Learning to love yourself at any size.

I’m the very first person to yell “learn to love yourself!” I’m that woman standing in the bathrooms on a night out, complementing each woman who enters and giving out advice for all to lap up. But at the end of it all, I’m the very last person to taste my own medicine.

I’m the very first person to yell “learn to love yourself!” I’m that woman standing in the bathrooms on a night out, complementing each woman who enters and giving out advice for all to lap up. But at the end of it all, I’m the very last person to taste my own medicine.

Your appearance and mental health are closely connected! Some studies reveal that increased body dissatisfaction is linked with psychological distress and poorer quality of life. Conversely, appreciating your appearance and loving yourself has been linked to fewer unhealthy dieting behaviours and better overall well-being. Not to mention that feeling better about your appearance can boost your self-esteem!

There was a time when I would spend minutes to hours staring at myself, pinching my skin, wrapping my fingers around my thighs and praying they could still meet in the middle. Then I entered into recovery for Anorexia Nervosa. Now, at a few kilos above my lowest weight, I can barely bring myself to look anymore. The worst part is I still have a long way to go in regard to weight regain.

I’ve spoken to therapists, read self-help books and even used yoga as a bid to learn to love myself. The only thing I haven’t done is practice what I preach.

Here are some ways to feel more confident in your own skin!

Image from Leeloo Thefirst

“Learn to love yourself every day, no matter your body size, skin colour, disability, illness, etc.”

Practice Daily Affirmations.

Affirmations are often short yet powerful statements designed to instill peace, self-confidence, and gratitude. They’re positive and can be spoken in the past and present tense. Here are some examples.

Practising daily affirmations allows us to register these positive thoughts regularly until they eventually become second nature. Instead of ripping holes into every aspect of ourselves and our lives, we spend time building ourselves up with kindness, understanding and positive thinking.

Another great tip I’ve learned for body confidence is to practice affirmations in front of the mirror. Personally, it’s not something I feel ready for, but I can see the appeal. Instead of focusing on the negative things we hate about our bodies, we can use affirmations to change them into positives.

What people think of you is none of your business.

Say it with me; “What people think of me is their business, not mine.” 

It can be daunting to find out that not everyone likes us for various reasons. Some people might find us annoying, preachy, ‘depresso’, high-maintenance, etc. People have a number of things to say about those of us who have mental illnesses and even more to say about those of us who ‘flaunt it.’ In fact, people have a lot to say about others in general.

If people don’t like what I’m doing in terms of my writing, my advocating, my style and being honest about myself; Then they aren’t worth my time. 

As long as you’re kind and compassionate to others, who cares what you do or don’t do for a living, or how your hair is worn on a particular day? 

Do the little things to care for yourself physically.

You’ll be surprised how doing the simple things to care for your physical health can impact your outward appearance. Of course, exercising and a healthy diet are important, but smaller changes can also have a significant impact. For example, you can drink plenty of water daily to reduce bloating and nourish your skin, improving its texture! And let’s not forget the importance of sleep! Enough sleep is equally important for your skin health and overall wellness. Studies show frequent beauty sleep can lead to plump skin, which is less likely to wrinkle.

Reassess your inner monologue.

It’s almost as if we come programmed with hate speech. Not against anyone else, that’s a different article entirely, but against ourselves. When I think about some of the things I say to myself, they seem justified. But when I think about them being said to a child, a teenager or even just another person, I feel disgusted.

I’ve spent so long knocking myself down that it seems nearly impossible that I’ll ever get the bricks I need to build myself back up. So think before you speak to yourself both internally and externally. Would you feel comfortable saying that to your younger self, your son, your daughter or even your best friend? No? Then stop, rewind and try again.

Everybody has flaws, including the gorgeous celebrities or social media influencers you admire. But we barely see those sides when we see them on TV or online. But, the truth is, that the faults you find within yourself or your appearance don’t represent your entire self-worth. So, if you notice that your thought monologue is shifting to downgrading everything about you because of a physical feature, reassess your inner monologue and actively think positive thoughts.

