As women, fully embracing your body is an everyday struggle. We’re conditioned from a young age to strive for the doctored images we see in the media, and when we can’t achieve the unrealistic standards that are expected of us, feel badly about ourselves. Here are some tips on how to embrace your body as it is, without feeling the need to change yourself.
Wear what you want
Oftentimes, women put off wearing what we want because we’re waiting for our body to look exactly how we want it to. We don’t buy that skirt we think is cute, get that bellybutton piercing, or sport that swimsuit for Summer; all because we don’t think our body isn’t “good enough.” Instead of not wearing what you want because you’re waiting to get into ideal shape, start shopping as though you’re already exactly where you want your body to be. Even if that means buying a bigger jean size than you’d like to; so what? A number doesn’t define who you are, or make you any less of a person than someone who wears a smaller size. Once you start to wear what you want, you’ll feel more confident, and begin to embrace your body as it is as a result.
Look at yourself naked
Becoming comfortable with your body requires you to look at it; no matter how uncomfortable that may make you initially feel. Looking at yourself in the mirror before your shower or even sleeping naked will help you come to terms with your natural form. Instead of shying away from mirrors, try looking at your body and loving it as is instead. Rather than criticizing yourself, or pointing out “problem areas” you need to work on, go through the things you like about yourself. Name five things you like about your body before you get dressed every day. Then put on an outfit that makes you happy, and you’ll already feel that much more confident.
Work out for your mental health
People often go into working out with the wrong set of intentions. Working out to lose weight might work for a while, but could ultimately result in making you crash and burn. Instead of exercising as part of a diet plan, work out for your mental health. This doesn’t mean you need to do intensive exercise; take a walk around your neighborhood, or go for a bike ride along the beach. Moving around will get you out of your head and make you feel healthier both mentally and physically. And if you’re up and about, you’ll feel less inclined to hate on your body as a result.
Eat to nourish your soul
Sticking to a strict diet will no doubt make you end up binging and resenting yourself for it even more. Instead of restricting calories and not allowing yourself to eat your favorite foods, indulge every now and then to keep your sanity. It’s okay to have a cheat meal every once in a while; and if you do binge, realistically, one day isn’t going to drastically set you back. You’re not going to gain a ton of weight from eating a bit of what you want now and then. Eating is a natural part of life and shouldn’t be causing you to experience guilt or shame. Eat to nourish your body, and indulge to feed your soul.