Loving yourself is probably one of the most difficult things you will ever do – especially if you are a woman. I know, for myself, it is hard for me to look at my body with a positive image and I know that I am not alone. Almost every woman has at least one (or several) things they would change about their body if given the opportunity. Thankfully, there are things that I was able to do over the past year or so to help turn my negative body image into a positive one.
Here are nine life-changing thoughts that made me love my body as it is!
1. Note The Good and Not The Bad
It is so easy to focus on the negative parts of your body. It is. But I had to start focusing on the good parts of my body. The goal is to spend at least a few minutes a day complimenting myself on something I liked about my body. Every day I tried to complement something different that way I was not hyper-focusing on one part of my body.
It may seem difficult, but take time to compliment yourself. Life changing thoughts from which you like your hair today? Say so. That dress makes your butt look good? Say it. After a while, you will begin to compliment yourself more than you put yourself down.
2. Workout For Growth, Not As Punishment
This one may also seem very simple, but it is important that you use workouts as a way to build yourself up. Yes, they should be used to burn off calories, but that is not the only reason you should be working out. Sweating at the gym builds confidence, and I quickly figured that out. When I used my workouts as a way to grow my whole attitude about my body changed. I switched from focusing my workouts as a means to lose weight and used it as a way to show myself how powerful I am.
3. Your Body Does A Lot
Have you ever sat down and thought about exactly how much your body does for you on a day-to-day basis? It may seem strange, but when you focus on what your body does for you, you would be amazed how quickly your body image will change.
When I started taking stock of my body’s ability, my attitude quickly adjusted about how I looked, and I started to appreciate the fact that I could easily lift my niece or nephew if I needed to. The fact that I can give them huge hugs made me grateful for how strong I am.
4. Do Today What You Might Have Done Tomorrow
After going through some pretty serious friend “breakups,” I started to realize that I was using my body as an excuse not to do some of the things I had dreamed of doing for a long time.
My body can do amazing things, and when I started to challenge myself to do those things and to try that class that I kept putting off, I was pleasantly surprised. Take time today to try something that you otherwise may not have tried. You will surprise yourself.
5. Food Is Fuel Not Evil
This is one area where I am still battling with myself, but the last month or so I have been focusing on what the food I am putting into my body is doing for me versus how many calories the food contains.
Adjusting my attitude toward my food and treating it as fuel made me realize that I was not properly fueling my body. Once I started fueling my body the way it should, I immediately felt better about how I looked – even if there was not a huge change physically.
6. Adjust Your Words
This one has been tough for me to do because I have been saying negative things to myself for years. However, what I do now is adjust my negative talk to positive talk, so now, “My arms are so chunky” becomes “My arms are so strong.”
While my arms to not physically change, it helps me to appreciate what my arms are doing for me versus what they look like.
7. Clothes That Fit, Not The Size
This was another hard one for me to wrap my head around. So much of our society is focused on what size our clothes should be that when I started to realize that I was not that ideal size 6 or size 10, I had a hard time. However, when I started shopping for clothes that fit my body rather than just for the size, I started to feel more comfortable in my skin.
Another important point to make here is that you should not wait to shop until you lose some weight. Shop for clothes that fit you now – you can always buy more clothes when you lose the weight. Imagine how rewarding it will be to go down in sizes!
8. Make Time For You
I am not a mother, but I know a lot of mothers out there who will agree with this one. As a woman, we often put others needs ahead of our own needs. I knew that for me to begin loving my body, I needed to make time for just me.
This could be going to get a coffee by myself, reading a book in bed or taking an extra class at the gym. By taking time for myself, I can give myself the grace I need throughout the rest of the day.
9. Track Your Successes
When negativity has been such a lard part of your life, it is hard to see all of the wonderful things you have done. One of the biggest things I have given myself is the reminders of my successes by writing them down either in a journal or surrounding myself with pictures of those successes. Having a constant reminder of how far I’ve come is a good way to keep a positive body image.
Having a positive body image takes work, and I hope you benefit from the above list of suggestions for positive body image development. It takes time to reprogram yourself, but I promise with time and repetition you will be able to build up your positivity.