fit but later on, it was due to how it made me feel
Every day I put so much effort into myself and worked on my health
that after doing it for months, I felt a sense of respect and pride towards my body
How far I had come, How much effort I put and How good I felt
even though physically not much had changed
You can say, exercising improved my confidence and it was the first time I realized and respected my body genuinely
Of all the things My body was capable of doing and giving to me, I felt grateful
This was definitely a turning point that helped me build self-respect
While this was not so expected way for me, For you it can be something else
Maybe realizing that you are a person who is equally capable of everything as others
Your body goes through so much and is the reason you can live and do so many things without the hassle
To Build Self-respect
– Realize that you are worthy of everything and you are as good-looking as others
No matter what others say, You need to tell yourself that you are worthy
I know it may be tough but this is where positive self-talk comes
It won’t happen in a day, but as you will keep putting in the effort you will start seeing the difference
– Acknowledge yourself!
– Practice self-care every day
– Write down your accomplishments
– Forgive yourself
– Focus on your happiness
Deepening my relationship with myself
All the people you love in this world, you have a deep relationship with them.
You have spent enough time learning about who they are and sharing moments of joy with them
That you have learned to know and love them and enjoy being with them
No matter how they look, you still love them right?
Just like that, To love yourself, you need to build and deepen your relationship with yourself.
Spending time alone and doing things you enjoy
Learning what you like and what you don’t and feeling comfortable in your own company are just some ways to deepen your relationship with yourself.
I remember, when I used to feel insecure and struggled to love myself, I also had not spent much time knowing about myself
What I liked, what made me happy, and practicing hobbies
Later on, slowly, I would spend time alone, journaling, painting, dancing, and exercising on my own I started to feel comfortable with myself
This helped me know who I am and feel closer.
So, find ways you can deepen your relationship with yourself and feel comfortable
Practice journal prompts to get to know yourself
– Spend doing activities you enjoy a.k.a Hobbies
– Go on a solo date
– Write down your thoughts and feeling
– Treat yourself
Taking social media detox
When you are insecure and on a journey to love yourself, Social media can affect it
Seeing the perfect picture world constantly and subconsciously comparing yourself to them will make you feel even more insecure.
In the beginning, you are trying to love yourself, which will take time and be a little challenging
taking a break from social media is a must at this time to avoid any triggers and going forward, in your journey
You don’t have to delete your account, or completely not touch it
- Revaluating your social media following and the people you watch
- Spending less time consuming
- Taking a day off any social media accounts every few weeks
Is, a good way to build a healthy relationship with social media
I used to delete my app and constantly unfollow accounts that were in any way could trigger me
In fact, I still do!
Working on overall health
working on my health, as I mentioned in a point above, helped me build not only respect but love, confidence, and kindness towards it
When you are taking care of yourself, in some way, you feel loved
You feel good hormones
Your body sends the same feeling back to you as a gratitude
Take care of your health, and trust me, it will be a very big mood and esteem booster!
- Moving your body daily
- Eating healthy
- Paying attention to how your body feels more than how it looks
If you find yourself, comparing yourself to someone constantly and judge how you look
It will hurt your mental health
I know it must be so natural to automatically compare to others as a habit, but if you start making a conscious decision and remind yourself to not do it
It will work out eventually
Every time you will compare, you will be trapped in a toxic cycle
Either looking for validation from others or trying to put the other person or yourself down
all of which is not good
Realize all of us are beautiful in our own ways, no one is less or more pretty, and it does not matter
The more you keep thinking about these thoughts and discussing the more you will be trapped in it
you are unique in your own way, and it is a good thing, so don’t compare and focus only on yourself!
I know when I am saying all these phrases to you that you are unique, and it does not matter how you look
all of these words did not come to me naturally when I was struggling with myself
It was only when I had started learning about body image issues and my issues, I realized all these things
Finding more people and learning how they learned to love themselves were just some of the ways I educated myself, and eventually helped me in falling in love with myself
When you listen to or read about these topics, you will feel comforted, and somewhere there will be one or more lines that will stay with you!
Changing your beliefs won’t happen in a day, but constantly educating yourself will help you deeply in the process-
Some ways to educate yourself
- Read books on self-love
- Read stories of people how they learned to love themselves
- Listen to podcasts on these topics
Be consistent in the journey
Lastly, The most important is to keep going and keep putting in the effort
Loving yourself will happen slowly, as you will keep putting in the effort, so don’t give up mid-way!
For me to reach a healthy point in my journey, it took me almost one year!
I kept going on and doing all these things for at least a year
And It was worth all the time and effort!
If you were wondering, “How can I love myself when I don’t like the way I look”?
I hope you got your answer and found some tips useful
If you are finding it tough to love yourself, I want you to know that it is possible, and you will reach there
You just need to connect with yourself again, and it will happen!
Have a great day!
If you liked this, you will love these-
- How to Glow Up Mentally and Physically in 2023 | 30 Great Tips
- How to start self love journey- 13 best tips for beginners
- 40 Best Self Love Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
- 30 Best Self-Love Journal Prompts Everyone Should Practice
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