If you’re thinking about your self-image and how to feel more body positive, hopefully this will help.
I struggle with body image a lot. I am in good shape and feel healthy. My body fat percentage is in the healthy range, as is my BMI.
But because of my previous weight loss, I have a lot of loose skin on my chest, abs, and a bit on my legs. So it usually cripples my self-perception.
That means I need to put a lot of mental energy into looking at how to feel more body positive for my own mental health.
Here are my 5 favourite tips, which you can start using today, to start feeling more body positive.
Start To Practice Daily Gratitude
Usually a lack of body confidence can come from comparing your body to someone else’s or a perceived “ideal” body. Then you think about what is going “wrong” with your body and start to feel like you hate it.
I can give you generic advice to stop comparing yourself to others, but I know all too well that it’s not something with an on/off switch.
So it’s not something you can immediately stop yourself from.
But one thing you can do is focus on what you feel is going right with your body.
Write down 3 things you’re grateful for everyday.
Maybe you’ve never suffered a major illness or injury.
It might be the progress you’ve been making on your fitness goal.
You could just be grateful for being able to walk pain-free. Not everyone can.
As you practice this on a daily basis, your leading thoughts will be around what is going right and what you appreciate about your body. It will make a refreshing change to the toxicity of comparing yourself to others.
Focus On Health, Not Size
Body positivity is usually associated with the HAES (Health At Every Size) movement.
I’m not fully on board with the idea of health at every size. I think to some extent your body size and body fat percentage can have a negative impact on health.
And that means both a higher than what would be considered the healthy range, as well as lower.
(Some studies do suggest being chronically undernourished can be worse for health than eating more but that’s a whole separate topic.)
But your current body size or shape, whatever they may be and however you feel about them, is no reason to not keep focusing on improving or maintaining your state of health.
Instead of thinking about how food or drink is going to impact your body or your size, and whether it is “guilt-free”, let’s change that thought process.
Try asking yourself if what you are eating or drinking, or doing is benefiting your health or nourishing your mind or body.
It’s less about focusing on size and more on giving your body what it needs and deserves.
Focus On Mental AND Physical
This is probably the most generic tip I am giving you in this post.
But when you’re looking at how to feel more body positive, it requires caring for both your mental and physical health.
Your physical health comes from understanding and giving your body what it needs and your mental health comes from practicing daily mindfulness.
Especially if you have been affected by diet culture and have ended up sacrificing aspects of your mental or physical health in pursuit of an ideal body shape, you need to give yourself the opportunity to restore both.
One Act Of Self-Care Daily
Don’t underestimate the idea of blocking out some time dedicated just to you and looking after yourself.
I have an evening routine which happens after I close my bedroom door at night.
It involves a little bit of skin care, some stretching, and some meditation. It allows me to clear my mind and get myself mentally ready for bed and for tomorrow.
I can’t emphasise how much of a change it has made to my mental and physical well-being because it helps me become aware and mindful of what my body needs or is lacking.
Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential.
Change Your Self-Talk
This ties in with most of what I already talked about. But the conversation that goes on with yourself in your head is probably the most important factor.
The short version is to stop telling yourself negative things and start telling yourself positive things.
Nice and easy, right?
But sometimes it is just how you phrase things.
Instead of thinking you have to exercise, start thinking you get to challenge and improve your fitness.
Instead of thinking you are not fit enough, start thinking you’re further on your journey than you were yesterday.
I can’t come up with a conversation switch for every single negative thought which comes into your head, but hopefully that gives you a starting point.
Still Not Sure How To Feel More Body Positive?
It is a journey. Your own personal, unique, individual journey.
And that means while anyone else can give you tips, guidance, and tools, and be there to support you on your journey, the big changes happen on the inside.
It’s all you and you have to believe it.
But when you can successfully change your relationship with your body image and your self perception, I don’t have the words to explain how empowering that will feel for you.