Body Acceptance


Twenty Ways to Love Your Body!

Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Fuel it

  1. Your body is extraordinary--begin to respect and appreciate it.
  2. Create a list of all the things your body lets you do. Read it and add to it often.
  3. Become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.
  4. Create a list of people you admire: people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
  5. Walk with your head held high, supported by pride and confidence in yourself as a person.
  6. Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.
  7. Wear comfortable clothes that you like and that feel good to your body.
  8. Count your blessings, not your blemishes.
  9. Think about all the things you could accomplish with the time and energy you currently spend worrying about your body and appearance. Try one!
  10. Be your body’s friend and supporter, not its enemy.
  11. Consider this: your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, and your skeleton every three months.
  12. Every morning when you wake up, thank your body for resting and rejuvenating itself so you can enjoy the day.
  13. Every evening when you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.
  14. Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Don’t exercise to lose weight or to fight your body. Do it to make your body healthy and strong and because it makes you feel good.
  15. Think back to a time in your life when you felt good about your body. Tell yourself you can feel like that again, even in this body at this age.
  16. Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself--without mentioning your appearance. Add to it!
  17. Put a sign on each of your mirrors saying, “I’m beautiful inside and out.”
  18. Choose to find the beauty in the world and in yourself.
  19. Start saying to yourself, “Life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way.”
  20. Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired. Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty.

Compiled by Margo Maine, Ph.D.


Ten Exercises for Improving Body Image

Taking care of your body and doing things you enjoy will enable you to enjoy a happy, participatory life.

  1. Twice a day, everyday, I will ask myself: "Am I benefiting from focusing on what I believe are the flaws in my body weight or shape?"
  2. I will think of three reasons why it is ridiculous for me to believe that thinner people are happier or "better." I will repeat these reasons to myself whenever I feel the urge to compare my body shape to someone else`s.
  3. I will spend less and less time in front of mirrors--especially when they are making me feel uncomfortable and self-conscious about my body.
  4. I will exercise for the joy of feeling my body move and grow stronger. I will not exercise simply to lose weight, purge fat from my body, or to "make-up for" calories I have eaten.
  5. I will participate in activities that I enjoy, even if they call attention to my weight and shape. I will constantly remind myself that I deserve to do things I enjoy, like dancing, swimming, etc., no matter what my shape or size!
  6. I will refuse to wear clothes that are uncomfortable or that I do not like but wear simply because they divert attention from my weight or shape. I will wear clothes that are comfortable and that make me feel comfortable in my body.
  7. I will list 5-10 good qualities that I have, such as understanding, intelligence, or creativity. I will repeat these to myself whenever I start to feel bad about my body.
  8. I will practice taking people seriously for what they say, feel, and do, not for how slender, or "well put together" they appear.
  9. I will surround myself with people and things that make me feel good about myself and my abilities. When I am around people and things that support me and make me feel good, I will be less likely to base my self-esteem on the way my body looks.
  10. I will treat my body with respect and kindness. I will feed it, keep it active, and listen to its needs. I will remember that my body is the vehicle that will carry me to my dreams!

I will choose to take care of myself and my body!

Written by: Michael Levine, Ph.D., and Linda Smolak, Ph.D.