We’ve heard it all before. Every body is beautiful. Love yourself for who you are. Beauty is not just what’s on the outside. Love the skin you’re in. It can be infuriating to hear these phrases when that’s not the message most commonly displayed in advertisements and commercials, posted on billboards, and spread across magazine covers and websites. Sometimes it feels like the look of the everywoman is gone. And she will forever be overshadowed by the runway model whose job it is to look fit. But women are starting to raise their voices a little louder, making it known that not every woman has the time to work out every day or hire a personal trainer who can get her butt into gear. You have a job, maybe a partner or kids. You have responsibilities and shit to get done. Your body is still strong, even though you don’t lift heavy dumbbells over your head. Instead, you carry around children, stacks of documents and legal briefs. But this shouldn’t mean that you let yourself believe that your body is not worthy of its own praise.
We all have days when we don’t like our bodies, when we feel bloated and the block of cheese hanging out in the fridge starts to look real good. Real good! But don’t get down on yourself. Instead, lift yourself back up with these following tips for body positive thinking.
Find a Mantra
Do you ever find yourself repeating the same phrase to yourself? Not in a creepy way, sitting over a pot of boiling soup or crouched under a bridge. But in an affirmative way, like telling yourself you got this before going into big meetings. This is a mantra, believe it or not; a phrase that helps to motivate, uplift or calm you, whether you’re using it in meditation, in the boardroom, or standing in front of your bedroom mirror, naked. Yeah, that’s right. Who better to give you some body-positive loving than yourself? Find a mantra that works for you. It can be goal-oriented or just a confirmation that yes, you are beautiful. Start a ritual of saying your mantra to yourself every morning as soon as you wake up, or use it throughout your day if you’re feeling low.
It’s About Health
It can be tricky sometimes to hush that monster on your shoulder that’s telling you to skip a meal because you feel fat, or whatever other unencouraging mutters he’s whispering. But how are you going to love your body if you’re not treating it with love? Yes, it can be challenging to always have meals prepped and healthy snacks at your fingertips. And some days you just can’t make it to the gym (or miss it on purpose). But the more respect and love you give your body, the more respect and love you’ll have for it–no matter what you look like. Eat as healthy as you can and enjoy your treats when you have them. You’re not here to punish your body and we all know how delicious a piece of cake can be. Get out and move, enjoy nature and find a new hobby that keeps you active. You may find there are more benefits, like reduced stress and more energy, than just loving the vessel you’re living in.
Appreciate Your Body
Our bodies are incredible machines. There is so much they do for us behind the scenes that we take for granted. So stop for a minute and take a look at your body. Walk across the room you’re in right now. How cool is it that you can tell your body to do that? Sounds kind of silly since walking across a room is a basic, everyday thing for most of us. But we shouldn’t be taking our bodies for granted. The simple fact that you’re able to make these movements, speak your thoughts and love with your heart is incredible! And that in itself is something to be rejoiced. Your body is so much more than just what you see when you’re in a bathing suit. Be grateful for what your body can do, and not what it looks like in a bikini.
Stop Comparing Yourself
Here’s another mantra for you: You do you, and I’ll do me. Your brain is inundated with images of beautifully sculpted people all day long, both in ad campaigns and on the street. It’s easy to compare yourself to them, she’s more beautiful than I am. His arms are more sculpted than mine. I wish my tummy was that flat. Or maybe it’s the other way around and you’re filling up your ego while looking strangers up and down. But the fact is, none of us are alike. No two people have the same body. That’s what makes the human race so beautiful and fascinating. You’re never going to look like that woman sitting across from you on the subway, and she’s never going to look like you. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s easy to think that things would be so much better if you had leaner thighs or a less prominent nose, but with a bad attitude, you’re never going to find yourself beautiful, no matter what you look like.