My body image has always been an issue for me, ever since I was a little girl. It’s hard to live life and spend a lot of it worrying about how you look and how others perceive you, which is why we often fall victim to body negativity. I am definitely guilty of putting unnecessary pressure on my body and stressing myself out over things that, in the grand scheme of life, don’t really matter. So, for today’s post I wanted to share a few methods I use to be a bit more body positive.
Avoid Bad Influences
I always find that I tend to feel the worst when I surround myself with images and people that are bad body positivity influences. Meaning that there isn’t much acceptance for bodies as they fluctuate and understanding around how sometimes what’s going on on the outside reflects what’s happening on the inside. I’ve tried my best to steer clear of any imagery or content online that perpetuates diet culture because all it does is make me feel bad about myself. As though the only purpose in life is to attain the “perfect” body—”perfect” usually meaning unattainably skinny.
Make Note Of Everything Else You Have To Offer
One thing that my therapist suggested I do when I first brought up my body image issues with her is to recognize everything else I have to offer other than my body. It’s really helped me to piece together who I am as a whole, rather than just who stares back at me in the mirror. By understanding that I am a good writer, loving girlfriend, helpful friend and so many other things, I’ve been able to stop focusing on the processes of perfecting my body as the only reason I exist. If it helps, writing down everything that you believe makes you who you are is a great way to physically remind yourself on a day when you aren’t feeling particularly body positive.
Be Kinder To Yourself
Berating yourself or feeling guilty after a meal isn’t going to get you anywhere. Making the effort to be kinder to yourself goes a long way when you are building a better relationship with your body. I often fall into the trap of only noticing my “problem” areas and nothing else. Recently, I’ve tried to pay more attention to the things about my body that I like and don’t just tolerate. And the interesting thing is that some of those “problem” areas have transformed into my favourite parts of my body. You never know what a little bit of perspective can do.
Listen To Your Body
I am very new to the concept of intuitive eating, so I can’t speak to the subject confidently. But, I have adopted it’s philosophy in the sense that I try and let myself eat what I want, when I want without attaching any emotions to the act. By doing that, you are less likely to attach guilt to certain foods, making them that much more tempting, and can move toward a more neutral way of thinking about how you eat. It is hard to listen to your body and give in to what it wants, and might even lead you to making some unhealthy choices, but after a while you become that much more attuned to what works and what doesn’t.
How do you make yourself feel more body positive?