Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself, that’s when you’re most beautiful. ~ Zoe Kravitz
At some point in our lives, we get affected by intrusive thoughts about our bodies. Some people feel too thick and some feel too thin. Something about our weight just doesn’t seem fulfilling.
Each of us has a picture of a perfect body in our minds. When we’re not able to match that idealistic image to the real image that is there, it leads to disappointment.
The body image we have about ourselves can affect us, positively or negatively. Yes, I’m talking about body image today and also will share my thoughts and tips about maintaining a positive body image.
Let’s go on!
Before we move on to positive body image tips, let’s be clear what exactly body image means:
According to National Eating Disorders, Body image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind. It encompasses:
- What you believe about your own appearance (including your memories, assumptions, and generalizations).
- How you feel about your body, including your height, shape, and weight.
- How you sense and control your body as you move. How you physically experience or feel in your body.
So it’s clear now that body image is what we believe in and is not a reality of what our body really looks like. For instance, I’m 24 and 57 kilograms by weight. Every now and then I get extremely conscious about my body. I don’t have a perfect body; a few bulges of tummy, thick thighs and arms. My clothes don’t fit sometimes. I feel horrible. But that’s my part of the story. To others, I seem pretty normal and not at all overweight.
When I complain about me getting fat, people laugh and ask if I’m kidding. So you can see that every person has a different perception of us. Some might think I’m pretty whereas some might not. At the end of the day, it’s me who decides what’s real.
Staying positive and loving towards your body can be hard sometimes but if we make these positive body image tips which I’m going to discuss a part of our lives, we’ll definitely get over those negative thoughts about our body.
1. Respect your body
Whatever weight you have, count yourself as healthy and thriving. When you look in the mirror see your body as a temple, as a sacred sentient which you’re not supposed to insult. Learn to respect your body and avoid using words like ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’ or ‘unpleasant’. Replace those words with ‘beautiful’ ‘ravishing’ ‘worthy’ and ‘exquisite’. Be careful with the words you say to yourself. It’s a fact that words make difference so make use of these powerful words in your daily life. All in all, avoid fat-shaming or body-shaming yourself and others if you ever do.
2. Enroll yourself in a fitness program
Sign yourself up for Yoga, aerobics, meditation, Zumba or a gym. Your goal should be to become fit and not lose or gain weight. Do it for yourself. If you don’t want to do any of those, just do little exercising in the comfort of your home and it will surely make you feel positive towards your body.
3. Spend time in nature
If you’re too stressed out, it’s better to take some time off from your daily routine and spend time in crowd-free places such as a park, sanctuary, hills or lakes. Trekking with family and friends can be a fulfilling experience to mind as well as body and you’ll get to discover yourself. Taking strolls in the evening can refresh your mood and make you feel like you’ve made a positive difference to your body.
4. Stop measuring your weight
You might be tempted to check your weight every now and then just to be sure that you’re fit but just STOP it! Stop being obsessed with your weight. Stop measuring your body and judging it by the inch tape. It’s not doing you any good. To stop this temptation, make it a rule to measure your weight every 7 days or more.
5. Eat hearty meals
Make it a point to at least once a day, eat healthily. There are a variety of healthy foods to choose from such as apples, lettuce, spinach, carrots, kale, cucumbers, beetroots. Toss in some extra virgin olive oil for an added flavor and taste. Always eat fruits after every meal and avoid unnecessary binging. Wholesome meals make you healthy and fulfilled as well as keep a few inches off your body.
6. Love yourself unconditionally!
Make yourself a priority when it comes to you. Do what’s good for you, eat what’s good for you and keep your heart open to new life experiences. Step out from your comfort zone and pursue what you love. Be confident with the choices you make. This is more satisfying than you can imagine and help you maintain a positive body image.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others
Remember this: nobody has a perfect life. Don’t get deceived by what you see especially on social media. Seeing super-thin models on Instagram having fun is just the tip of the iceberg. Seeing skinny celebs on the magazine cover can trigger insecurities inside you. But the fact is it’s their job and in real life, they might not be happy with their bodies. They might be wanting to gain some weight and might be tired of starving themselves in order to look appealing. Instead of comparing, try to put yourself in other’s shoes.
8. Keep a thought journal
Record both positive and negative thoughts that come to your mind about your body in a journal. Keep that little notebook always with you and track your thoughts as they come. At the end of the day, evaluate both the thoughts; embrace the positive thoughts and think if those negative words really make sense.
9. Choose friends who promote positive body image
Surround yourself with positive people who accept you as you are. They shouldn’t be critical and loathsome about you, though constructive criticism once in a while is a nice thing. A true friend will never criticize you for being ‘too fat’ or ‘too thin’. Avoid friends who body shame other people because they can do it to you too. Develop substantial relationships with people who are motivating and supportive in your positive body image journey. Also, casually compliment people about their weight to show appreciation which will make them feel nice about themselves.
10. Engage in healthy self-talk
What you talk about yourself shapes who you are. Don’t engage in negative self-talk and treat your body with love and care. Whenever a negative thought comes to your mind, replace it instantly with a positive one. It will take some time to induce positive thoughts about your body but once you get a hang of it, you’ll never say bad things to yourself about it. You can also get in touch with a therapist with whom you can freely discuss your thoughts through websites like BetterHelp. Realize that you’re worth the love!
So these were my tips for a positive body image. To be honest, I’m still working on making myself thinking nice about my body and yes, it takes time. How do you feel about your body? Don’t you think these tips are worth giving a shot? Share with us in the comments below.