How often do you talk to your friends about weight loss, waist size or just general body image? How many times has someone said something about a beauty standard that you'd never considered and suddenly, you can't stop obsessing over it on your own body? My guess is at least once. Combating negative body image is a journey. In the meantime, here are 6 ways you can start now.
Focus On What Your Body Can Do - Not What It Looks Like
Instead of saying "I hate my arms" - think of all the amazing things your arms can do. Like give hugs. Those feel awesome. If you are starting a new workout routine (like one available on SweatFlix℠
), don't think about the things you can't do yet! Take a step back and marvel at the things you ARE doing!
Give a Name to the Monster in Your Head That Keeps Cutting You Down
Obsessed with your "big thighs"? Where does this come from? Maybe it's a self loathing or maybe someone said something to you in high school. Regardless, give that voice in your head a name and make the it the problem- not your body. Example: "wow girl, your thighs look extra meaty today!" "Go away Janet. You can't sit with us."
Post-its Aren't Just for Errand Reminders Anymore
Changing how you talk to yourself is breaking a bad habit and creating a new one. Positive talk is going to feel foreign at first, so maybe you need to have the help of some friends and family. If someone pays you a compliment, ask them to write it down on a post it and stick it somewhere you'll see it everyday. Too embarrassed to ask? Write it down yourself later. This will help you remember the positive light others see you in, until you can start seeing yourself the same way.
Focus On the Things You Love
No matter how small of a body part it is - talk about how much you love it out loud to yourself! Our mind also hears the positive things we say about ourselves along with the negative, so why not encourage it to love yourself a little more? As you find more body love, talk about more of yourself.
Just Stop Fat Talk
How many times have you or one of your friends said "I'm so fat", quickly responded by a second party saying "If you're fat, I must be massive. Look at this butt!" (or something along those lines). Even people who don't feel negatively about their bodies can end up feeling so after conversations like this. Just end them! Why not make your night out with friends a "body-shaming-free" zone? Or even take it a step further with a "body-celebrating" zone!
Be As Nice To Yourself As the People That Love You
Ask yourself: would I say this to someone else? If the answer is no, why would you say it to yourself? If it would hurt a loved one, it will hurt you. Be kind to yourself.