Do you feel confident in your skin or are you constantly thinking about how you look? Does the way you look and what you think about your body, sometimes get in the way and not let you live your best life? Do you find yourself being way too critical of your body and struggle with building a positive body image?
If yes, then that’s exactly what we are talking about.
I know it can be a sensitive topic for a lot of people. It has been for me as well, in the past. But in this post, we are talking all about how to love your body and the way you look irrespective of your body type and size. This is going to be all about embracing the body you are in and not constantly feeling like you need to change the way you look in order to start living your life.
At some point in our lives, we have all struggled with our bodies and insecurities around our bodies. And that’s because we are so used to seeing those “perfect” bodies on social media, in movies and in magazines. There are so many un-realistic expectations when it comes to what bodies should look like and these beauty standards keep changing now and then. They keep telling us that we need to lose weight, get rid of stretch marks, cellulite, before we can wear certain clothes. And that leads to a negative body image.
Why you need to love the body you are in?
Loving the body you are in, is easier said than done. But it’s so important because it allows you to live your life fully. That means not worrying about how you look in swim suits when you are at the beach. If you are struggling with building a positive self image, you probably are focussing too much on your “flaws”. And focussing too much on what doesn’t look good and what you need to “change” before you can wear certain clothes is restricting you from living your best life.
I know it has restricted me in the past. I have avoided wearing short dresses even when at the beach, I have avoided hanging out with my friends and socialising. I have avoided going to weddings and parties. All because I was so self conscious of how I looked. And it’s not something that I have been able to change over night.
So if you have been feeling negatively as well, this post is going to help. We are talking about self loving ways in which you can embrace the body you are in. So, let’s get started?
# Embrace yourself:
The first step towards loving your body is acceptance. You do not have to love your body right away. You need to accept the body you are in. Take a look at yourself in the mirror and accept your body. Your body is a result of so many things and so many decisions you have made in the past. Maybe you have had eating disorders or just really poor eating habits in the past. That’s okay. Embrace those choices.
Accept that you have made mistakes in the past and that at times you have not treated your body with the love it deserves.Maybe you have starved yourself to lose weight or have tried fad diets, or maybe you have hd a whole bag of chips in one sitting. That’s okay. Just because you have not treated your body well in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t start right now.
You need to confront yourself and accept the choices you have made in the past. But what you also need to know is that you can start making better choices today. You can start eating healthy and working out and that you are in control. And most importantly, you do not need to workout and make these good choices because you hate your body. You need to do these things because you love your body and it deserves to be treated gently.
# Don’t compare:
Your body and my body are different. And the way we look depends on so many things like our metabolism, our food choices, our genes and so much more. So of course we look different. So stop comparing yourself to others right now. I know this can be especially hard especially with social media being such a huge part of our lives. And with so much emphasis being laid on what a body should look like.
And even if you think you are not being influenced by social media, you actually are. If you follow Instagram influencers who are always hanging out in tropical locations, wearing the skimpiest of bikinis and showing off their “perfect bodies”, you are conditioning your mind to think that that’s what a normal body looks like. And that’s what your body should look like.
So when you look at yourself in the mirror, you sub-consciously compare yourself to that image. And when it doesn’t match up, you start looking at your body negatively and you start thinking you need to change.
# Let go of the idea of perfection:
If you have been telling yourself that I will wear a dress when I lose 10 pounds or I will wear a bikini when I am a size “small”. you are depriving yourself. You are depriving yourself of the joys of your life. All because you are too set on the idea of perfection. Waiting to lose those 10 pounds before you can start living your best life, sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?
And that’s because we have been conditioned to look at out bodies like that. The weight loss and beauty industries are not multi-billion dollar industries for nothing. They strive on the fact that they sell us the image of what perfect bodies looks like and then sell us products that will help us achieve the perfect body.
But what you need to understand is, that the bodies that are shown in the media may look perfect, but that’s not what bodies normally look like. They are highly edited versions of normal bodies. Normal bodies have cellulite and have stretch marks and have pored too, some more than others.
And that’s perfect. You do not need to chase the idea of perfection, because what you see online is fake.
