What’s your experience with poor body image?
My poor body image started when I was a pre-teen–about 10 years old. I wasn’t tiny like the other girls my age…I didn’t have many friends, I was insecure, I lacked confidence and self worth. That mindset followed me throughout middle and most of high school until I decided I was worth more. I deserved more. Now, it still took me years to be at peace with my body (and I still struggle with it today!), BUT these 5 tips have helped me keep those negative thoughts away…and it can help you, too!
1. Wear clothes that make you feel good
Dress to impress–yourself! Ain’t nobody got time to wear clothes that don’t make them FEEL good. If that means going a size up, do it! The size of your clothes does not define you as a person or your health.
When I was in high school and college, I’d only wear things that were a certain size. If they didn’t fit me, I would put them back on the rack and forget they existed. No sizing up for me!
Last week I went shopping and found THE cutest rompers–and guess what? The small was too small for me! Instead of dreaming about how cute it “would have” been, I decided to try the medium-and I’m so glad I did because it looks good, and I feel super confident in it. Don’t let the size of something define you. Wear clothes that embrace your confidence!
2. Move your body
Why do you move your body? Exercise releases endorphins, the happy hormone, and those endorphins can help you have a clear, happy mind. What’s more? They can bring you confidence.
Think of the different kinds of workouts you’ve done. Which ones make your body feel amazing?? Which ones make you feel defeated? Choose to do the activity that makes you feel good.
As for me, swimming makes my body feel amazing from my head to my toes. I can feel all my muscles. Our bodies are all different and we all like different things, so find what jives with you.
3. Celebrate your body
“My legs are too short.”
“My butt is too big.”
“My thighs are huge.”
“My stomach isn’t flat.”
I was concerned with every one of those things when I was a pre-teen–overly consumed with ‘how’ my body looked…constantly comparing myself to my teenie-bopper classmates. But you know what I was doing wrong? I was shaming my body for what it wasn’t instead of celebrating it for what it was! When you can change the mindset of “these are my imperfections” to “these are my strengths”, you can love and appreciate your body more.
My legs may be short, but I have them-and they get me from point A to point B. I am able to challenge myself in my workouts daily. My booty and thighs may be “bigger”, but they are strong. Any time a negative thought comes into your mind, just think of how far you’ve come and tell yourself, “Nope, we aren’t gonna talk like that. We are gonna celebrate our body instead”.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s super common to envy what others have–we all have our insecurities…me included! If you find yourself comparing yourself to someone on social media, unfollow them. If you compare yourself to someone else in the gym, go workout in a different spot. Bottom line: try your best to eliminate the source of negativity. Stop comparing yourself to others and start celebrating YOU. You do you, boo!
5. Daily Affirmations
Affirmations can help you change your mindset about your body and self worth. I encourage you to engage in daily affirmations. Look at yourself in the mirror and say:
“My body deserves love and respect”
“Food is not the enemy, I’m grateful food nourishes me”
“Thank you, body, for getting me through that tough workout”
“My worth is not defined by my weight”
“I am comfortable in my own skin”
“Other people’s opinion on my body do not involve my thoughts”
“I take care of my body by doing ______”
“My body is a vessel for my awesomeness”
“I feel sexy today!”
It doesn’t matter what you tell yourself–whether you tell it to yourself in the mirror or write in down in a journal–positive self talk is foundational in changing your mindset toward your body and self.
I challenge you to focus on one of these tips this week. Track your progress, make goals for yourself. You deserve to be unconditionally happy with food, your body, and yourself.
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Until Next Time,
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
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