In today’s hyper body conscious society, it is all too easy to pick apart every flaw and minor imperfection about your body. With the barrage of airbrushed model images we are exposed to on a near daily basis, you may find yourself critiquing your body constantly. The truth is that each and every body has its own unique beauty that can’t be captured by one prototype. If you find yourself berating your body, read on to find out seven things you can do today to love your body more!
- Toss the Scale. If you find that the numbers on the scale are governing your outlook for the day, consider getting rid of the scale. Everyone’s weight fluctuates not only daily, but even within the course of a single day, so freeing yourself from being ruled by what the numbers on the scale say is an almost instant way to feel better about your body.
- Challenge Yourself. One of the best ways to build confidence in your body is to push it to limits beyond what you thought it could do. Set your sights on hiking a steep mountain, completing a 5k, taking a ballroom dancing class, or any other physical challenge that seems out of reach. As you stretch your body to new limits, your appreciation of your body for what it can do, rather than what it looks like will increase.
- Reflect on Your Accomplishments. If your body has a few battle scars that you don’t love, take time to reflect on all your body has helped you accomplish. Those stretch marks that you try to hide are medals for carrying a child into this world. The tummy that isn’t as taut as you wish was there to help you become a master chef. Look at your body as a roadmap of the richness of the life you have lived.
- Get Real. If you are holding up celebrity images as the standard to which your body must measure up, it’s time to get real about the images you see. Not only are these celebrities styled by professionals to wear only the most flattering and forgiving clothes, their bodies are also perfected to unreal levels thanks to Photoshop. Instead, set realistic standards about how you feel best in your own skin.
- Treat Yourself Like You’d Treat Others. Ask yourself if you would ever talk to a friend or family member with the same disdain with which you talk to yourself about your body. You would likely never tell a friend the same negative messages you tell yourself. Start to become aware of the critical messages you think to yourself about your body and cut them off before they can take hold. Replace that negative self-talk with the same positive messages you would give your friends.
- Get Rid of Bad Influences. Pay attention to the times that you feel the worst about your body. Do certain magazines tend to cause you to have a bad body image? Are there social media accounts that make you feel like you don’t measure up? Even if there is nothing inherently negative about these things, if you find they tend to leave you hating your body, toss them. You don’t need them!
- Nourish Yourself. Stop counting calories and depriving yourself and instead focus on nourishing your body. Instead of ruling out a food because of its caloric values, look to see what nutrients that food is providing your body. Aim to show your body love by giving it nutrient dense foods that will help you look and feel your best.
If you are a constant body critic, start implementing one, two (or all!) of these techniques today and start loving that body!!!