I started this blog because I want to lose weight. It’s no secret that I want to tone up, ditch the flab and improve my body. So, do I dislike my body? My body could be better, sure. Do I hate my body? Absolutely not. Do I love my body? Yes, and I think you should love your body too. Love your body right now, no matter how near or far you are from your goal body.
Before I start coming across as arrogant, or sound as if I walk around in rose-tinted glasses, let me explain. There are many things I can imagine changing about my body – bigger boobs, a smaller nose, veneers, defined arms, no more cankles or thunder thighs, not having to wear glasses anymore, longer hair… the list goes on. But, if push came to shove and I was granted my own plastic surgeon or a genie, I wouldn’t go ahead with with these changes (OK, maybe veneers but that’s it, I swear). What I’m trying to say is I’m not perfect, no one is perfect. I am aware of my imperfections but I do not hate them, I do not want to change my body I want to improve it. Not through quick fixes like surgery but through hard work, love and dedication.
Wanting to lose or gain weight or tone up does not mean you can’t start loving your body today or that you will automatically start loving your body when you reach your goal. Ever hear about people who lose weight but still think of themselves as ‘fat’, even months after they lost the weight? A positive body image is a state of mind, not what you see in the mirror. Hating your body will not help you to reach your goal faster, but loving your body will make your journey a lot easier. Work with your body, not against it. Here are my five tips on how to love your body.
Write down what you like about yourself
Realise that you are so much more than arms or thighs or flab or bones. You are a person. Write down what you like about yourself, from your appearance, your personality, your traits, the type of person you are. Be honest, be appreciative. Your list can be things like ‘strong nails, great boobs, a good listener, a loyal friend, passionate’. Whatever it is that you like about yourself, write it down and remind refer to your list whenever you feel down.
Smile at your reflection
When you walk past a mirror or shop window and you catch your reflection, smile at yourself. It is far too easy to stand in front of a mirror and scrutinise yourself, point out your imperfections but that will only hammer away at your self esteem. When you wake up in the morning and walk past the mirror, pause and smile at yourself. Replace those negative thoughts with a smile and do this daily.
Exercising releases endorphins, hormones that can give you a feeling of euphoria. Not only that but it will show you just what your body is capable of. Take a spin class, see how fast your legs can peddle. Practice yoga, listen to your breath, feel grounded and balanced. Lift weights, see how strong your body is. Go for a run, see how long you can run for. See how much your body can progress in as little as two weeks. Appreciate all that your body can do.
Accept your natural beauty
There is nothing wrong with enhancing your natural beauty. I occasionally wear make up, hair extensions, paint my nails, thread my eyebrows and wear false eyelashes on nights out. However, I don’t do any of this because I hate my natural self. For years I chemically relaxed my hair because I didn’t like it’s natural state. Now, I finally appreciate my curly hair. If you fake tan because you don’t like the colour of your skin, or if you are never seen without makeup or your hair perfectly styled, stop. Spend some time as you, the natural you. Learn to accept your natural beauty. Wear makeup because you choose to, not because you hide behind it.
Do what makes you happy
Go to dinner with your friends, have a family get together, buy new bed sheets, have a massage, cuddle with your significant other, play with your pet, light a candle… whatever makes you happy, do it and do it often. Replace your negative focus on your imperfections with happy moments and memories. Life is too short to spend it sad and upset about your appearance. Love, live and be happy.
I hope these five tips on learning to love your body and changing your body image to a positive one are helpful. I must say that I have never experienced an eating disorder or body dysmorphia so I cannot comment on these situations. If you are suffering from these, please speak to a professional. My aim with this post is to remind you that you can love your body and try to change it at the same time.