Five Ways to Start Shifting Your Body Image Toward the Positive
If you are reading this I’m betting you’ve had, at one time or another, negative thoughts about your body. Maybe you talk about your thick calves. Your thunder thighs? Maybe you complain about not having a waist? A puffy stomach?
And maybe, just maybe, these things bother you so much you don’t wear a bathing suit on the beach. You sit on the couch with a pillow on your lap? Afraid to draw attention to yourself in a crowd? Search high and low for a wedding dress that has long sleeves because you hate your arms? And maybe, just maybe, your negative body image causes you too seek out food as comfort.
You may have guessed it already, but I really wrote that introduction about myself. For as long as I remember, I hated my body. So much so, I wore baggy men’s clothes and ate myself through my twenties. I’m not claiming a perfect body image today, but I’ve learned a bit since having a child and turning thirty. This list summarizes a few of the strategies I used, and still use, to work on shifting my body image from negative to positive.
Wear clothes that fit.
This was a huge mistake I made for the better part of my adult life. I used to think wearing baggy clothes that were two sizes too big would make me look thinner. Problem is, I kept growing into them! Once I started taking the time to find clothes that not only fit, but flattered my unique figure, I not only looked better, I felt better!
Go out of your comfort zone.
It’s easy to put on the same baggie clothes every day or say you “just don’t like to swim.” I spent too many years of my life not having fun because I was afraid of how I looked. Once I started taking chances and putting myself into situations I thought were uncomfortable, my body, or rather what I thought about my body, didn’t matter. I was having too much fun doing things to care. Taking chances and putting yourself in situations, although uncomfortable at first, is a great first step towards self-acceptance.
Do something active every day.
Regardless whether you are trying to lose weight or not, simply moving more can help you become friends with a body you may take for granted. Go for a walk, take a hike, play a game of tennis, go bowling! When was the last time you roller skated? Your body is capable of so many wonder thing—enjoy it!
STOP comparing yourself to others.
This is the most important tip I will ever give you. You aren’t Suzy Ms. SkinnyPants in the latest fashion catalogue. You aren’t Molly McWhatever on TV. YOU ARE YOU! Be thankful for who you are. There is only one of you and she deserves to be loved.