If you’re hoping to finish reading this article and instantly love your body, that probably won’t happen.
Nor will it happen with any other article, any workout or nutrition program or with a magic “lightbulb” moment as you undress yourself before your shower.
I’ve spoken often about the non-linear nature of self-love and this reigns especially true when it comes to being able to look at your body positively.
Because before you can look at your body positively, you need to be able to look at your body neutrally.
Free from judgements – good or bad. No compliments or insults. No jumping out to hug the mirror or wanting to cry in the corner.
Just recognition that it’s your body.
It sounds simple enough, but it’s a step in the self-love process that’s often overlooked.
We expect to make these huge jumps from self-loathing to self-love overnight with no middle ground, and ultimately if that’s the approach we take towards loving ourselves, we end up operating on a cycle of extremes.
We all have bad body image days or days where we’re not the biggest fan of our reflections (all of us, always. Even if you’ve been practicing self-love like a pro for years, you can’t avoid it. It’s natural). Now, if you’ve previously been able to reach a place of body neutrality, you can redirect your “bad” days from bad to neutral.
However, if you’ve jumped straight from self-loathing to self-love, never passing a middle ground… well, those bad days are going to kick your ass.
And when you get back up and go ice yourself off, they’ll come back for you with a tyre iron and start beating you up again.
Just like that, on those bad days you’ll jump right back from self-love to self-loathing. Body neutrality is the bridge between self-loathing and self-love, and we need to stop trying to shortcut around it.
Have you ever stood and looked at yourself in the mirror and just noticed your body, without making a comment on it?
Or have you ever ordered the food you wanted, free from guilt or judgement or even a thought about it?
How about this: have you ever gone a whole day without so much as even a thought about your body?
That, right there, is some body neutrality in action.
It seems difficult but if you’re dedicated to remaining on a lifelong journey to find contentment and peace within your own skin, you can find comfort in body neutrality.
Because body love and Fearless Body Confidence is absolutely awesome – mind blowing-ly awesome.
Better than the best sex you’ll ever have or a never ending bar of chocolate or an endless supply of French Bulldog puppies to cuddle.
But on some days, it’s just not possible.
And on those days, instead of slipping back into the toxic and strangling grasp of self-loathing who, like an abusive ex-partner, lures you back with reminders of comfort and familiarity and “I’m not that bad, baby! I’ve changed!”…
Body neutrality will have your back.
It means that your bad body image days will be less of you lying on the bathroom floor clutching your stomach because you can’t believe you ate all that pasta by yourself, less going for a run for the 8th time that week because you need to work out, and less obsessing about your appearance in general.
Instead, those days won’t be at all focused on your body. They’ll just be about you – as a person. The things you enjoy. Friends, fun, food, sex, love, happiness, laughter, learning, growing. And not a second will be spent thinking about your body.
That toxic body hate that keeps trying to lure you back? It’ll get bored, and pack up and leave.
And if we can work towards making our “bad” body image days just neutral, then we can literally change our lives.
Your challenge for this week, should you choose to accept it (which you very much should): Every day, work towards having one body neutral moment.
Look at yourself in the mirror, and just notice your body. Don’t think of it as good or bad or anything else – just notice that it’s a body.
When you wonder if you want dessert, remove your inner judgement on the emotional value of that dessert. Remember – it’s just food, and food is just fuel. It’s not inherently good or bad.
Get comfortable with that neutral feeling.
If you can be comfortable with that, you can find contentment in knowing that you’re parallel to body love. And anywhere near body love is a good place to be.Body love doesn't happen overnight - embrace body neutrality in the meantime Click To Tweet