4 Small But Important Things To Try If You Want To Truly Love Yourself And Your Body

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4 Things You NEED To Do To Truly Love Yourself And Your Body

It's hard to ignore the fact that a lot of women don't feel good about themselves. And though we've made strides to overcome our poor body image and love ourselves, we still have a long way to go. 

And even though the goal post has moved from not focusing on size or slimness, but rather, looking to strong women to emulate through the drive of social media, we are still looking outside of ourselves to validate who we are as women. When it comes to learning how to love yourself, some women just can't figure it out.

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Having suffered from an eating disorder when I was younger, I know first hand what it's like to not love yourself and hate your body. I constantly compared myself to the models in the magazines — believing that I had to look like them to be accepted. We are sold an image that is not even real.

What is real is that you are not just your body, but rather something more profound. You have an essence which comes from the inside. Life is about discovering your unique gifts and sharing them with the world.

Your purpose is not to continue to berate yourself and believe that you are not enough. Your purpose is to stop betting against yourself and to start being your own advocate.

It's time you reclaim your light and fully accept and love yourself just as you are. To truly learn how to love yourself and embrace your body, you need to nurture the connection to your body, mind, heart and soul. It begins by focusing on the following:

1. First, change the way you see yourself and your body.

Somewhere along the journey of life, you have adopted this toxic belief that you are unlovable because your body is not perfect. Stop it! If you want to change the way you feel about yourself and your body, start changing your beliefs.

Look at your beliefs and if they are not positive, uplifting and life affirming, then you need to do some work to change them. When you change your beliefs from negative to positive you will start behaving and taken actions towards yourself that are more in line with someone who loves themselves.

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2. Feed your body with good nutrition and rewards.

We are made to believe that food is the enemy and that we need to deprive ourselves. Messages from the media have convinced us that we are in a battle with food and our body, so we spend so much of our life energy focused on how we need to control our natural appetite, and punish ourselves with exercises that we don’t even enjoy.

If we step out of line, we hate ourselves. No wonder we don’t love ourselves!

Stop following the latest trendy diet and exercise plan. Start feeding your body wholesome healthy food that feels good to you. Your body loves to move so move it. Do things that you actually enjoy rather than doing something you dislike and are doing it to punish yourself and your body. It's about a regime of love not punishment.

3. Understand and connect with your true self.

There is an aspect of yourself often referred to by different names such as higher self, true self, soul or inner self. They are all pointing to the same thing: the real essence of who you are.

When you look inside yourself, instead of focusing externally, you need to tap into an endless abundance of pure love. This love is non-judgmental, accepting, kind and healing. To truly love yourself, you need to know who you are inside.

As Socrates said, "To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” I say to know thyself is the key to loving yourself!

Begin to nurture your connection with yourself and embrace yourself with self-acceptance, compassion and self-love. By loving yourself for real, you will be able to open your heart and share that love with others.

4. See the world as your mirror.

Everything that happens to you is a reflection of how you really feel about yourself. People and situations are your mirror — they reflect back to you the truth. If you don’t like what you are experiencing in your life how amazing is this, you have the power to change it.

Remember: the more you love yourself the more love is reflected back to you in life. You owe it to yourself to embrace yourself and shine your light.

RELATED: 'I Hate My Body': How To Stop Negative Self-Talk & Overcome Body Image Issues

Mary Paleologos is a clinical hypnotherapist, counselor, and transformational coach.