How Long Does it Take to Love Your Body? The Answer is Scary

It's impossible to deny that we change as we age. In some areas, we get wiser. In others, we become more empathetic or patient. One trait that doesn't budge for a long time, though?

Looking in the mirror and struggling to love your body. 

How Long Does it Take to Love Your Body? The Answer is Scary
In fact, a report by Science Alert suggests that people wait decades to love their bodies. How long exactly? Based several surveys analyzed by Science Alert, men and women don't find body confidence, on average, until age 74

And you know what? That's sad as hell. 

Right now, I'm 21 years old - a baby in the eyes of many. You might even say that I have my whole life ahead of me. And I don't want to waste 53 of those years worrying if my body looks "right." I don't want to spend half a century googling "how to love your body the way it is."

I want to dance in clubs until the early morning...without worrying if my dress is a little too form-fitting.

I want to savor the best gluten free restaurants I can find...and not feel anxious over my stomach "not liking" (AKA becoming six-months pregnant over) certain gluten free dishes

How Long Does it Take to Love Your Body? The Answer is Scary

I want to challenge myself in hot yoga classes, on long hikes through Minnesota, and everything in between with the mindset of gratitude for, not punishment toward, my body. 

I want to raise my future children with the mindset that inner beauty will shine through...and that every human body deserves to be loved.

The truth is, body confidence is more of a rarity than an automatic these days. Only 54 percent of surveyed women report feeling happy with their bodies, and a separate survey of men found that 20 percent don't like their bodies. Dove's 2016 international survey even found that when women don't feel good about how they look, 9 in 10 women turn down invitations to important life activities. The same amount of women stop themselves from eating or put their health at risk because of negative thoughts about their bodies. Women with celiac disease might be especially prone to negative body image, considering the recent study linking celiac disease with anorexia. 

How Long Does it Take to Love Your Body? The Answer is Scary

I don't want to be one of those statistics for another five decades of my life...but I know discovering how to love your body shape is easier said than done. No one is born with the goal of hating their body. We learn how to do it from taunts at the school yard (I still remember being called "chicken ankles" in elementary school); from magazine covers that don't match what we see in the mirror; from that quiet voice in our heads that always asks, "Are you sure you want to wear that?" or "Are you sure you need that dessert?"

And, truthfully, I don't know the cure to this self-doubt and self-analysis. What I do know? If we learned to hate our bodies, we can learn to love our bodies too - no matter how they look or even function

I know that we can choose to take small steps - like limiting the times you look in the mirror every day or talking to a close friend about your insecurities - to find body positivity sooner than age 74. The steps I take won't be the same ones you need, and that's okay. Our bodies and minds are unique, and our self-love habits should be the same. 


How Long Does it Take to Love Your Body? The Answer is Scary

And if you want more tips on how to love your body, I can't recommend these articles (from me and other bloggers I admire) enough:
I don't know what I'll be doing when I turn 74, but I have a few ideas. I hope I have grandchildren I can bake gluten free treats for. I hope I'm still writing - on here or on another medium. And I hope I'm happy...and that being happy with my body isn't a 74th-birthday present, but a battle I've been fighting and winning for years before. 


*Also found at Flaunt it Friday, Dare to Share*

What self-love activities do you use to love your body? What do you hope you'll be doing at age 74? Tell me your thoughts! 


Comments

  1. This is a great post! I've been working on loving my body and one of the things that's helped the most is running. Being able to run 13.1 miles is such an accomplishment and I'm so proud of that that I can't hate my body. :)

    Here's to 54 years of living our bodies! <3

    - Katie Burry
    http://www.thatkatiegirl.com

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  2. Learning to love your ever changing body is hard. But it's post like this that help keep me motivated.

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  3. Ageing process is what will definitely come and it comes with signs and wrinkles and spot. but your post here is great and i believe change of habit will go a long way here

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  4. When I am 74 I want to be in great health, I want grandbabies who are very happy and have very happy parents and I want to travel and connect with all different people from all different walks of life.

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