Learning to love your body doesn’t mean that you love the condition that it happens to be in at this moment. It doesn’t mean that you have to love what entropy or sin has done to your body.
It means having respect for what your body can do, and starting from there. It means having respect for how your body looks – in clothes and out – and working from there. It means that you don’t let envy make you self-abusive.
I am short, I am square, and I am about as flexible as a chunk of wood. That’s the body I have. That’s the body I had when I was a little kid! I like my body, it’s strong and I’m comfortable in it. I don’t like what I let happen to it when I was tired and stressed and paying attention to other things, but that’s not its fault – and yarping about how stupid I was isn’t going to advance the plot.
Loving my body means I dress it in clothes that look good on it – not clothes that I wish looked good on it. It means that I dress it in clothes that look good *right now* – not the clothes that will look good a year from now (God willing). I don’t imitate someone else’s style of dress and then cry when it doesn’t work. I don’t wear colors that I can’t pull off. I *love* scarlet. Can’t wear it. So I don’t.
Loving my body means that when I go to workout with a bunch of 20somethings and hyper fit people, I don’t pout when the coach tells me to modify my workout. Am I working out as much as I can? Yes. Why let pride lead me to injury or illness?
Loving my body means pushing it and giving it a chance to do as much as it can – it doesn’t mean sitting it down and endlessly feeding it bonbons and naps. Oh, bonbons and naps are part of life (especially the naps) but really loving something means wanting the best for it. If I love my body, I want to take care of it and make it better, stronger, and healthier.
No shame. No self-hate. Just maintenance, love, improvement, and a good laugh now and again.