Okay, I have a question for you. Do you love your body? Embracing self-love and body acceptance, That is a really important question. And my guest today, Marla Mervis Hartman, creator of “Love Your Body, Love Yourself,” is going to help you answer “yes” to that question. While it might sound crazy or impossible, changing your relationship with yourself is the key. If you feel like you can’t lose weight, heal, or achieve your goals, it might be time to change your relationship with yourself.

Meet Marla Mervis Hartman

Marla experienced years of dysfunction related to food, exercise, and body confidence. She transformed her life through radical self-compassion and befriending herself. Now, she empowers women to appreciate their bodies, honor themselves through nourishing lifestyle choices, and cultivate confidence. Marla works at Ipono, an eating disorder recovery center, and is a leading body image expert and Reiki master at Journey Malibu, a drug and alcohol rehab center. She has been featured at TEDx Salinas, and you can check out her TEDx talk in the show notes.

Why Self-Love and Body Acceptance Matter

Marla’s mission is to inspire women to feel good about themselves as they pursue the lives they desire. She emphasizes that weight gain is often a symptom of something deeper going on. Understanding and unpacking your “why” is crucial for lasting change. Marla shares her insights on how to friend yourself, change your relationship with yourself, and embrace self-love.

Key Insights from Marla

  1. Stop Negative Self-Talk: Notice how you talk to yourself. Stop being so mean and negative. This shift in mindset is crucial for a healthier relationship with your body and food.
  2. Acceptance Doesn’t Mean Giving Up: Accepting your body doesn’t mean you’ll never change. It’s about loving and respecting yourself as you are now, which is essential for positive change.
  3. Embrace Messy Action: Take action even if it’s not perfect. Clarity comes from action, not endless planning and second-guessing.
  4. Self-Care is Essential: Incorporate self-care practices into your life. This includes spiritual tools, meditation, and taking time to connect with yourself.
  5. Healing Isn’t Linear: Understand that the journey to self-love and body acceptance is not a straight path. There will be ups and downs, but consistency and compassion are key.

Practical Steps to Embrace Self-Love and Body Acceptance

  1. Evaluate Your Relationship with Food: Look at how you relate to food and make changes that promote a healthier mindset.
  2. Develop a Support System: Surround yourself with friends who will hold you accountable and encourage positive self-talk.
  3. Create a Self-Care Routine: Find activities that calm and center you. This could be meditation, journaling, or physical activities that you enjoy.
  4. Seek Professional Help if Needed: If you’re struggling to navigate this journey on your own, consider seeking help from a professional who specializes in body image and self-love.

Marla’s Upcoming Book

Marla’s book, “Befriend Yourself,” is coming out in the fall. It delves into her journey and offers practical tools for finding freedom with food and peace with your body. Pre-order the book to receive her Body Compassion Collective course and exclusive access to the “Befriend Yourself” workshop.


Overcoming chronic dieting and embracing self-love and body acceptance is a journey. It requires a shift in mindset, consistent self-care, and the willingness to take messy action. Marla Mervis Hartman’s insights provide a roadmap for transforming your relationship with your body and achieving lasting well-being.

Call to Action

For more insights, listen to episode 223 of my podcast. Reach out to us if you need guidance. We’re here to support you on your journey to self-love and body acceptance.

Dr. Tabatha