Working toward a more positive body image is difficult, challenging, frustrating. There are many outside forces pushing against us that erode our confidence and work hard to convince us that we are not lovely and worthy and strong and luminous. We internalize those forces over time, and over time the struggles we experience begin to take place within ourselves. This is a reminder to have patience, practice forgiveness, and be gentle with yourself as you learn and grow. You will have setbacks and difficult emotions, you will feel jealous of others and disappointed in yourself, you will have days when it feels like you’ll never be able to smile into the mirror again. Have patience, practice forgiveness, and be gentle with yourself. Just as Rae Smith points out in the image above, if you want to make body image progress, you must learn to be your own ally.