I was brought up in the age of “Do these jeans make my butt look big?”.  With subliminal messaging and subconscious internal dialog, it can be challenging, especially for women, to feel comfortable in their own skin.

This can show up as being self-conscious of your body shape and size, your stretch marks, skin texture, body hair, wrinkles, cellulite – sadly, the list goes on and on.

I could tell you how beautiful you are all day every day.  But unless you actually accept yourself and believe how gorgeous you are, it won’t mean damn a thing.

We all know how much most of us could benefit from an improved self-image.  But when your default isn’t one of self-acceptance and is, instead, more self-critical, what can you do?

How about we start here:

Cut yourself some slack.  You’re not a Barbie doll (and btw, she’s far from perfect).  Accept your flaws right alongside your strengths.  This is what makes you uniquely you.

When you notice that you’re shaming yourself or talking trash about yourself, forgive yourself for having negative thoughts.  Again, you’re a human being and will make mistakes throughout your life.  As long as you’re learning from them and are growing as a person, that’s fantastic.  It’s great to strive for being the best version of yourself each day, knowing that some days you might have more to give than others.

You can also take a moment and think about the qualities that you admire and celebrate in yourself.  If you like, write them down to refer to whenever you feel self-doubt creeping in.  There’s no silly thing to love about yourself, so if the cute little freckle on your nose makes you smile, make a note of it.

While exceptionally common in women, men, too, have self-image issues.  If you identify as a dude, please don’t discount your feelings just because of gender B.S.  

It can be difficult to deprogram ourselves, but our future selves deserve the effort to do just that.  Our wellness is not determined by what the scale – or society – tells us.  Shine bright, my lovely.  And remember that you’re glorious.