How often do we hear people say when I’m X size, then I will love myself? Many people are hesitant to do body-image work because they falsely believe that it is akin to “giving up.” However, that could not be further from the truth.

Imagine that you had an apartment that you really loved. How would you care for it? It is likely that you would take your shoes off upon entering and make an effort to keep the place clean. Now imagine that you had an apartment that you despised. How would you care for it? In this scenario it is more likely that you will not take as much time to clean and would not bother to take your shoes off at the door.

When you appreciate and accept your body, you are more likely to treat it with kindness and care. Rather than focusing on a goal of losing weight or trying to change your body, work to shift your focus to mindfully nourishing yourself with food and movement that you enjoy. It’s important to note that body diversity is real and we are not all meant to look the same. Some may be naturally bigger and some smaller, but no matter what your shape or size, you can work to treat your body and yourself with compassion and kindness.

Instead of thinking about what you can take away from your diet, focus on the tasty and nourishing foods that you can add in. Rather than focusing on exercise as a chore or way to change your body, think about pleasurable and fun ways that you can move your body. It is also important to think about all of the amazing things that your body enables you to do.

Ultimately, self-care and self-compassion are not size-specific. You deserve to eat food that you enjoy, find fun movement, and treat yourself with kindness. You are enough and you are worthy of love and belonging-just as you are.

Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LGSW is a psychotherapist, body-image activist, and intuitive eating counselor, who specializes in working with adolescents, survivors of trauma, mood disorders and eating disorders. Jennifer blogs on The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. “Like” her on Facebook at Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LGSW.

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