Is Body Acceptance Realistic?

2016-09-16

Is complete and total body acceptance realistic? And how do we go from hate, loathing, and disgust to acceptance? This a question I have asked myself for many, many years.

That very question, however, highlights the black and white nature of hate and acceptance. We either hate our bodies or love them. But, if hate and acceptance are opposite poles of the spectrum, than what about the spectrum itself, the space between hate and acceptance? The space where we learn to accept, where we test out what it feels like to embrace our bodies?

To understand this space, I’ve developed an approach to “body tolerance” called Hate. Tolerate. Liberate. I believe that only after we learn to tolerate our bodies can we begin to experience liberation from the thoughts and beliefs that grip our minds about our bodies. At that point, acceptance is in process. It’s important to remember that, as a process, body acceptance is fluid. Meaning, we don’t always 100% embrace our bodies. Instead, we flow in and out of hate, tolerate, liberate. If we take the pressure off to always love our bodies and instead give ourselves the space to feel what we feel and respond in a productive way versus stay in the hate feeling, then we can begin to explore degrees of tolerance with our bodies.

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As we allow ourselves to explore body tolerance and literally learn how to tolerate what has felt intolerable, our minds quiet down more and more and the nagging, persistent, and nasty messages about our body subside. Quiet our minds, and we are liberated from hate and open to the reality that moments, hours, days, months, and maybe years of body acceptance is realistic.

If you are curious about how you can begin to shift from hate to tolerate, I invite you to check out my video Degrees of Tolerance: Body Acceptance and Yoga. Feel free to email me with any questions. I also would love to hear your answer to the question of whether or not body acceptance is realistic. What’s been your experience?

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