Remember, it’s never too late to reframe your thinking.

Love yourself for what your body DOES and NOT how it LOOKS.

Speaking from a woman’s point of view; Our bodies are amazing. Not only does a woman‘s body house the ability to carry a child, but it’s also able to deliver that child and then produce milk for it to live.

The body and mind are beautiful things that are often taken for granted. Instead of admiring our bodies like a piece of naturally occurring engineering, we chastise them for being ‘fat’ or ‘wobbly.’

We get up each morning with our various organs, muscles, and sinews chugging away silently. If you’ve ever taken the time to watch a documentary about the human body, to research the connection between our minds and various organs, you’d be amazed at what you’d find.

Change your style once in a while.

There’s nothing wrong with occasionally switching up your looks to freshen your appearance. You’ll be amazed by how good it can make you feel! So, with that being said, remember to wear clothes you like and that make you feel good about yourself. Pick a shirt colour you’ve always wanted to try on and wear it. Choose clothes of appropriate sizes or have them tailored for a perfect fit. You can also try a new lipstick shade or change your hairstyle. If you’ve always admired the hair colours you see on people around you, get yours changed to a colour you love! And don’t forget to get some color depositing conditioners to help keep it fresh and shiny.

In twenty-twenty-one, I took the leap and finally shaved the sides of my hair and cut my curls off, something I’d wanted to do for years! Now I feel more confident than ever before!

Stop Comparing.

As Roosevelt once said; “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Previous to entering recovery I spent hours searching Instagram looking at women and men involved in the Pro-Ana community. I compared every part of myself to them. In my mind, I wasn’t sick enough for the help and I didn’t deserve it because I wasn’t as thin as them. Yet I was possibly sicker than most.

Comparison is part of the reason I unfollowed the majority of my ‘friends’ on Facebook, and removed over one hundred Instagram accounts. I was constantly watching everyone I knew get married, buy houses, have babies and move on with their lives. Here I was, sicker than I’d ever been and struggling just to hold my head up. Although it’s lovely to see others succeed, we tend to get stuck in a loop of comparing our lives to their picture-perfect moments and then feeling deflated when we’re not seeing the same results.

Since purging my accounts and removing myself from anything I know will trigger comparison, I’ve genuinely felt better. I’ve had time to step away from the rat race and I’m working on convincing myself that everyone moves at different speeds. It’s okay that I’m going slower and taking the path less trod on.

Life is not meant to be experienced at hyper speed, nor is it meant to be the same for everyone. That would be exceptionally boring.

Give yourself a break.

Step away from your desk and step outside. Allow yourself five minutes of fresh air or ten minutes of nothing but reading and coffee. If, like me, you find it difficult to step away from the business of life for fear of falling behind or being ‘unproductive‘; Stop right now. There’s nothing to be gained from pushing yourself to the limit other than illness.

You can also view this point in a different light. Don’t be so hard on yourself and cut yourself some slack. Not everything has to be perfect, we’re allowed to make mistakes and, really, that’s what being human is all about. Chasing perfection is as pointless as an admiral without a ship.

Do things that make you feel good.

Exercise because it makes you feel good, NOT because you are focusing on calories. Practice yoga for relaxation and improvements in flexibility, NOT because everyone else is doing it.

Do things for you because they make you feel powerful, strong, excited, happy, comforted, healthy, or even sexy.

Learn to say NO.

NO is not a dirty word. You don’t need to be the YES MAN all the time! 

NO is a word I have so much difficulty saying to people. I say yes to everything because I’m afraid of causing offense, or that people will think less of me. I’ve learned the hard way that NO is just two little letters. As long as you cause no harm, using this little word should not hold the weight that it seems to have gained. 

How the other person takes your response is on them, not you, and if they are offended by your use of the word NO then it’s for them to sit with. 

Realise and accept that you can’t be happy all the time.

Life can get us down. It can push us into a corner and have us thinking ‘What’s the point?’ 

