“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha
Having a healthy relationship with your body and a good dose of self-confidence are some of the qualities that truly define what’s attractive in a person.
Sadly, in a world where we’re bombarded with unrealistic images of women’s bodies, a lot of us feel pressured by this “ideal” and it makes us feel worthless, ashamed and keeps us from living life to the fullest. You can read my story and struggles to a healthy, happy body here (and founder of TGWK Stephanie’s story about health & body image over on my blog).
I know I’m not alone. In fact, I bet you have been on more than your share of diets, stared at your cellulite in the mirror, hated your body type or compared yourself to one of your thinner friends?
You’re not alone. Many women (and men) go through this at some point in their lives. And some struggle with it for decades.
After years of my own struggle, I’ve realized that it’s time for all of us to learn once and for all, to appreciate the body that we’ve got. Think about it – you have nothing to prove to anyone. Your opinion is the only one that counts. Period.
A negative body image is not only bad for your health, it’s also incredibly time consuming and seriously, just a waste of time. No matter what size or shape you are, stop the criticizing & the striving for perfection – instead, begin to love and accept your healthy body, just as she is.
How? Start from the inside. You can have a better body image starting right now by changing the way you think about your body, and by doing small things that make you feel good. Dump the fad diets for good. And let’s all raise our glasses, in celebration of not only our bodies but our amazing lives!
To get you started, here are 15 FUN WAYS TO CELEBRATE YOUR BODY:
- Practice self-care and get your pamper on. Schedule you-time and go for a long walk, take a hot bath, relax, get a manicure or cozy up with tea and your favorite blanket. Pampering yourself and your body is the first step to forming a lasting, loving relationship with her.
- End the ‘fat talk’. Negativity won’t get you anywhere and will only make you feel worse. The saying is true – where your attention goes, grows. So, instead of growing your already fluent negative self-talk, focus on what’s unique and interesting about yourself. Replace not-so-nice words with words love, kindness, support or praise.
- Wear clothes that are comfortable and that look good on you. The more confident you feel in your clothes, the more confident you’ll feel in your life. Stop covering up your body shape with uber baggy tops and boyfriend jeans. Listen to my fellow guest editor Elsa Isaac and use style to help celebrate your unique body shape. And by doing so, you’ll be more likely to keep making positive changes.
- Write a letter to your body.Think about what you truly love about your body and write it down. Use beautiful stationary, sparkly pens – make the letter look and feel special. When finished, store or hang it in a place where you can see it daily, so you’ll have a constant reminder (in those moments when you need an extra dose of encouragement).
- Dance + be active! Dancing and any other form of movement is essential for keeping your body happy. It’s not only fun, but it can shift your mindset, boosts your self-esteem, self-image and energy level. Make time for movement every single day!
- Acknowledge your accomplishments. When you have a win, whether in your life, your career, your business or with this whole notion of body love, don’t forget to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishment. It’s a big deal. And you most surely deserve a pat on the back (or a glass of champagne) for all that you do!
- Eat healthy and in moderation. We’re talking lifestyle change, remember? Eating healthy (and in moderation) the majority of the time will not only keep your body happy, but your mind and emotional state as well. What you eat affects every part of your life, not just your physical body. This isn’t about restricting yourself. The more you restrict yourself, the more likely you’ll just give up and fall back into old habits. So yes eat healthy, but be sure to allow yourself that piece of chocolate!
- Laugh! Laughing is good for not only your physical body (lowers blood pressure and stress hormones), but it’s good for the soul. So laugh. And laugh a lot.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone who’s skinnier, happier, better looking, has more money, a better wardrobe, (fill-in-the-blank) than you. Stop comparing yourself to everyone. You are 100% unique, there is nobody else out there who is you. Spend time getting to know your strengths and stop focusing on what you lack (it will only lead to frustration).
- Stick to media that doesn’t make you feel like crap. Many magazines, blogs and other images in the media DO NOT reflect reality (hello photoshop and $$$ personal trainers). It’s unfair to compare yourself to what’s depicted in the media, because more often than not, these images aren’t real. Stick to media that makes you feel uplifted and empowered (like The Girl Who Knows). 😉
- Throw out the scale & de-emphasize numbers. Why does the number really matter to you? Does it really mean anything? Numbers are just numbers. What matters more is actually listening to your body and making decisions based on how she feels vs. what the number on the scale says. Learn to pay more attention to the signals your body is sending you. And ditch the scale.
- Surround yourself with beauty. Beauty is elevational. It makes you feel like your best self. So bring on the fresh sheets on your bed, handpicked flowers on the table and your favorite music – instant happiness guaranteed!
- Get enough sleep, rest when you’re tired. Be sure to get those recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Try making your bedroom a bit cool, super dark and leaving all electronic devices out of the room. It will help you get the best night’s sleep possible.
- Build your support team.Spend time with people who have a positive influence on you. Ask them for help if you need it; there are so many people willing to help. Exercise together, do some meal prepping or practice for a 5k marathon together.
- Don’t worry if you have an off-day. Maybe you didn’t have time to go to the gym or you ate way too much junk food. That’s ok. Life happens. Fear not, enjoy, live a little and get back on the wagon tomorrow! Tomorrow is always a new day.
So beautiful, how will you put these tips to work in your life? What will you do TODAY, to celebrate your body. And how can you make time in your life to celebrate on the regular? Tell me in the comments below.
Photo by: Lisa Wiseman Photography