The size and shape of a woman’s body is more emotionally and physically connected to her femininity, sensuality and attraction than anything else. When a woman has negative feelings about her body, it can be emotionally distressing and it often derails her style.

Many women refuse to shop for new clothing in the hope they will return to their lower weight and be reunited with their smaller size. They don’t want to make an investment in new or quality clothing at their larger size.  It is perceived as a waste of money since this larger body is viewed as a temporary condition. In the meantime, they suffer and don’t feel proud about how they look while wearing clothing that is lower quality, lower cost, too tight or borrowed until they get their body back.

The consequence of doing this is that it reinforces a message to yourself that you are only lovable based on the size of your thighs. You place a lower value on yourself when you are at a larger size…let’s pause on that for a moment…

Your love is conditional. Your love is based on your weight or size. 

Is there anyone else in your life you would love in this way?

No, it’s only how you treat yourself.

Okay, so let’s talk about how we can turn this around and get the love back, no matter what size you are. Here are my top 3 recommendations to feel the love again:

1. Take the focus off your size and place emphasis on your shape

Your size fluctuates with your weight; your shape is remains the same. An hourglass shaped women will be a larger or smaller hourglass as her weight fluctuates. She will not become an apple, and an apple shaped body will not become an hourglass.

You can begin to feel better about your body by learning the style strategies to dress for your shape. This will allow you to embrace your body with a more positive association and take the emphasis off the size of your body, your weight and clothing size.

By dressing for your shape, it will instantly give your body a leaner appearance. It will also be empowering to know what your shape is and how to dress for it. I’ll share a few of these specific strategies next week.

2. Remove all smaller sizes of clothing from your closet

While it’s fine to aspire to losing weight, it’s important to embrace and appreciate the place your body is at in the moment. You can’t love what you loathe.

By removing “aspirational” clothing from your closet and keeping your closet stocked only with clothing that fits you today, it will reinforce good feelings that lead to body acceptance. This will give you a better chance of starting each day by loving yourself and feeling good about your body.

I’m not suggesting you have to give the smaller clothes away; you can do that if you choose to, or you can place them in a box out of site in storage. When your body has changed you can always open your boxes and decide if you want to wear these clothes again.

3. Identify Your Zone of Beauty

There is something beautiful about every woman. Your Zone of Beauty is the area of your body that is uniquely beautiful to you and admired by others. By identifying and embracing your Zone of Beauty, you can begin to appreciate, focus on and accentuate your special “Zone”.

You have a Zone from the neck up and one from the neck down. Pick one of each.

Some of you may feel challenged to find your Zone.  If you still are having trouble finding yours, take a moment to think about a compliment you have received in either area. Have you been told you have expressive eyes? A friendly smile? Strong legs?

It is important to stay with this and find your Zone. Once you have identified it, this is an area for you to embrace and give loving attention to make it the best it can be. If you Zone is your smile, keep your teeth impeccably groomed, frame them with a wide assortment of lipstick or lipgloss and exfoliate your lips to keep your skin extra soft.

If your legs are your Zone of Beauty, take the best care of them by keeping them toned, moisturized and smooth.  Show them off in skirts, dresses and interesting shoes to draw even more attention to them.

Pick your Zone, make it the best it can be and celebrate this beautiful part of your body to love.

By following these three foundational steps to loving yourself to a greater sense of self-acceptance, you can love how you look over 40!