Love yourself first, and everything else will fall into place – Lucille Ball
As we get older we learn that it’s not right to make fun of/comment about others, whether we chose to do this or not.. well that’s another story! But what about ourselves?! Our own brain/mind can be our biggest critic, but if we know body shaming others is wrong… why do we do it to ourselves?
Well guess what!? We all do it, whether you’re short, tall, overweight, skinny, muscular, male, female, young, old, etc. we always have a comment about ourselves.
To be honest, this is something that I still work on to this day, but it’s important to learn to love yourself and your body so your journey to becoming healthier or fit is enjoyable! Having a positive body image will also boost your confidence during your journey instead of thinking the end of your journey is when you will love your body because it shouldn’t be.
Tip#1: Stay Positive
Staying positive is not always easy, it’s easy to put yourself down but why do we do it? It doesn’t make us feel any better, in fact, it probably makes us feel worse and a little depressed. You also might look at someone and think they’re extremely fit and probably don’t have these negative thoughts but guess what, everyone does. I had a friend that was into body building and he would always make comments about how small his arms were and I’m just thinking… Are you kidding me?! You’re arms are the size of your head when you flex. It doesn’t matter what part of your journey you’re on, this is something we all need to work on.
So try this… Instead of saying something negative about yourself, try saying something positive. Trust me, this one can be a little awkward and feel silly at first, but ultimately it will feel good and you’ll start getting the negative thoughts out of your head. Remember that it’s okay to realize what you want to change about yourself, maybe you have a little bit of a gut you dislike but you CAN’T focus on the bad. Accept what you want to change and move on, and remind yourself of what you do love about your body. If you love your arms, your hair, your face, your calves, tell yourself that daily!
Tip#2: Accept Your Body Type
My favorite saying is “When you feel good, you look good!” Everyone on this planet has a different body and we need to embrace that. For me, I use to hate the fact that I was tall, so I would slouch and I would never wear anything that made my height appear taller. I’ve learned to accept that my height is not going away and I need to embrace it, so now I boots with little heels on them and it feels great!
Have you ever had a fancy night out and you put on your favorite dress or outfit and you just think “Damn I feel and look good!” Who says you can’t feel like that all of the time, you should feel like that all the time. Dress to your current body type and I promise you’ll start feeling better and more confident. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to put on muscle or lose weight, you need to dress and accept your current body and it will make your journey that much better!
Tip#3: Compliment Others
You’re probably thinking, how is complimenting others going to help me stop body shaming myself.
It’s simple, have you ever given someone a compliment and seen their eyes light up and you can tell you just made their whole day?! It’s easy to get wrapped up in negative thoughts when others are talking down to themselves because it’s contagious. So why should we even let others get to that point, if you notice something about them, compliment them! Its going to instantly become a more positive energy. When you surround yourself in a more positive atmosphere you are less lightly to body shame yourself.
Tip#4: Don’t Let Your Mind Play Tricks
Our brain is a very powerful part of our body and sometimes when we look at ourselves in the mirror, it might not always appear to be accurate in our minds. This one is huge for me because I still struggle with the concept of looking in the mirror and NOT seeing that 225 pound girl.
One thing I’ve learned is to take process pictures because well, pictures don’t lie. When my mind decides it wants to play tricks on me, I will compare my progress pictures and be like “Okay Jillian, your mind is being a little crazy, that’s not what you actually look like”. Not only will it put things into perspective, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your progress throughout the months or years. Sometimes taking that first initial “before” picture can be hard because you don’t want to accept what you look like, but you’ve already set the goal to make changes and it can only get better from here.
Tip#5: Don’t feel guilty
“Ugh, maybe if I didn’t eat all that ice cream this gut wouldn’t be so out of control.” A giant bowl of ice cream will not make or break you, if you want to have that bowl of ice cream, then have it! Life is about balance and you shouldn’t shame yourself for having a little treat that got out of hand. Tomorrow is a new day and you can get back on track. I use to feel so guilty about certain foods I ate that I would rush to the gym and to try to burn it all off, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Not only did that make me feel sick but it’s not a healthy mindset to be in.
It’s important to not feel guilty about what you eat, but also not feeling guilty when it comes to your body in general. Don’t compare yourself to others or compare yourself to your high school or college body because realistically you will never be someone else, you are your own person and embrace that! You also can’t compare your body to what it use to be because that’s just going to make you sad and start the negative thoughts. Everything happens in life for a reason, so embrace today and look into the future.
Side Tip: You Can’t Dwell on the Past
Tip number 5 brings me right into a little side tip that I wanted to call out, which is don’t dwell on the past! The past is the past and there’s nothing you can do to change it. You can’t change the fact that you have gained weight, lost muscle etc. Dwelling on the past is going to make you unhappy, so focus on the future and remind yourself of your goals. Your future is bright!