When you’re on a quest to lose weight and take control of your physical health, it’s way too easy to get caught up in what the scale says and lose sight of the most important reasons to get healthy in the first place—to feel better, have more energy, and live longer.
And women are particularly susceptible to this trap as we’re constantly faced with shifting cultural ideals of what constitutes a “beautiful body”.
One decade, full and voluptuous is “in” a la Marilyn Monroe; another decade it’s all about “heroin chic” with emaciated models gracing magazine covers. And these days, women are taught that we should have blown-up lips and a naturally unattainable waist-to-hip ratio.
Unfortunately, cultural standards of beauty aren’t likely to go anywhere soon, so attempting to chase them is a never-ending road to low self-esteem.
That’s why it's critically important to get the reins on what we DO have control over and that’s how we view our own bodies.
Once you accept and appreciate your body, your whole world opens up. You feel more confident, more motivated, and your workouts go from daunting to empowering.
But getting there isn’t easy.
In fact, it’s likely the most difficult part of your whole journey. But it’s entirely possible and worth every effort! Once you learn to love your body regardless of its shape and size, nothing can hold you back.
Here are some action steps you can take each day to improve your body image. Some might feel silly or uncomfortable at first, but the more you practice ‘em, the more deeply-ingrained in your nature they become. For real.
● Rather than look to the scale to measure progress, look at your body’s abilities. Measure how much farther you can run, how much more you can lift, and how many more daily tasks you can do with more grace and ease.
● Interrupt your negative thoughts with positive ones, even if you don’t believe them. The moment you notice yourself thinking “I hate the way I look,” find one thing you truly LOVE about yourself or your appearance, and say it out loud. “I love my makeup today,” or “I’m a great friend.” Over time, if you stick with it, this will feel less like a silly exercise and more and more true. And don’t be surprised when you say, “I love how great my butt looks in these jeans!”
● Let your body know you appreciate it. Soak in a bubble bath, create time for a nap, or find a cozy nook in your home to curl up and relax.
● Create a top ten list of things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with your body. Keep it in your pocket or purse and refer to it whenever you feel discouraged.
● Surround yourself with positive people. If you have a friend or partner who brings you down with their comments or discourages your journey in any way, move on from them.
Have questions about learning to love that beautiful body of yours and all that it can do? Come in and talk to one of our staff members so we can point you toward more self-lovin’.