# Identify it as a vessel and not your identity:
One of the most powerful things that can help with a positive body image is identifying your body as a vessel and not as your identity. If you look at your body as a vessel that allows you to live, walk, run and enjoy life, you will be grateful for it every single day.
So tell yourself that your body is not your identity, it does not define who you are as a person. And it is merely a vessel that allows you to live your amazing life. And when you start looking at your body like that, you start being grateful for the body you are in. Because it let’s you wake up in the morning and chase your goals, it allows you to work and earn money to have the lifestyle that you have, it takes you to explore new places and go on adventures.
And if that’s not something to be grateful for, I don’t know what is. And when you start having a feeling of gratitude towards your body, your perspective changes and that will help you build a positive body image.
# Surround yourself with people who lift you up:
Surrounding yourself with people who lift you up and who tell you that you are beautiful is super important. You will come across all kind of people in your life and you need to keep these people in your life. You do not need someone constantly telling you that you need to lose weight.
I have had distant relatives tell me you have such a pretty face and if only you lost a few Kgs, you’d look really good. I bet you have had such people in your life too. And yes, it’s time to cut these people from your life. You certainly don’t need people telling you that you can’t live a life in the body you are currently in or that you need to lose weight to enjoy your life.
Instead, surround yourself with people who life you up. People who encourage and inspire you to live the life you deserve. And while, we are at it, I also feel it’s imperative to mention that you should people who have similar body type as you. People who are real on Social Media and don’t portray a photoshopped image of themselves.
# Don’t let others talk SHIT:
When talking about positive body image, how you talk to yourself matters. And that comes in the form of acceptance. But how other’s talk to you also matters. So don’t let people talk to you in a really shit way. For example if there is someone who is always referring to you as chubby or chubster or whatever “cute” nickname they have for you, that you absolutely hate, tell them off.
Tell them that you’d like to be called by your real name instead of these names that are based on what you look like. And when you do that, you are essentially empowering yourself and taking control over your body image.
Of course you can’t control what everyone says about you and that’s why it is important to grow a thick skin. But you can always distance yourself from such people and set boundaries.
# Adopt healthy habits:
A bullet proof way to start loving the way you look is to start adopting healthy habits. And I don’t mean you should focus on losing weight. But what you need to focus on, is taking care of yourself and nourishing your body. Because when you eat good and workout on a regular basis, you glow from the inside.
So, it’s important to start with these healthy habits early on. Have home cooked nutritious meals because they allow you to be more in control of what you put inside your body. If you do not know how to, take some time and learn some basic cooking. It will serve you well in the long run.
Also, it’s important to understand that working out and eating right is a way of respecting and loving your body. And you don’t do those things because you want to look a certain way, maybe get a smaller waist or something. But you are to do those things because you love your body, no matter what it looks like.
# Focus on Self Care:
No matter how much you weigh or what your body looks like, you still need to eat. Tell yourself that. There is no reason good enough why you should be starving yourself. And you certainly don’t need to burn extra calories on the treadmill because you had a little treat. What you do need is self care and learning how to treat your body with love and respect even if it is still a work in progress.
You do not have to love everything about your body before you start treating it right. So don’t overwork yourself, the hustle culture is toxic, really. You need to give yourself breaks in between work and your body deserves those breaks as well. As much as it needs to be pampered, no matter what size it is.
# Build more confidence:
Lastly, it helps to build more self confidence and self esteem. Again, not something that you could possibly do overnight. But it is possible to be more confident with yourself and be more confident around others. You need to focus on positive self talk and building more confidence with the right habits.
Some of these habits include dressing up well, eating right and working out. But it is also equally important to try different styles and figure out what you feel confident in. Wear clothes that make you feel good and that you feel comfortable in.
Affirmations also really help. Try doing body positive affirmations every morning, while standing in front of the mirror and you will find yourself building more confidence and self love.
And this is it for this post. Of course being more confident in your skin is something that requires a lot of work and is not something that can happen overnight. But you need to tell yourself that you are worth it and put in the work. And you will see your perspective changing and it will allow you to live and enjoy your life to its full potential without letting your body type or size come in the way.