Did you know that 56% of women say they are dissatisfied with their overall appearance and 89% of women want to lose weight? These thoughts can become increasingly intense when the weather turns warm and summer is around the corner. The key to easing your negative thoughts is not weight loss. 95-97% of intentional weight loss diets fail, so let’s put that to the side. We aren’t going down that path!
Instead, try these 5 Steps to Body Confidence now, no restriction, negativity or deprivation necessary.
Face Your Body:
When you’re feeling insecure it’s easy to “turn off” from looking at your body. You avoid your reflection at all costs, never look down or ban full-length mirrors. This is a problem because while we are not only our bodies they are still important. If you hate your physical self you won’t be able to fully enjoy life so let’s get to work. In order to begin the process of accepting yourself, you need to start looking at your physical self. You can start by dressing in a favorite outfit or you can even go nude. Sound scary? Take a breath. This will get easier with practice. It’s common for the first time to be rough. If you feel negative emotions come up to write them down or say them out loud. Be compassionate with yourself. Add a self-care routine to your mirror-gazing, play some favorite music, put on some luxurious body lotion. Make this a daily activity- the more familiar you are with your body the easier it will be to begin your journey to acceptance.
Purge Old Clothes:
Many clients feel incredible amounts of stress when it comes to trying on old clothes. This is especially prevalent during the summer season when people tend to show more skin. Instead of trying on a bunch of old items give yourself permission to buy clothes that work for you now. Your body is the gold standard – your happiness and well-being are worth much more than that old pair of jean shorts! If your budget is smaller check-out Amazon.com, Poshmark, a clothing swap with others or a local thrift or consignment store. Pick clothes that make you feel good in your skin today and donate the clothes that no longer serve you.
Unsubscribe from Diet Culture:
Whether it’s other people on social media, a women’s magazine or a friend’s constant diet talk- now is the time to say no more. If you notice that you start criticizing yourself after looking at a piece of media or talking to another person take heed. In order to accept yourself, you need to start setting boundaries. It’s not okay to make yourself feel bad for who you are. Period! It doesn’t matter if you’ve made mistakes, slipped up or let yourself down in the past. Today you are sticking up for you and that means cutting out negative influences that enforce a rigid standard or beauty or worthiness.
Check Your Feelings:
Do you often say, “I feel fat”? Part of diet culture is teaching us that fat = bad. Everyone- regardless of their body size or health deserves to love and respect themselves. Body positivity has no weight limits and if you have a problem with other people liking themselves that says more about you than them. Instead of saying “I feel fat” dig deeper and ask yourself what’s really going on? Try to think about what sets off your feelings and begin to de-program yourself from thinking fat = bad.
Ban Negative Self-Talk:
If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, why are you saying it to yourself? When you start getting down on yourself picture someone you love in front of you. It can be your friend, mom, child. Take a moment to really visualize this person and all the things you love about them. Now- think about your negative comment. Would you want the person you love to hear this about themselves? Usually, the answer is no! It is also helpful to write down the negative things you say about yourself. Doing this type of exercise helps take the sting out of our self-criticisms. When you hear a negative comment – “You failed again! I can’t believe you’re such a loser.”- visualize a door slamming on that voice. You cannot hate yourself healthy or happy.
Lily Fontas, Ed.M holds a master’s degree from Boston University and is a certified personal trainer and health coach. Her goal is to help others reach their health and wellness goals without blame, shame or dieting. She works with clients globally as a virtual coach and trains clients in-person in Oakland, CA.