“It’s a common belief that positive thinking leads to a happier, healthier life. As children, we are told to smile, be cheerful, and put on a happy face. As adults, we are told to look on the bright side, to make lemonade, and see glasses as half full. Sometimes reality can get in the way of our ability to act the happy part though. Your hope can fail, boyfriends can cheat, friends can disappoint. It’s in these moments when you just want to get real, drop the act, and be your true scared unhappy self.”

Meredith Grey

I’ve never heard truer words. And you know what? It’s fine to have bad days, it’s okay to feel like the whole world is against you sometimes. The important thing is that you keep picking yourself up after each blow and trying again.

Some people are naturally positive, while some have to work at it every day. I still find myself climbing into bed after a bad day and thinking ‘why me?’. It’s all too easy to fall into a funk and stay there; Permanently.

But we need to keep getting up every day with new intentions and motivations. A bad day does not equal a bad life and allowing those emotions or circumstances to have power over us is asking for trouble.

Define yourself in ways other than how you look.

Who you are is way more than how you look. So don’t limit your self-esteem to your appearance. Instead, make it contingent on your inner qualities. Focus more on what you like about your abilities, skills, personality, and knowledge – these are things you can always improve and will make you a much better person beyond looks. Have a bigger perspective about the world beyond physical or outward appearances. And remember that small minds discuss people’s looks while big minds discuss ideas, major deals, and inventions. 

Invest in your skills, expand your knowledge, and strive to make a significant impact with your talent. When you’re too busy investing in yourself, you’ll have little time to worry about your appearance and what people say about it.

Stop letting the number on the scale define you.

You are not the number on the scale. Your weight is not a reflection of who you are, your intelligence, your charm, your opinion, your kindness or your courage.

Smile more at yourself when you look in the mirror.

It’s easy to spend time focusing on the things you dislike in the mirror. It’s one of the easiest ways to dent your confidence! But, as simple as it might be, try smiling at yourself. This is you, and you’re your best friend. Smile and remind yourself of that every morning. Also, each time you pass by a mirror, stop, steal a few admiring glances at yourself, and say something nice to inspire confidence in yourself. Start seeing your reflection as your best friend instead of something you don’t want to look at. 

“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?”

Until you’re able to accept and love yourself, it can be hard to maintain or even find healthy partnerships. Even if in an established relationship, self-hatred can take a serious toll. Take it from me, the moment I stopped being at war with myself was the moment my partner and I felt a shift in our relationship. We’d been on the rocks for months but now, all of a sudden, we’re more in love than ever.

Whether you’re looking for a new partner on dating sites or trying to rekindle your current relationship; Look inward for the answer! Do you love yourself? Or, failing that, do you like yourself? Be honest! You might not like your body but you can learn to see it for what it is; Your’s and your’s alone. Treat it with respect, nurture it, feed it, and never let anyone disrespect it.

“Eat like you love yourself. Move like you love yourself. Speak like you love yourself. Act like you love yourself.”

Valentine’s day is all about love and loving others. But what about loving ourselves? It’s not empathized to the same level as loving others. We’re just as important and in need of OUR LOVE as everyone else is.

What other things have you done to help you learn how to love yourself?


  1. I am the first one to cheer on other women! I love to be my friend’s biggest fan. But I do not give myself the same love and attention. Thanks for the reminder in this great post!

  2. This is great advice. We need to love ourselves and take care of ourselves as woman.

  3. As larger individuals, learning to accept yourself is something we struggle with. Thank you for writing and this!

  4. This is such an important message, to love ourselves at any size! Self love is crucial to loving others well.

  5. Learning to love yourself at any size and with all the flaws are words to live by. You’ve offered pragmatic tips on how to manifest this.

  6. I think accepting yourself at any size is an important message. And, I noticed this more when I went on two different medications to manage my health which have opposite side effects.

  7. These are all fantastic things to think about when it comes to self-love. Affirmations, gratitude, and being kinder and gentler are all effective ways towards learning to love yourself. I especially love your take on saying no!

