She's setting an empowering example of what self-love and acceptance are all about

By By Alexa Erickson
Updated: December 07, 2016

With a slew of six-packs, rock-hard bootys, and bikini-clad bloggers filling up your social feeds, it can be easy to get lost in a universe that isn't exactly real life. (Discover these 20 body-positive songs that will remind you to love yourself again.) On the other refreshing hand, body-positive and self-loving Instagrammer and blogger, Kathleen Elizabeth Tyler a.k.a. @fallingintoselflove, fills her profile with enthusiastic selfies, full-body shots, all kinds of tasty foods (all of which she feels zero guilt about eating), and incredibly powerful statements. With signature hashtags like #rollsarentjustforcinnamon and #losehatenotweight, it's no wonder she's gained so many followers. Most recently the body positive blogger, who is recovering from an eating disorder herself, grabbed attention with a statement that shed light on how people talk about themselves and their bodies.

You've probably heard the mantra that to love someone else you must start by loving yourself, but Tyler knows that's not always how it works. The reality is that no matter how much you try to love everything about yourself and your body, some days you can get stuck in a pile of negativity, seeing only "flaws" instead of unique qualities. When you're surrounded by all that self-loathing, Tyler reminds you that you'd never talk about people you love this way, so why would you do it to yourself. (Lightbulb! There's that a-ha moment.)

She writes: "Think of a someone you know and love inside of your mind, and then allow your thoughts regarding them to flow freely throughout your brain. Now try to convince yourself to say some of the horrible things we say about our own bodies but make it about them."

And she makes a compelling argument; the thought alone of saying hurtful, degrading comments to a friend, a partner, or someone else you respect and care about is enough to make you squirm.

She continues on to say, "before I had embarked on my journey of self-discovery, I described myself based only on my outer appearances and what the life experiences I had faced... I was my stretch marks and my cellulite. I was my acne and my bushy eyebrows. I was the outer shell of a girl who had been hurt. I was my scars and the discolorations on my stomach. I was my stomach rolls and my thighs that touch." (P.S. This Video Will Inspire You to Own Your #BellyJelly.)

Tyler takes her point home by explaining that you wouldn't define the people you love by their cellulite, stretch marks, wrinkles, or acne, because it is their soul, not their physical traits, that are the reason you love them in the first place, so why would you hold yourself to any different standards? (It comes down to changing your perspective and thinking positively.) It's when you realize this (ding, ding, ding) that you can see yourself more clearly and stop looking at things as "flaws" and more as the qualities that make you, you.

It's hard not to start clapping out loud for this game-changing way of thinking and for the young woman who shed light on such an obvious but forgotten way of looking at beauty. Tyler sums up her inspiring outlook on self-love with yet another powerful statement that will warm your insides, saying, "yes I do have stretch marks, scars, and stomach rolls (which believe it or not also contribute to my beauty), I have so much more as well. I am my radiant smile. I am my heart that yearns to help others. I am my mind that never gave up even during the toughest of battles. I am me."

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