There are plenty of things I don’t like about my body. I think I have that in common with most of the women that I know, which is a problem. I’m short, I carry any extra weight in my midsection and my hair is too thin. I could go on for pages, but instead of writing or even thinking about my imperfections, I’ve been trying to focus on what I like. In the past year, I’ve gotten to a point where I can say I’m happy with my body. I didn’t lose weight or alter anything, I just tried love.
1. You get out what you put in
I’m in my twenties. I order pizza every few weeks and I drink alcohol. But there’s a balance to everything. Try to feed your body well, and only eat junk in moderation. If you’re terrible at this, get an app (like MyPlate) and see what’s in the food you’re eating. Get protein, veggies and hydrate. Don’t ever skip breakfast.
2. Old fashioned TLC
With me, showers are a religious experience. I feel like I can wash away stress and regrets with enough soap and water. I buy expensive Lush products (they work and they aren’t tested on animals) because I’m worth it. I take baths, I use lots of things that smell good, and I take the time to make myself feel worth pampering. Buy a scrub or a face mask and give your body some scented love.
When I got my first tattoo, I felt like I had finally claimed my body for my own. Tattoos can be great reminders that your body is yours and yours alone, especially if the art makes you feel beautiful or serves as a reminder to you. Decorate your body, and remember that you’re the only person who has to like them.
This is an obvious one, and also a hard one. I struggle with motivation, but I know that I always feel better once I sweat out some toxins and get my blood pumping. The short and long term benefits of exercise are irrefutable, whether you go for runs or take a yoga class. Working out almost every day makes me feel all-round better, and also like I really accomplish something (even if the rest of my day was uneventful).
When I get up in the morning, when I’m getting in the shower, when I change to go out, when I try on some new clothes, I look in the mirror. I stop any negative thoughts that come into my head and instead try to see the things that I like. I won’t ever look in the mirror and see myself as a supermodel, but I can look in the mirror and say that my hair looks good today, or that I really like the way my new pants fit me. Start small and work your way up, I used to hate mirrors.
6. Remember the good things
Just like I focus on the things that I like about my own body, I remember the good things that others say about me as well. Every time someone gives me any sort of compliment, I write it down in my phone in a note with their name under it. When I’m feeling down about my body, I read it and the ones where my friends tell me how good I looked one day or how I pulled something off, I feel worlds better. We tend to forget these comments, but they’re important and awesome to have on hand.
Take some pictures of yourself like the model that you are. Take a million selfies on a good hair day and look at them on a bad hair day. Take pictures of yourself in a bathing suit or in your underwear or in an outfit that makes you feel like you. Take pictures with your friends where you look genuinely happy. Look at them like a highlight reel. Get used to what you look like and get used to liking it.
I’m working on loving my body, and some days I still avoid the mirror. But these things have really helped me to appreciate the only body I have, and to stay positive with my image. Now go give yourself some love.