Have you seen those women who just seem to ooze confidence, even when they are wandering around the streets in their sweatpants and hoodies? We are constantly comparing ourselves to other women, and it isn’t doing us any favors in the self esteem department.  

What if I told you that you could actually be truly happy with yourself, without changing a thing? It isn’t easy, and it isn’t as simple as reading a list, it takes time and effort to fall in love yourself, but this is a fantastic place to start. Check out these five steps, work through them, and I guarantee that you will be on the right track to loving your body!  

 

 

1 – Pray Pray Pray

I started with this because it is probably the most important aspect of learning to love yourself, so don’t skim over this section! Here’s the thing, the only one who is truly capable of loving us unconditionally, no matter what we do or look like, is the Lord. So if we start this process by depending on ourselves or our spouses alone, we are going to be very disappointed!

Spend time in prayer each day, tell the Lord your insecurities and ask Him to meet you in the dark places of your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to change your attitude, change your eyes to see yourself the way that He sees you.  This won’t be something that you do just once, no, you will have to do this continuously. It takes a lot of self-discipline and intentionality, but it is truly transformative.  

Share what you are thinking with a trusted friend, spouse or sister. There is accountability in simply sharing your heart with someone. This is me and my girlfriends, we did a little photoshoot right before we graduated college! I know that I can always depend on them to keep me accountable. 

 

 

2 – Know your body shape

So many of us feel like we just don’t look good in anything that we put on, no matter how much time we spend shopping and picking out nice things. I tend to opt for yoga pants and a sweatshirt because it is simple, comfy, and it covers up all of my fat rolls. I struggle with picking things out at the store, and so I just don’t buy new clothes! I get so defeated, trying on piece after piece that just look awful on me.  

This is why knowing your specific body shape is important! I recently discovered that I am an Apple shape, which has helped me to research what is flattering to my body type, and when I go shopping, I have an idea of what I am looking for.   There are so many different shapes and sizes, it can be hard to figure out what is closest to you. Here is a quiz on pinterest that can help you determine your shape. You can also follow my board “Body Types” on pinterest. Here you will find a variety of body shapes represented, along with style guides for those shapes!  

Have fun with researching your body shape! I found that once I started looking into the Apple shape specifically, I found pictures of women who looked like me and who looked beautiful in clothing! It was inspiring and encouraging to see women who looked like me, and to see that there is clothing out there that is flattering!

3 – Create a reason to get dolled up

We are all busy, so no one is suggesting that you set aside the time (or money, cause lets face it, budgets are tight) every week to go out on the town. However, being intentional every so often to create a reason to get dolled up will do wonders for your self-esteem!

I work as a nanny, so I rarely have the motivation to put jeans on to go to work, let alone style my hair or do my makeup. This has probably affected the way that I view myself, because I look in the mirror and just see a tired slob everyday (but I’m comfortable so that’s a win). Recently a friend of mine invited me to a concert in New York City. I took it as an opportunity to look FANTASTIC.

I wore a black dress that a friend had given me, some patterned and rather sexy tights, and a cute pair of booties that I bought at walmart for $12! I curled my hair, did my makeup, and even put the extra effort into picking out some jewelry. I looked and felt amazing! I was a bit overdressed for the concert,  but I didn’t even care. It was great to feel like a human again.

That feeling of confidence and self love has carried over since that night. When I feel crummy, I can look at a pic and remember, “oh yeah, I still got it”. So create a reason every so often to get dressed up, even if it is just for a romantic homemade dinner with your

4 -Find things that you love in other women  

You can probably find this sprinkled into all sorts of things that I have written. One of the biggest things that keeps us from seeing the beauty in ourselves is the fact that we are already in the habit of being critical. We tend to look at other women and automatically pinpoint what exactly we don’t like about their appearance. I don’t know why we do, but its automatic. We see a woman on the street, and our thoughts instantely go to “Oh wow her hair is awful” or “Holy cow she could stand to gain a few pounds” and the list goes on and on.

 Instead of this, try retraining your brain to automatically notice the beauty in every woman you notice! Everyone is beautiful, we just have make the conscious decision to notice it. Once you start noticing things that you appreciate about random women, it will be much easier to do this to yourself! Learning to not be critical is hard, it’s not what society teaches us to do. But it is so freeing! Spread the love!

Don’t just keep the compliments to yourself, share the things that you notice about women around you. Who of us doesn’t love a compliment on days that we are feeling our worst??

5 – Give yourself permission to be beautiful

This is probably the hardest out of all of the steps. I am overweight, it’s just a fact. For a long time I hated myself for that, and I felt like I wasn’t beautiful because I have fat rolls. It took a long time, but I had to give myself permission to believe that I am beautiful. I had to get past the false idea that I would only be beautiful if I was thinner. I gave myself permission to find the things that are beautiful about me, and permission to love my body the way it is!  

This can be scary because the media doesn’t teach us to love our flaws. We are taught to wear makeup and have perfect hair and use filters on social media to make us look better. We don’t have to do this! We can post pictures of ourselves in our jammies with crazy hair and own that we are beautiful. Give yourself permission to celebrate you, no matter what you are insecure about, because I bet whatever you hate about yourself, I would find absolutely stunning!

 I don’t always look as good as I did in these pictures with my friends, and thats why I don’t have a professional photographer follow me around each day. But on my most sloppy days, I am still worthy of being acknowledged as beautiful! So I have also posted some photos below of me on my makeup-less, greasy hair, coazy clothes days. 

When do you feel beautiful?? Share with me, post a photo in the comments below!