In a world obsessed with unrealistic body (and beauty) standards and relentless body shaming, my journey towards self-love and body acceptance became even more important to me! Through several years of personal growth, I’ve embraced my beautiful fat body and learned to love it! I challenge societal norms and advocate for fat acceptance and body positivity with a mission to encourage and inspire plus-size women to embrace their bodies just as they are right now.

In honor of my 49th birthday, I’ve put together a list of 49 lessons I’ve learned over the last several years about self-love, body acceptance, and embracing my beautiful fat body that I hope will help you on your journey (I’ve bolded some of my faves):

  1. Embracing and loving your body is a lifelong journey.
  2. Surround yourself with positive, body-positive influences.
  3. It’s essential to prioritize self-care and self-compassion.
  4. Embrace your unique body (and beauty), regardless of societal body & beauty standards.
  5. Accept that everyone’s body is different and that comparison is unnecessary.
  6. Recognize that fat does not equal unhealthy or unworthy (just as thin does not equal healthy)!
  7. Appreciate the diversity and range of beauty in all body types.
  8. Practice gratitude for what your body can do, rather than focusing on its appearance.
  9. Challenge harmful social and cultural norms that perpetuate body shaming.
  10. Understand that weight does not define your worth as a person.
  11. Engage in activities that make you feel joy and celebrate your body’s abilities.
  12. Surround yourself with supportive and inclusive communities.
  13. Ditch the scale! (And stop getting weighed at the doctor’s office – yes, you do NOT have to be weighed, tell them NO)
  14. Recognize that self-love is a daily practice that requires patience and perseverance. Have grace with yourself.
  15. Embrace clothing and styles that make you feel confident and comfortable. The size on the tags is just a number… stop giving a shit what that number is!
  16. Prioritize mental and emotional well-being alongside physical health.
  17. Speak up against fatphobia and challenge societal prejudices.
  18. Cultivate a positive body image by acknowledging and appreciating all aspects of yourself.
  19. Wear whatever the hell you want! Bikini? Yep! Let that beautiful belly out! Shorts? Yep! Let those thick thighs shine. Sleeveless shirts/dresses? Yep! Let those bat wings fly! (I think you catch my drift here 😉 )
  20. Educate yourself about the harmful effects of diet culture and strive for body neutrality.
  21. Embrace and celebrate the bodies of others, fostering a culture of acceptance.
  22. Set boundaries with people who engage in fatphobic behaviors or comments. Especially family & friends!
  23. Recognize that you have the right to exist in any space, regardless of your size.
  24. Develop a support system of friends and loved ones who uplift and celebrate your body instead of always commenting on your body!
  25. Practice self-care rituals that make you feel good about yourself.
  26. Accept compliments and internalize them rather than brushing them off.
  27. Explore self-expression through art, fashion, or any other creative outlets.
  28. Challenge negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations.
  29. Celebrate your body’s resilience and strength.
  30. Remember that health and well-being encompass more than just physical appearance.
  31. Surround yourself with diverse body types in media and social platforms.
  32. Engage in activities that challenge beauty standards, such as body-positive events or campaigns.
  33. Learn to appreciate and celebrate every curve, roll, and imperfection as a part of your unique beauty.
  34. Understand that worthiness and confidence come from within, not from external validation.
  35. Embrace the different stages and changes that come with aging, honoring the wisdom gained.
  36. Celebrate small victories and progress on your self-love journey.
  37. Advocate for inclusivity and representation in all areas of life, including fashion, media, and healthcare.
  38. Find joy in movement and exercise that focuses on enjoyment rather than weight loss.
  39. Practice mindfulness and body acceptance through activities such as meditation or yoga (affirmations are a huge one for me).
  40. Learn to listen to your body’s needs and respect its boundaries.
  41. Accept that it’s okay to have insecurities and actively work on self-compassion.
  42. Engage in body-positive self-talk and avoid negative internal dialogue.
  43. Educate yourself about fat liberation and the history of fatphobia.
  44. Promote body diversity and inclusivity by using your voice and platforms.
  45. Celebrate your body as a work of art, deserving of love and admiration.
  46. Understand that self-love and body acceptance are ongoing practices with ups and downs.
  47. A body is the least interesting thing about a person.
  48. Diet culture is toxic!

And 49 is getting more than a little sentence because this was the most important lesson I had to learn. It’s what played one of the biggest roles in my relationship with my body and myself:


Not only did it help in my body acceptance journey, but I quickly learned that if I wanted to help stop perpetuating body shaming & unrealistic body standards, I could NOT comment on other people’s bodies. Yep, that meant no more “Hey, have you lost weight? You look great. Keep it up!” which was my go-to comment when I noticed weight loss in someone – it was the normal thing to do! Why is this an issue? There are so many reasons, but the main one is that it can be triggering. Maybe you’re wondering, why that would be triggering and not a comment. I’ll use myself as an example…

Before I ditched diet culture and engaged in continuous harmful dieting and excessive exercising, etc. people were always commenting on my weight loss but 98% of those people did NOT know what was going on behind the scenes for that weight loss – laxatives, diet pills, starving myself, and binging/purging (bulimia). Each comment about how great I was looking just reinforced that I had to do whatever it took to strive towards shrinking my body more and more – no matter what it took! It kept me in a cycle for years believing that my worth came from how my body looked🤦‍♀️

Not convinced yet? Here’s another example:

I commented on someone’s weight loss once only to be told it was because they had just recently been diagnosed with cancer. They weren’t trying to lose weight – they were fighting cancer! And they let me know how bothered they were by the comment (I’d like to say I stopped commenting on weight loss after that but it took a few more years sadly).

Need another one? Here you go:

Using myself again, not that long ago, I was losing weight quickly. Because I don’t weigh myself, I wasn’t sure how much – I only knew it was happening because clothes were getting bigger and bigger. Finally, I stepped on the scale backward (so I didn’t have to see the # because it messes with me mentally & my eating disorder), and my doctor tracked it. In about 10-12 weeks, I was down almost 48 pounds.

It was NOT intentional weight loss! Yes, I was pretty active (hiking and walking a lot) during that time, but it was SCARY; I had diarrhea non-stop, clumps of my hair were falling out, some days I had very little energy, my stomach was upset all the time… it was really scary! My doctor was running tests and blood work to rule things out… including cancer!

Finally, I was diagnosed with IBS-D (irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea). Once we got that under control, symptoms, for the most part, stopped, and that meant the weight came back on.

During that time, a few people commented about the weight loss… even knowing it was because I was sick! It was such a mind-fuck, and my eating disorder came out to play, especially once I felt the weight coming back on.

To sum up all that in a simple sentence: Weight loss (and weight gain, too) can happen for so many different reasons—there is no reason to comment on someone’s body. Period. End of story! 

There are so many other lessons! It was hard to narrow it down to 49, but I want to remind you that embracing your body and self-love is a journey, not a destination – you have to work at it every day. In a world that often tries to undermine our self-worth, let’s challenge societal body (and beauty) standards, celebrate our uniqueness, and uplift others in their self-love journeys. Remember, you are worthy of love, respect, and happiness, no matter your body size or shape. Embrace your beautiful body, honor its strength and resilience, and let’s spread the message of body acceptance and inclusivity.

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