“I look fat in this” “I would die for her body” “He thinks I am fat” “I have no boobs” “I am on this new fad diet…again” “I look like a boy.”
Have you ever said statements like this? I know I have. Instead of spending time trying to accept our body, we waste time comparing ourselves to others, beating up our bodies, starving ourselves and place obtaining the ‘perfect body’ at the top of our priority list. This is a tragedy in modern day society. In the moments when we are suppose to be celebrating life such as, your child’s birthday, your graduation, your wedding day, I mean damn even at your funeral, the most important thing on the agenda is ‘looking good.’ Skinny, but not too skinny. Boobs, but not too big. Round medium sized ass, but no cellulite. Perfect skin, but no stretch marks. Toned, but not too toned. It sounds like the children’s book “Goldie Locks,” not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
As someone who struggled with body image, and an eating disorder, majority of my life, I understand this conflict. I missed out on proms, high school dances, and immature movie dates with guys all due to a lack of acceptance of my body. One day I told myself that there was no point. No matter how skinny or overweight I would be, people would find some way to discourage me. So I said, ‘Fuck it! I am going to be healthy, but enjoy my life!”
There is no genuine definition or equation to obtaining ‘beauty.’ Do not waste one more minute. The sexiest thing a woman can be is confident.
Here are a 8 personal strategies to help in developing a positive body image.
Communication is not only important between two people, but also with yourself. Every morning write a note to yourself, put it on the mirror, and say it aloud or in your head while you brush your teeth.
“I love myself just the way I am”
“I believe in myself”
Go to this link, 14 Mantras To Help Build Positive Self-Talk…, to get some extra help in self-talk.
2. Switch Up Role Models.
If majority of the figures you follow on Instagram or Facebook are accounts that make you feel even more inadequate, hit the ‘unfollow’ button for now. Follow accounts who encourage positive body image.
Here are some of the accounts I follow promoting positive body image on Instagram: @positivebodyimage, @end_body_shame, @mybodynoshame, @bodyposipanda
This gallery of images portrays female figures, from Greek Mythological Goddesses to Amy Schumer, who give a realistic and positive outlook on the female body.
3. Exercise your mind and body.
Try out a class like yoga or zumba, workouts that are centered on embracing your body, not about burning as many calories in a short amount of time. Eat something healthy everyday, get creative and switch it up.
The two links listed below are easy at home exercises that help strengthen mind and body.
4. Reach Out.
Talk to friends & family about your body image issues. Ask them if they have insecurities. It is surprising to hear some of the people you admire have insecurities as well, and makes you realize you are not alone.
5. Meditate to Appreciate.
Body is just as important as mind. On days I am feeling insecure, I sit and take ten minutes to reevaluate my insecurities.
This is a great video I listen to, called Guided Mediation: Positive Body Image.
6. Role Play.
This is not dressing up like a naughty officer! Play the role of someone helping a young teenager with body issues similar to yours. Write a “pretend letter” to them discussing your struggle with body, and ways to overcome this challenge. This is a letter to the “insecure you,” and acknowledges your insecurities. It is a creative way to take an outside perspective on your personal feelings.
Use this alternative link, 20 Ways to Love Your Body, to write some helpful tips in your letter.
7. I love myself, because I am…I love my (blank) because he/she is…
Grab a pen and paper. Write down, “I love myself because I am…” List alteast 5 things you love about yourself and 2 personal accomplishments.
…I am positive, kind, strong, intelligent and creative. I have graduated from college and I have a good job.
Then write “I love my (family member, close friend and/or peer) because he/she is…” Write a list of what you love about them.
Now look at the list, and ask yourself:
Do these your personal positive character traits have to do with your body?
Would you have been able to accomplish these things without having the perfect body?
Would you not admire this family member or friend if they were too skinny or overweight?
This gives you an outside perspective about how people view you, and how you view others, separate from body.
8. Set a Goal & Stick to It.
Pick out an outfit you have been dying to wear, but have felt self-conscious in. Bring the outfit, and only one, to a friends house where you get dressed before you go out. This way you are forced to wear the outfit. As time goes on, your insecurities will slowly fade.
I had an obsession with my arms and refused to wear anything that showed them. Recently, I bought a few sleeveless shirts, and took majority of my other shirts to my moms house. I was forced to wear a sleeveless shirt the next day. In the beginning I was nervous, and then I realized no one was looking, or pointing at me. I looked good…I looked damn good! It is something that has to be practiced in order to be mastered.
I know that feeling, when you look in your reflection, and criticize every part of your body. The thing is, we are women, are bodies are a work of art, and deserve to be loved. Do not waste anymore time, be the Goddess you were destined to be.