This is a topic that’s close to my heart. Which is learning to your body. I feel that in today’s world, so many of us only ever focus on the negatives, instead of looking at the positives. So here are my thoughts on learning to love your body.
It seems like today we’re constantly told our body isn’t good enough. Whether it’s the latest fad diet, some crazy trends like the wrap your arm around your back and touch your belly button trend, or the media shaming “plus-size” models (since when is size eight plus size?).
Every time you turn around there is something or someone trying to convince you that you need to buy XYZ product to lose weight, or to get a thigh gap, or to get the Kim K butt, etc. In my opinion this it’s absolute nonsense.
We’re all created differently for a reason. Not all have curves like Kim K, Beyoncé, or Nicki Minaj. Not to be 6ft, or to have abs like the Victoria’s Secret Models.
Short-term it doesn’t seem like any of that would affect you, but long term it can have quite the impact.
I mean let’s be honest who doesn’t watch the VS show every year wearing sweatpants, hair in a messy bun, and crying into a container of ice cream? Okay, maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but you get what I’m saying.
You start comparing your body to theirs, you start putting yourself down, and being mean towards yourself. Which hurts nobody but yourself. You then end up damaging the relationship you have with your body.
I’m not dissing the VS models at all, they all put the work in to keep their bodies as fit as they are. My personal favorite to follow on Instagram is Iza Goulart since she’s always posting her workouts.
Back to the topic of this post…
This is why for this body positivity series, I wanted to do a post on how to learn to love your body. Because too many of us are talking negatively about ourselves, and we need to learn only to say positive things and leave the negativity behind.
If you’ve ever noticed in my workout posts, or any post really since they’re all about living a healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise. I never say “by doing this you’ll get skinny,” or things similar to that that you’ll find on a lot of “healthy lifestyle” blogs.
Because I don’t believe that being “skinny” makes you happy. I know people, and I’m sure you do too, of all sizes and shapes that are comfortable and satisfied with the way they look.
I learned at 13 if you don’t treat yourself how you’d treat others you’ll go to a dark place, and ever since then, I’ve tried my best to be kind to myself.
This isn’t to say I’m all over here in a land full of rainbows, lollipops, and unicorns because I still have my moments where I catch myself thinking negatively about myself. But I try to convert those thoughts back to positive ones quickly.
For me the best way to keep the relationship with my body a positive one I make sure to take care of my body. This means taking the time to cook healthy food that will fuel my body. Exercising daily to keep my body in shape. Taking the time each day to disconnect from technology entirely and just breathe for a minute.
So, looking in the mirror and loving what you see can be a challenge at times. It’s easier to be nice to yourself than it is to be hateful to yourself… especially in the long run.
My whole life I have fought with negative body image. Countless diets and constant mental beating were my weapons. I enjoyed this hatefest because I thought it would bring me the ideal shape I wanted. But as soon as the deal was reached, it would become just another disappointing reflection in the mirror. I would flip through the magazines and compare myself with all those women with perfect bikini bodies, thinking they had it all. Looking like that, they must have a perfect guy, and a perfect job; they must be loved by everyone. How much envy I felt towards them. This negativity transferred to all other aspects of my life. I started seeing flaws in my friends, my partner, and my life in general. Until, one day, I realized that these thoughts pushed people away from me. That was a forehead-smacking moment. I learned that the only way to lasting happiness is to love your body the way it is. It was not easy, but I did it. And so can you. Here is what helped me.
SAY GOODBYE TO ADS
Many outside influences affect the way you see your body, but advertisements are by far the strongest ones. They are on TV, build boards, in magazines (particularly women’s magazines), and pop up on every website. The average fashion model in those ads is a young, size 2, gorgeous babe. You will never see yourself in those photos. This causes frustration and poor body image. Remember that those ‘touched up’ girls are not real, but you are, and stop comparing yourself to them.
FOCUS ON FEELING GOOD
You should exercise, and you should be mindful about your diet, but because it will make you FEEL better, not LOOK better. Start thinking about diet and exercise as something good you are doing for yourself. What helped me a lot feel better is the fact that I chose to live a green lifestyle. I switched to organic food, as well as organic face moisturizers and other organic skin care products. This lifestyle change helped me purify my body and mind and made me a much happier person.
Demeaning yourself will hardly bring motivation. Instead, your self-talk should be supportive, loving, and encouraging. When a negative thought about yourself comes to your mind, stop and think if you would say that to someone you love.
COUNT YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Make a list of the things you achieved and return to it every time you feel like a failure. Focusing on what you have done rather than what you have not is a great motivator.