It’s nearly mid-January and I’m only getting around to writing my first blog post of 2018. Shame on me is what I would normally say to that. But since this blog post is all about promoting positivity, I’m going to refrain from the usual self-bashing and instead, embrace the fact that I’m finally getting around to writing my first blog post of 2018! 🙂
The reason why I’ve decided to touch on the subject of positive body image is because a lot of people tend to be a bit conscious of their body around this time of year. The excess drinking and eating that can come from the holiday season eventually takes its toll on our bodies and these changes can affect our self-esteem.
It also doesn’t help that we live in a technology driven world that is relentlessly feeding us with flawless images that don’t depict reality. It is easier now than ever before to develop a dysphoria around your image and feel disconnected with your body because of all these ‘ideals’ created by society.
I am no stranger to this at all. But for some reason, I have fallen in love with the normally dreaded changes that my body undergoes over the Christmas period. I have come to realise that the healthy habits that I have been practicing over the past couple of months have helped foster positive body image in myself and I now love parts about my body that I disliked before.
While the journey through self-acceptance and having positive body image varies from person to person, the end goal is usually the same. The tips that I plan to share with you today will likely not work over night, but if you stick them out you will eventually see changes in how you view your body!
So without further ado, here are 7 simple ways you can be more body positive 🙂
1. Don’t forget that food is fuel
A lot of the time, I think having a positive body image starts from having a healthy relationship with food. All too often, people forget that the foods we consume have a functional purpose for our bodies. Food should not be a punishment, nor should it be a reward. It is the fuel necessary to help us function on a day-to-day basis. The sooner we realise that the quicker we will be on our way to having a healthy relationship with the foods we consume and how they make us feel about ourselves.
2. Have some fun with exercise
The image driven society that we are currently living in can pressure women and men alike to unnecessarily hit the gym several times a week. I will admit that there was a time when I was an unhealthy avid gym goer. My reasons for going to the gym were seldom driven by desire, instead I felt that I had to go. Exercise should never feel like a chore and if it does, you need to stop immediately and find a form of exercise that you enjoy. Ever since I discovered TRX, I’ve found myself going to the gym less excessively. I now go when I can and because it is enjoyable, not because I feel I have to.
3. Adjust your thinking, wording & phrasing
The words you use to describe yourself play a huge role in how you ultimately feel. That’s why one of the ways to promote positive body image involve adjusting the way you speak and think. For instance, instead of saying ‘I am fat,’ use the words ‘I have fat,’ because you do and you’re supposed to. Among many things, fat provides the body with insulation to prevent heat loss. So instead of punishing yourself for having something it’s supposed to have, adjust your thinking – embrace it, squeeze it, kiss it and then thank your body for doing what it’s doing! 🙂
4. Take your focus away from your flaws
Listening to our inner critic is easy. Nit-picking, self-doubt and fixating on our flaws is something most of us can probably do in our sleep. As we’ve already established, negative words and thoughts have a huge impact on how we view ourselves. Instead of focusing on your shortcomings, direct your attention towards the things you do like about your body and think about why. For example I like my love handles because they make me more squeezeable and fun to hug – you see? you can easily turn a negative to a positive! 🙂
5. Stay off the ‘gram!
Staying off Instagram is probably one of the best things you can do for restoring positive body image. The diet culture promoted on IG is unrealistic and in a lot of cases, incredibly damaging. While it is no secret that the image focused app is flooded with false expectations of what the ‘perfect’ ass, legs and overall beach body should look like, viewing these images still plant a seed in your mind. The more time you spend endlessly scrolling through these types of images, the more Instagram feeds them to you and you end up developing a complex you shouldn’t have. If you’re serious about having positive body image, take a break from the ‘gram.
6. Protect your energy
Much like the foods we consume have an effect on us physiologically, the things and people who consume our energy can affect us psychologically. Your energy is as valuable to your body image as the foods that you consume. Always protect your energy and be aware of the people you surround yourself with.
7. Remember you are loved regardless of your looks
If anything at all, remember that your friends and family love you just as you are. Their love for you is not contingent on the number you see on a scale. Whether you’re curvy, skinny, tall or short, they love you regardless. It is clear from looking at the different body shapes and sizes around you that beauty does not fit into one mould. Diversity should be celebrated and not crtiticised.
If you have a any tips for promoting positive body image then I would love to hear from you! Feel free to tweet me @FilomenaKaguako 🙂
- 42This time last week, I was absolutely dreading writing this article, let alone actually publishing it. But after having received one of the most heart-warming gifts by a very good friend of mine, of a framed certificate to congratulate me on completing 12 months of celibacy, I took it as a sign from…