I recall spending hours obsessing about my body and the way it looks. I used to google my life away to find the latest diets to lose weight.
In the past I would try these fad diets with the illusion to lose weight and get to a point where I could finally feel comfortable in my body. Needless to say that all these diets and attempts to shortcut my way to being in love with myself and body were a total fail.
It took me many years to understand that feeling good about my body had less to do with my body and more to do with how I thought about my body.
Body insecurities can be so limiting and can keep us from expressing ourselves or even keep us from going after our goals. We get stuck thinking about how we look or how we might be perceived by others. We make the terrible mistake of relating the way we look with our worth as individuals.
I truly believe that it wasn’t until I developed a positive body image that I started to feel free. Feeling that my body IS good allowed me to feel happier and to recognize the power I had all along. I was able to focus on life progress rather than just making daily sacrifices for a smaller waist.
Having the ability to understand that I am more than how my body looks allowed to expand on my gifts. This was possible because I was no longer trapped into altering my looks, but rather celebrating who I am in all of my abilities.
SO WHAT IS A POSITIVE BODY IMAGE?
Body image is how you see yourself physically, both when you think about yourself, and when you look in a mirror. A positive body image is accepting your body as it is. It is understanding that your body IS good regardless of how it looks.
True positive body image is celebrating your natural shape and all your body can do. Also, accepting the things that it might not be able to do.
Remember that having a positive body image doesn’t mean that you have to love everything about your body but rather knowing that whether you do or don’t you are worthy of all good things you desire.
There are things you can keep in mind and make part of your lifestyle and way of thinking to accomplish a more positive body image?
1.APPRECIATE HOW AWESOME YOUR BODY IS
Reflect on all the things that your body allows you to accomplish every day. Most of us complain and punish our bodies and completely discard all the unbelievable gifts it provides us with. From simple as walking to the fact that we can lift, hug, kiss and feel!
Think about the amazing machine you got gifted at birth. A day shouldn’t pass you by without giving thanks to your body for all pleasures it allows you to enjoy in life!
2. BE MORE CRITICAL OF THE MESSAGES YOU LET IN
Have you stopped to listen? Do you actually pay attention to what the media is trying to make you believe?
I am constantly aware and questioning the messages being broadcasted all across the media. We are very much affected by social media, commercials and the music we listen to.
Unfortunately, most of these outlets are infested with messages that tell us that we aren’t good enough and there is always something we can and should fix about our appearance.
Be picky about what you consume and the messages you let into your life. Do a cleanse of anything that doesn’t serve and embrace your value beyond your looks.
I recommend making it a habit to unfollow any account that makes you feel like you aren’t good enough on social media. Also, try being more selective the shows you watch on tv the music you listen to.
I promise you will see noticeable changes in the way you think about yourself and your body.
The media says that beautiful is tall, white (or light skin women of color), young, thin, and perfect skin.
They want us to believe that our beauty is the most important thing as women but truth is that your value has nothing to do with the way you look.
3. START TELLING YOURSELF THE TRUTH
Changing the way we feel and think about our bodies is hard work and it requires permanent consistency.
Sometimes we have a hard time developing a positive body image because there isn’t much we love about our bodies. However, there are always things (even if just a few) that we like about ourselves.
I suggest you start focusing those qualities that you do like about you. The only rule is that they cannot be body or appearance related.
Practice complimenting yourself for attributes other than physical ones.
4. REMIND YOURSELF THAT BEAUTY IS MORE THAN JUST THE WAY YOU LOOK!
Beauty is state of mind rather than just how your body looks. It is important to feel good about yourself and who you are and not only about the way your body looks.
The things that make you truly beautiful are not only skin deep. Remember to look at yourself as the complex individual you are. You have a story and a purpose that goes beyond the way you look.
Treat yourself as a whole being you are and don’t receive anything less from those around you.
5. MONITOR YOUR THOUGHTS, NOT YOUR BODY SHAPE
Most of us have the misconception that changing how our bodies look will automatically change the way we perceive ourselves. In reality, the exact opposite is true. It is not until you change the way you think that you will see those changes reflected in your body.
This doesn’t mean that if you think you have a small waist, you will magically have a small waist. What I mean is that if you make your thoughts a priority, you will find that in time you will also alter the way you perceive your body.
It’s not about how your body looks. It’s about how you perceive yourself.
When I feel like I am not being healthy and as a result, my energy levels are suffering I make sure that implement habits from a place of health and not a place of superficial looks.
Instead of aiming to have a smaller waist I think about implementing more physical activity, drinking more water and less processed foods. Inevitably this does change the way my body looks in time but I know I feel like this approach honors my best overall health rather than just the way I look.
6. WHEN IN DOUBT WEAR CLOTHES THAT COMPLIMENT YOU
I have crop tops that I have worn with the utmost confidence, but I don’t always feel this way. Some days I feel bloated or simply don’t feel like showing my tummy or wearing anything tight.
I always listen to my body and only wear things in which I feel comfortable. It is not about looking good for a picture or for other people. It’s about feeling comfortable with yourself.
A confident person rocks her looks no matter what. Only wear things you love and don’t force unfitting fashion trends onto you and your body.
Listen to you and what you feel is best for you. Work from the inside out and not the other way around.
I have created some cool story templates for you to join the conversation. Download and share them on Instagram using #SelfieLoveSquad for a chance to be featured on y stories!
7. CHOOSE YOURSELF FIRST. ALWAYS!
We can’t expect love and acceptance from others if we don’t give ourselves the acceptance we need first.
The only way to make it inthis world is by choosing yourself. Learn to check in with yourself, listen to your body and trust your inner guidence. Commit to trust yourself above anything else. You are the only one who knows what is best for you.
I have struggled with body acceptance before and some days those feelings attemp to surface. These tips I share are some of the practices that keep me in track in my Body Acceptance and Self-Love journey.