Step Into



When we constantly focus on the aspects of our bodies that we dislike or wish to change, it becomes a never-ending cycle of dissatisfaction.
We get caught up in comparing ourselves to others or to societal standards of beauty, and it can feel like an uphill battle to ever feel good enough. But what if we shifted our mindset and started celebrating our bodies for what they can do, rather than solely focusing on how they look?
By shifting our mindset towards body neutrality, we create a space of acceptance and respect for our bodies, regardless of their appearance. It’s about recognizing that our bodies are not defined by their physical attributes alone, but by their capabilities and the experiences they allow us to have.
Instead of constantly striving for an unattainable “perfect” body, we can start to appreciate the incredible things our bodies are capable of.
Our bodies enable us to move, to dance, to hug loved ones, to experience the world through our senses, and so much more.
When we shift our mindset to focus on these abilities, we open ourselves up to a whole new level of self-acceptance and gratitude.
Stepping back from how our bodies look and redirecting our attention towards what they can do also helps us break free from the comparison trap.
We live in a society that constantly bombards us with images of seemingly flawless bodies, which can make us feel inadequate or insecure.
But when we embrace body neutrality, we detach our self-worth from these external standards and instead find value in the unique strengths and abilities of our own bodies.
This shift in mindset is not about ignoring our insecurities or pretending that they don’t exist. It’s about acknowledging them and consciously choosing to focus on the positive aspects of our bodies instead. By adopting a body-neutral mindset, we can develop a healthier relationship with our bodies and cultivate a sense of self-acceptance that goes beyond physical appearance.
Here are 3 practical techniques and strategies to help you appreciate your body and step into body neutrality.
Together, let’s challenge the societal norms and embrace a new perspective that celebrates the beauty and power of our bodies, no matter their appearance. It’s time to shift our mindset and embark on a journey of self-love and acceptance.

Focus On Function.

Focus more on what your body can do than how it looks. By doing so, you free yourself from the opinions of others. At the same time, you discover a treasure trove of qualities that can’t be tarnished by age: energy, sensuality, confidence, vibrancy, capabilities, and skills—all of which have their own allure. Train yourself to see the functioning of your body for the miracle it is, and take pride and pleasure in the sum of who you are.

Exercise: What I Like About Myself
Write down five things you like about your body. These can be functional or aesthetic. Then write down five things you value about yourself as a person. These can include skills, abilities, talents, qualities, or accomplishments. Do you find it hard to identify positive things about yourself? Read this list aloud to your partner or to a friend.

Adapt to What You Can’t Change.

How do you make peace with less lovable body parts? First, realize that the problem is not the feature itself; the problem is that it bothers you. Here are some techniques for changing your perspective.Exercise: Resizing

Remember in the Edgar Allan Poe story “The Telltale Heart,” how the faint sound of the murdered man’s heartbeat seemed to get louder and louder until the culprit went mad? This is a good example of things taking on exaggerated significance.

If you seem to be blowing things out of proportion—suck them back down to size!

An NLP (neurolinguistic programming) technique that works well for some people is this: Relax, close your eyes, and breathe comfortably for a moment. Imagine the feature that bothers you. See it clearly in your mind. Make the picture as vivid and real as you can—see it in a real setting, with specific sounds and lighting and associated details.

Now begin to see a box around the scene, like the frame around a picture. Imagine the frame shrinking, and watch the picture shrink as the frame closes in. Make it smaller, smaller, smaller, until it seems miles away and the sounds are lost in an echo, as at the bottom of a well. Imagine it continuing to shrink until—poof !—it vanishes. Immediately call to mind a happy memory, with all its associated details. Fully see this happy scene in vivid color, filling the screen in your brain. Now smile broadly and open your eyes. Practice this visualization regularly.

Exercise: Celebrating It
One of the most liberating techniques I’ve discovered is to actively celebrate the part of your body you don’t like. If you can make that part of you seem lovable, it may just become more lovely. Unless you’re in a group of women all trying this together, you’ll want to do this exercise when you’re alone. The idea is to put the body part on display nonverbally—using gesture and body language—and experience how it feels to do so. Exaggerate it. Thrust it forward. Flaunt it. Put on some music and do a dance featuring it. Be bold with it and make the universe acknowledge it.

Exercise: Creating Your Own (Virtual ) Community
Think of ways to create a setting that normalizes your body. For example, create a collage of photos of people who look like you. Find photos of nonmodels, of “real people.” Cut photos out of newspapers or out of your church bulletin. The Web can also be a source of photos. Crazy as it sounds, you can actually do a Web search for “big noses” or “small breasts” or “Rubenesque body” and you’ll often find images to choose from. (I recommend doing this with your search engine set to exclude explicit images.) You’ll even find, in some cases, other people “celebrating” the body trait you deplore.

By doing this, you can become your own media source in the cause of beauty diversity: Flood your brain with images of normal people who look just like you. Take back the airwaves!

Reframe your goals.

As we get older, we may occasionally compare ourself to our younger selves in our memory and fall short. Meanwhile, the twenty- or thirty-year-old may look at her body and feel dissatisfied or ashamed because it’s not sufficiently thin, tall, curvy, lean—or any number of ideals.That’s why your first step has been to look truthfully at your body, without judgment or self-criticism.

I feel sexier and more alive now than I ever have before. Those years of experience have taught me who I am, where my power is, and how to use what I’ve got.

My idea of a realistic goal is this: I want to look and feel good for my age and for the basic type of body I have. That means focusing on vitality, fluidity, and freedom of movement, more than on absolute strength or ideal weight.