  8. This is a great reminder to take care of ourselves. As a mom, I can relate to not making myself a priority and also having a lot of negative self doubts.

  9. I am a grandma now, and the things that bothered me in my youth no longer do. I always say it’s such a shame that it takes so long for us to get to such a wonderful place of feeling secure and content with who we are….

  10. I can’t tell you how much I love this! Most of us tend to not love ourselves as much as we should. Too often we sacrifice our own happiness in an effort to be liked.

  11. Pingback: 5 Ways to Overcome Anxiety After a Toxic Relationship. : Nyxie's Nook
  12. I love this post! It hits home for me so much! Even if I just eat a bunch of fiber and FEEL bloated I know that I act differently bc I am insecure that I look too big. It’s ridiculous and I know it but I can’t stop feeling that way sometimes!

  13. Great reminder! It’s so hard when you’re younger to love yourself I always struggled but now that I’m older I realize that I should have never been so hard on myself! I want to teach my kids to love their bodies for all that they can do and not just how they look! Society needs more of that!

  14. As someone who has struggled with my weight for a very long time, I relate so much to this post. I can’t say I’ve learnt to love my body completely for what it is right now, but I feel like I am making significant progress in that department.

  15. I’m beginning to get like that now which I’m grateful for. My body seems to be leveling itself out and in the past, I would have fought, but now it’s like ‘why?’ If my body is happy at a bigger size, then so be it.

  16. LOVED all the wee goodies! I’m currently drinking from the water bottle. It’s my new go-to instead of a re-useable plastic bottle. I much prefer the cool metal. Ohhhh your course sounds class! I took various classes during the height of lockdown about resilience and positivity and confidence and they really, really helped!

  17. I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope she comes to realise that she is enough. It took me years to realise it. Sending so much love. x

  18. Thank you so much for reading. I hope your wee girl learns that she is enough, no matter what anyone thinks. It’s so hard when you’re that age. x x

  19. i love this. self love is so important. we really need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others.

  20. I love #4! There’s so much here that I need to work on – I really struggle with saying no so that’s something I’ve been trying to improve over the last few years, and I also have started with affirmations, which I’m finding are really positive.

  21. Amen sister. I love reading body-positive posts. I remind myself that I’m unique and special. Thanks

  22. I know lots of people that struggle with this, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t something I was conscious off. I’m sorry to hear you have such a hard time with it! I might be able to use these tips to transfer onto my other forms of anxiety, so thank you for sharing

  23. it is a very important post. Love to yourself is not affected by the looks and size. as long as the person is healthy it is ok to look as this person looks

  24. Accepting our flaws and imperfections are the key step to start loving ourselves. Thanks for sharing this for people who are struggling to make themselves feel loved.

  25. Not loving yourself can be so harmful. This is some great information to overcoming this issue.

  26. This is really powerful and such an important topic that should be discussed – thank you for sharing. It’s so much easier helping to boost up others compared to applying those lessons to yourself, isn’t it?

  27. I think this is a very important topic. Everyone should be able to always love themselves no matter what. It shouldn’t matter what you look like. It’s always what’s inside.

  28. I like reading your blog posts which always serve as ideas for my Soul Spa sessions where I really try very hard to help people in their essence and desire to love each other.

  29. I love this! I had a decent weight increase in the second half of 2019 (and obviously am experiencing one again now LOL) It can be tough, but as long as you are healthy and feel good, that’s all that matters. I try not to thinking about a “number” anymore.

  30. I totally agree! We all should love our selves no matter what size or what shape our bodies are. Nobody is perfect and we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

  31. This is such a great reminder. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others but yes, loving yourself is extremely important.

  32. This is such an important post, especially for me since negative self talk made me angry at myself for quite some time a couple years ago. I found that exercising to be proud of what my body can do really helped me, and daily affirmations were also motivating in learning to love myself. 🙂

  33. Yes to all this! I’ve been comparing myself, not to others but to my younger self. I have to learn to accept that I’m not that person anymore and realize I’m actually healthier and happier now!

