Self-Acceptance - The Greatest Gift We Can Give To Ourselves

Updated: Jan 4



The Gift of Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance can be hard to come by, especially for women. Society holds women to high standards, and those standards change over time.


It’s confusing...

· What women are supposed to look like has changed dramatically throughout the decades. Consider history, and society's influence on the size and shape of the "ideal female body." Whether we subscribe or not, those pressures have a pervasive negative influence on women’s body image.

· The expectations society has for women (in and outside of the home) changes over time.

· Women's career choices change over time (what we’re allowed or expected to do as females in the workforce).

· How women are expected to dress changes over time, and what’s appropriate or not appropriate becomes subject to scrutiny (whether we ask for it or not).

· Even what women are expected to do with areas of their body not for public display changes over time. Do you remember a time when we weren’t all expected, as Amy Schumer says, to “look like babies down there?” (Yep, I just went there).


It’s no wonder women struggle to “find themselves,” to feel secure in who they are and the choices they make.


I’ve been surrounded by women my whole life. My mom, four sisters, two daughters, and a solid tribe of girlfriends.

I work with women in fitness, and I hear women’s stories in my work as a therapist.

I’ve seen up close and personal the journey that women go through to find themselves.

For some, it’s fairly smooth, but for many not so much.


Often women have a hard time resolving who they are, what they look like, and what they want to do with their lives when it’s in stark contrast to the messages that society sends.


To make it more complicated, women often internalize pain and turn anger inward, creating a vicious cycle of negative internal dialogue that wears away at their self-esteem.


I would like to send a heartfelt message to all women...


1. Recognize that you are not alone. Concerns with body image are universal for women around the world and have been for as long as any of us can remember, but we can shift the narrative. Each of us can prioritize our health and define our own ideal body type based on what's important to us, how we want to function, and how we want to feel!


2. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about who you are.


3. Remember that your self-worth is not determined by whether (or not) people accept you, it’s determined by whether (or not) you accept yourself.


4. You teach people how to treat you. Teach them well. Set limits and they will either abide or they will no longer be a part of your life.


5. Remember that no matter what society says, you have to go to bed with you at night. If you make a decision to do something that will make you feel better, do it. Don’t worry about what other people think. Trust me, other people will have an opinion regardless of what you say or do, it doesn’t mean you have to “buy in” to their thoughts, judgements, or drama.


6. You are here to make a difference in this world, in your own unique way. Go out there and do just that. Put your blinders on and earplugs in when someone tries to hold you back, and show gratitude toward those who support and believe in you.


If only for today… Give yourself the greatest gift of all, the gift of self-acceptance.


If you would like more information, inspiration, and insights on body image and personal acceptance, check out these resources:

https://www.angiemillerfitness.com/post/2016/02/15/learning-to-love-yourself-an-ode-to-valentines-day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7sENOXk0JM


Wishing you the best in heath, inside and out~

Angie

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