Have you ever watched “What not to Wear” on TLC? What Not to Wear is a makeover show, but touches the people on a deep personal level, not just “fix them up” and I think you should watch it. Not for fashion tips, but to understand loving the body you have. Clinton Kelly and Stacey London, the hosts, consistently teach people that they have to dress the body they have and not the body they wish they had. Part of this teaching process involves the idea that you are beautiful/handsome just as you are!
Here are some ways to get you started loving your body:
If you criticize your body, STOP! Would you let a friend talk that way about someone else? If not, that don’t talk that way about yourself.
Be honest and realistic. You may be overweight or underweight, but it is important to accept where you are, especially if you want to change it. Before we make change though, we must learn to like ourselves or we aren’t worth it enough in our own minds to make the change!
Don’t let your body image stop you from doing the things you love. If you can physically do it don’t talk yourself out of it. Remaining active effects our mental well being
Take walks to help you mental health and be active
Bless your body. This one sounds weird, but a counselor once had me do this and it was remarkable! In the shower as you wash your body touch every part of yourself and say a prayer of blessing or tell yourself you are happy for that part and why. You are learning to accept yourself and a little praise too.
Dress the body you have and not the body you want. Buying clothes that fit well makes us look better and accentuates the positives. White girls this is especially for you, follow the lead of our Latino and African American girlfriends who are much more happy with their bodies statistically than white women. One of my black girlfriends says this is what you do. You stand tall and you say “That’s right, I’m hot, mmm, look at me gurl!, Oh, yea” as you run your hand down your side and strut your stuff! She was right, it is kind of empowering!!
Don’t blame your body on the bad things that happen in life
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt. Don’t let comments by others ruin your mood, day, or actions. This means you too! Your comments about yourself are making you feel inferior.
Consider taking up something like Yoga or meditation where you learn practices that encourage being grateful for our bodies.
Remember that no one has a perfect body, even the women in the magazines. They were Photo Shopped and have cellulite, blemishes, etc. If your goal is a “perfect” body it is unrealistic, change your goal to have a fit body even if your fit is bigger, smaller, different from someone else’s fit body. Just be healthy.
Practice Mindful Eating
Once you decide you love yourself it is OK to say that you would like to change a few things like lose a few pounds or gain a few pounds, dress better, learn something new etc., but start with loving yourself. The next step is to make an honest assessment and goal and then take realistic steps to get there and make the change! You can do it!