Love your body – Positive Body Image

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.

Exercise

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.

What are your tips on positive body image? How do you love your body? Let me know in the comments below.

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22 Comments

  1. Bonita
    January 12, 2015 / 11:26 am

    Love this post! We all have things we moan about but it really does come down to loving yourself! I think alot of people make comparisons and that always is a bad road to go down!

    Loves the blog!!

    bonitarochelle.co.uk

    • Cantara
      Author
      January 20, 2015 / 11:35 pm

      Thank you so much! I agree, it’s too easy to make comparisons which can be harmful x

  2. Rouge
    January 12, 2015 / 11:27 am

    positive body image can change the outlook of your life so much. People fall into such deep depressions and it really is sad bc there’s so much distortion in the media

    • Cantara
      Author
      January 20, 2015 / 11:36 pm

      I agree! x

    • Cantara
      Author
      January 20, 2015 / 11:36 pm

      Thank you! It really is :) x

  3. January 12, 2015 / 3:01 pm

    I love the idea of smiling at your reflection. I can’t find the quote, but there’s a lovely bit in “Eat, Pray, Love” where she spots her reflection from a funny angle and grins at herself, knowing she recognises the, but thinking it’s a good friend of hers. We need to treat ourselves like our own best friends!

    • Cantara
      Author
      January 20, 2015 / 11:37 pm

      Oooh I’ll have to watch that and look out for the quote. I love the idea of treating ourselves like our best friends :) x

  4. January 12, 2015 / 9:39 pm

    Awesome post, especially at this time of year when so many of us are bashing ourselves up for not achieving the self improvement we wanted last year and vowing that 2015 will be different! The key is to relax and enjoy the ride. Once that happens, we become more comfortable with who we are. My Mum always had this great saying: “Your best advocate is YOU!”

    • Cantara
      Author
      January 20, 2015 / 11:37 pm

      I completely agree! Love your Mum’s saying too :)

  5. January 13, 2015 / 8:37 am

    Great post, Cantara!

    I think a lot of people are afraid to love themselves as it can come across as arrogance, which is a shame.

    What I’ve learned is that if I love and respect my body, I stick with my routines longer. Loving my body means I know that it takes time for changes to show. My body is working twice as hard as me to keep me alive let alone lose weight so going easy on myself and my body is #1!

    Chrissy x
    http://www.chrissylilly.com

    • Cantara
      Author
      January 20, 2015 / 11:45 pm

      Couldn’t agree with this more!!!! AMEN GIRLLLL!!! xx

  6. January 18, 2015 / 8:45 pm

    This is exactly what I struggle with! Inspiring post xx

    • Cantara
      Author
      January 20, 2015 / 11:48 pm

      Thank you! You are beautiful, remember that x

  7. January 20, 2015 / 11:27 am

    Such a beautifully written post with an important message. “Smile at your reflection”, I like this part the most :) xxxx

    • Cantara
      Author
      January 20, 2015 / 11:48 pm

      Thank you lovely! x

  8. Margaret
    January 26, 2015 / 9:28 am

    This is truly insprational, I have always hated my body and always focused on the negatives and not the positives, like I have good skin, nice eyes etc, reading your blog, made me sit down and write down all the positives and focus on them.

    I have started to clean up my act diet / health wise and have gone back to exercising, something I was lazy with. I am not doing it for “January”, but because, I want to love myself more, so will be following your meals etc. to guide and inspire me along the way. A BIG thank you x

    • Cantara
      Author
      March 26, 2015 / 6:11 pm

      It’s so great to read this, thank you so much for sharing!! It is far, far too easy to focus on our negatives that we go around in circles and not really getting anywhere positive. So happy to here you are taking steps towards looking after and loving yourself! Thank YOU :) x

  9. Alexandra
    January 26, 2015 / 11:07 am

    I completely agree with accepting your natural beauty, my body issues put such a strain on my 5 year relationship just learning to love yourself is so super important. So nice to read another 22 year old telling us to just accept it and love it ;) I love your blog xxx

    • Cantara
      Author
      January 29, 2015 / 10:50 pm

      Aww self hate, whether great or small can put such a strain on all areas of your life! I hope all is well now. Ah I’m actually 25, wishing I was 22! Haha thank you lovely x

  10. Lara
    March 24, 2015 / 12:24 pm

    I absolutely love this post, I could not agree more, we all need to learn to love our bodies! I myself am guilty of wishing for a more toned version of myself but I think in order to get to where we want to be we need to love where we have already gotten to as well! xx

    • Cantara
      Author
      March 26, 2015 / 6:12 pm

      Definitely! We need to appreciate ourselves now and love ourselves now, so that anything we do to tweak our bodies is just an added bonus and not a necessity for us to be happy x