  34. This is amazing. I am much kinder to myself than I was. I used to be like “I have to stay size 5 or else!” But now I’m like, “Eh. It is what it is.”

  35. All these points are spot on. Things I would do myself and things I’d encourage other people to do as well. And I think these things work at all levels of comparison / negative self-talk. Not just with our size and body shape but with most areas of life! I’m currently enrolled in a self development course and we’re focusing heavily on changing the way we speak to ourselves so I’m learning a lot about my negative thinking patterns right now!

    Also, weren’t the bits from the We Love Dates goodie bags SO lovely? The journal is the best xxx

  36. Love this, I’m struggling to love myself with the weight I gained quickly in a perfect storm 5 years ago. Being bed bound makes it so Hard to lose that weight and lockdown was disastrous when my mother figure passed away suddenly, I’m trying again and getting back into my routine of affirmations, bed yoga, journaling and choosing my snacks carefully. This post is an extra little boost for me, thank you.

  37. My daughter suffers from self-confidence issues and although she is so pretty and in good shape she wants other things too. it is so important to like yourself for all the good you do.

  38. What people think of you is their business not yours. I agree with this wholeheartedly. I accept that and rarely give a crap what others think of me. My teen daughters though are a study in contrasts. My older girl does care so much that I hate seeing that. It is detrimental to her mental health. I think the journey to not caring or being accepting and loving of yourself is a genuine challenge for women.

  39. I’ve had a hard time with the what people think of you is none of your business, but I’m trying to accept that. I need to love myself, not worry about the approval of others.

  40. Learning to love myself is still something I’m still working on in my mid twenties, I think it will be a work in progress for me for a while yet, I loved reading this post lovely x

  41. Oh my gosh I love re-finding this post, thank you! I still definitely struggle with pain, and right now my relationship with food is less than healthy, but I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at and I love my body more right now than I did back in February. Baby steps, right?

  42. This is so personal and heartfelt! Indeed, we tend to be our worst critics and instead of supporting and being grateful for this body that carries us our entire life, we tend to harbor so many negative feelings for it. I like it how you shared things we can practice and they are actually stuff you can do at home or at no cost. Easy to say, always, but it’s worth the effort… we are worth the effort.

  43. I just want to say that this is such an empowering post! Comparison is what made me uninstall my instagram account too, there were days when I look in the mirror and can’t help but be disappointed at what I see. And I admire you for making peace with it by writing this post. Amazing. Cheers!

  44. Thank you so much for reading Laura. I really appreciate your words and can’t thank you enough for how encouraging they are.
    Stay safe x

  45. I’m so sorry to hear this. It is so much easier said than done and sadly many will never understand that. It’s lovely of him to say that though, what a cutie! It takes a lot of time to start to feel better about yourself and I’ve struggled for years.
    Stay safe & keep believing that you can overcome this! x

  46. I’ve been struggling with this lately, loving myself where I am at right now. I said something about my weight and how frustrated I was when my son said to me. Don’t worry about your weight Mom. I wish it was easier said than done. I’m hoping to get better at it.

  47. The way you write is so riveting and so powerful. Best I’ve read a lot of weight the end of last year and I stopped loving myself because of it. Instead I shamed myself constantly. It wasn’t until I started accepting myself for where I was (and who I was vs what I weighed) and started giving myself love again that i could start coming out of it. This article reinforces this journey for me and strengthens my spirit. We all have struggles and stories and we can support each other through it. I love so much how you share your heart in every one of your posts ♡ much love to you always. You are beautiful, inside and out.

  48. I have struggled with being overweight all my life! Seems I’ve always been on a diet of some kind, and never able to just accept myself or my body no matter what size I am at any given time! Thank you so much for this amazing article!!!

  49. #9 is so hard for me. Why can’t I be happy all the time? What do you mean these fleeting thoughts are normal? Wth is wrong with me?? Beautiful article. Thank you!

  50. It can be so, so hard for some people. Me included. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to a place where I’m happy, but I’ll certainly try.

