Celebrate My Size: 7 Ways to Love the Skin You're In
Lifestyle It's not impossible—you can change your negative body self-image to a positive one. Here are seven ways to do it.
1. Go on a media diet
Whether it’s from reading Facebook or fashion magazines, our increased media consumption is linked to lower body satisfaction and increased guilt. When you feel that way, ditch the device and call a friend, go for a walk or meditate.
2. Choose your mood
Overwork, skipped meals, exhaustion and worrying are surefire ways to get grumpy, which studies show increases body dissatisfaction. Increase your energy, clarity and mood-boosting endorphins by scheduling regular times to eat, drink water, exercise and sleep.
3. Change the conversation
It is estimated that 80 percent of our thoughts are negative in some way. Thanks to our “reptilian” brain, we are literally wired to dwell on what’s wrong so we can improve to stay alive. Practice noticing your internal dialogue and create a compassionate comeback when critical thoughts come up.
4. Focus on your body
Next time you feel anxiety over what your body looks like, shift your focus to how your body actually feels. Body awareness and breathing exercises are proven ways that connect us to our bodies and our inner selves in a positive way.
5. Be grateful
Practicing gratitude has been found to increase resilience to stressful events, boost positive feelings along with reducing depression and the self-criticism that comes with it. Practice acknowledging what is working in your life, your relationships and with your body once a day.
6. Wear what you want
Not fitting into clothes, even those made in your size, makes you more body-conscious and literally uncomfortable. Tailoring your favorite outfits to actually fit your unique shape will make you more confident in your clothes and in general.
7. Stop trying to love your body
Body shame has many roots that run deep, from living in a beauty-obsessed culture, to being bullied in childhood and even parental “fat talk." Simply declaring that you are beautiful or that you “love your body” does not create those actual feelings. Addressing why you aren’t at home in your skin does. Also, celebrating and developing your unique talents and accomplishments—instead of fixating on your appearance—are ways that are shown to build self-esteem, and subsequently body confidence.