Love Your Body

 

Starting the New Year Right with Body Positivity

As the year ends and we prepare to enter a whole new decade, you’re likely to spend some time reflecting on the things you’ve accomplished… and possibly the things you wish you could change about yourself, your life, and your body.

Of course, recognizing where you could improve is key to moving forward and becoming better. There’s nothing wrong with looking at yourself honestly and setting goals about how you could But the things you’d like to change should never get in the way of loving yourself here and now.

In our day and age when comparison culture is rampant and we’re constantly bombarded with idealized, “perfect” images trying to sell us something, body positivity can be harder to achieve than ever. In fact, one study has found that at age 13, 53% of American girls are unhappy with their bodies — and they often don’t grow out of it.

Self-love and body positivity is so important, whether you’re plus-size, skinny, curvy, flat-chested, freckled, brown, tall, short, or anywhere in between.

Every body is beautiful. You deserve to feel comfortable, strong, and sexy in your own skin. So this New Year, resolve to see yourself with perfect 20/20 vision: as a powerful, strong, amazing woman who’s beautiful just the way she is.

Here are a few ways you can start the New Year right with body positivity and a healthy dose of self-love.

 

 

Make goals based on how you want to feel, not how you want to look.

If your new year’s resolutions usually focus on health and fitness, you’re not alone. In 2019, all of the top three most common New Year’s resolutions the U.S. had to do with physical fitness. Of course, it’s so important to take care of your body. But as you make resolutions this year, try to focus any fitness goals on your personal health and wellbeing instead of your looks.

Eat better to feel better. Exercise to feel more alert and blow off steam. Avoid eating lots of sugar because you don’t feel great afterward whenever you do. Go running every morning to train for a marathon. But don’t deny yourself of things you love or overdo it when it comes to exercise just because your body doesn’t look like everyone else’s. Taking good care of your body will help you love your body. Taking dieting to the extreme or overworking your body to try and change its appearance only promotes shame. It’s all about perspective.

 

 

Focus on what your body (and your mind, and your soul) can accomplish.

(And no, fitting into a size 2 pair of jeans isn’t the sort of accomplishment we’re talking about!)

Your body is amazing not because of how it looks but because of all of the amazing things it can help you do. You have so much to offer! As America Ferrera wisely said, “Take your time and your talent and figure out what you have to contribute to this world. And get over what the hell your butt looks like in those jeans!”

Consider making goals that encourage you to be better intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Make it a goal to start a business, read more books, run a faster mile, propel your career forward, take piano lessons, etc. Focusing on more important things and accomplishing goals you care about will help you appreciate yourself more.

 

 

Resolve to make self-love a priority

Fall in love with yourself this new year. Make it a goal to set aside some time each week to show yourself some love. That can look different for every person — maybe you’ll practice self-love by taking a weekly bubble bath, going on a morning walk, meditating in the evening, or eating your favorite ice cream every Friday night. Whatever it looks like for you, put it in your schedule and honor that time.

Whenever ugly thoughts of self-criticism start to creep in your head, practice compassionate self-talk. Try to respond to those thoughts by sticking up for yourself the way you’d stick up for a friend if someone was talking to her that way. You’ll find those thoughts start to have less and less power over you over time.

 

 

Do a social media purge.

Life’s too short to compare yourself to others. As Adele once said, “There’s only one you, so why would you want to look like everyone else?”

Be mindful as you scroll through social media. If you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else’s “perfect” life or body, just go ahead and unfollow. Remember that you have control over what images, attitudes, and content you choose to consume.

But social media can have a positive influence, too. Seek out body-pos babes that inspire you and help you along your journey to self-acceptance. Filling your feed with all types of fierce women of all shapes and sizes will help you believe that all bodies are beautiful — including your own!

 

 

Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful.

Have you ever seen something in a store and thought, “I wish I could wear that?” No more of that in 2020! Make it a goal to wear things you truly love. Use clothing to express yourself, not to hide. Own that bikini. Rock the horizontal stripes. Wear bold colors. Show off your curves. Basically, if you’ve ever wondered whether you can pull something off, we’re here to tell you the answer is YES!

 

 

Focus on the things you DO love about your body.

The next time you look at yourself in the mirror and see something you don’t like, redirect your attention to something you DO love — whether it’s your thick hair, your smooth skin, your strong arms, or anything else you can think of. Looking at your body with the intention of finding something to love and appreciate is powerful. If you make that a habit, you’ll find it gets easier and easier.

 

 

Surround yourself with people who make you feel loved and accepted.

Self-love isn’t a solitary process. If you surround yourself with people who make you feel uplifted, worthwhile, and beautiful, it’ll be easier for you to start believing it. On the other hand, if you surround yourself with negativity, you’ll only find it harder to believe you’re amazing just the way you are. Prioritize relationships that make you feel good about yourself and your body.

Remember: you deserve love, acceptance, and compassion — especially from yourself. Your body is beautiful. But more importantly, your body is strong. Your body is unlike any other. With some practice and hard work, your body can do anything — swim a mile, do a gorgeous pirouette, land a cartwheel, do the splits, or whatever else you put your mind to. Your body houses a one-of-a-kind soul. And your body also houses your brilliant mind – one that’s capable of solving problems, answering questions, and making a real difference in the world.

This year, make it a point to practice self-love and acceptance of all of the things that make you so uniquely you. Because you deserve it.



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