  51. Thank you for commenting Krysten and I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. It’s hard when our body starts to let us down. But often it’s outside our control. For example, my mother has awful teeth due to her second pregnancy when her calcium levels were low. It has left her needing many crowns and fillings, and she has an awful fear of the dentist (like me). Sometimes we can’t control these things. But I have started to think about all the other things my body CAN do that others can’t. I.e walk without great pain like my grandfather. It may not make it better but it puts things into perspective.

  52. Thank you so much for stopping in and reading. I really appreciate it and agree fully. It is so, so difficult. But I believe it can be done with much determination and time.

  53. Thank you so, so much for this wonderful comment. We are brutal to ourselves yet would never dream of saying these things to others! I’m working on myself for myself everyday, and as long as I keep doing that and moving forward, then I should (hopefully) learn to love myself for who I am.

  54. I’m aiming to get to a place where my weight, size and the comments of others doesn’t impact me as hugely has it has done in the past. But it’s hard to unlearn over two decades of disordered thoughts.

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  55. It can be so hard. I dread to think what I’ll do the day I have to explain this to my own kids. I’m in doubt that it’ll have to happen because external forces won’t quit with making us feel bad about our bodies. It’ll be an ongoing challenge in our lifetime.

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  56. It’s an ongoing thing. As I said it’s a journey and not a stable destination. We can be fine one day, and shit the next.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.

  57. Thank you so much for reading. It’s certainly a learning curve and can be so difficult. But I have to keep reminding myself of these tips every day.

  58. These are really great tips. I think we all struggle at one time or another with our body image. I really like the idea of reconsidering how we talk to ourselves (it can be so mean, and we would never say those things to others!) and to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

    Make Life Marvelous

  59. Preach! I am lucky in that I have not ever really taken other people’s opinions about my appearance seriously. But like all girls, I can pick myself apart physically and be a little critical at times. I’m working on accepting and loving myself every day! It’s a process.

  60. Great article. It definitely helped me think about things a little differently. Thanks for sharing this, I needed it!

  61. Ooooh girl! You hit close to home on this one. I’m also great at helping others to see the beauty in their imperfections yet guilty of wallowing in my own. It’s taken me an extremely long time to get comfortable in the skin I’m in. I still have bad days, but faking it til you make it definitely helps.

  62. Such a thoughtful and well written article. No body is perfect and there’s no such thing as one but people still insist on comparing or criticising to make themselves feel better.

  63. I agree – your size is your feeling. I picked up tons of weight lately (due to health issues) and it used to be very skinny only half a year ago (like ‘do you at least eat?’ skinny). I still try to love myself and don’t listen to people around

  64. Great advice and encouragement! I ask myself every day when will I be ok with me! Life is too short to waste another minute.

  65. Oh my gosh! This post hits the nail on the head times 100! We are so hard on ourselves for all the wrong reasons. And I need giant posters of this around our house for all of use to help affirm ourselves. There isn’t enough room in a reply to talk about all of the best points of this post. But bottom line is, how do we convince ourselves that it is okay to heal and to see ourselves in a better light? Especially when our head knows it, but we just don’t allow ourselves to internalize it.
    That being said, LOOK HOW FAR YOU’VE COME!!!!!! Every day is a new day and you now have all the tools you need to thrive! Bad days or good days, you’re going to come out on top!!!

  66. It can be really hard not to compare yourself to others especially with the accessibility to social media and all the modified images. I’ve found that when I do things that make me feel good and wear things that make me feel confident, it’s easier to practice self love.

  67. I’ve been really frustrated with my body lately. My teeth suck. I’m trying to make my body stronger but I’m finding all these pains that are holding me back. It’s just HARD. Thank you for this reminder Nyxie, I needed this so much.

  68. Thank you for sharing such a painful post. No matter what you are beautiful and worth thinking so.

  69. It’s something I worked hard on and then find myself now being slightly fat and hating myself for it, I think it’s a harder psychological job than you think.

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