Thanks to the media – from movies and television shows to paparazzi photos and social media accounts – there are so many points of comparison, and it's easy to think that our body doesn't measure up, even though that isn't true at all.
We are bombarded with images of the "perfect" body, leading everyone to think that unless they look like a Kardashian or one of the many other social media influencers (who usually run their images through an editing tool before posting, just for the record), there's something wrong with them. But this isn't the case!
YOU are beautiful – imperfections and all. Want to genuinely believe that statement and start loving your body? We’re here to help! Here are some surefire ways to start appreciating what Mother Nature gave you.
Develop a Mantra
Say it, and you shall believe it! Have you ever heard the saying that if you repeat something enough, it'll come true?
Some of the strangest (yet most effective) advice involves getting up in the morning and repeating to yourself in the mirror that you are confident, beautiful, and bold. This mantra is supposed to raise your self-esteem and your confidence levels – and the best part is… it really does!
We’re 100% serious – just try it when you look at your body in the mirror, rather than just your face. Instead of raising your self-esteem, you're working on loving your body. Stand in front of a full-length mirror and say, "I look great!" or "I’m beautiful!" or "I am sexy!" or some version of these statements.
The trick is not only to say them but BELIEVE them. Put some oomph behind them like you mean it!
You don't need to just do this when you look in the mirror. Repeat your "I feel beautiful" mantra quietly in your head when you walk into the grocery store, when you're trying on clothes in a fitting room, and when you saunter into that after-hours club like you own the place.
The more you say it, the more you'll feel it and believe it!
Focus on the Good Instead of the Bad
Don’t fall into the flaw rabbit hole! It's easy to fall into the age-old trap of only focusing on your flaws. We’ve all done it. We look in the mirror and point out everything that's wrong with our bodies, from a nose that feels too wide or skin that isn't clear to visible cellulite on our butt and hips.
This only leads to thinking that you're inferior, especially when you compare yourself to those "perfect" (photoshopped) images that you see in the media.
So, the next time you look in a full-length mirror, focus on what makes you attractive.
Do you have naturally high cheekbones? Is your butt something worth writing home about? Are your legs nice and curvy? What makes you look and feel good about yourself?
There are things that make you unique and beautiful. Focus on your beautiful features, and watch your whole mood change.
Adopt a Healthy Diet
Eating well, or trying to at least, is one way to start loving your body.
Why does it have this positive effect? Well, when you feel good internally, it boosts your overall external health and your self-esteem. Food is more than just nourishment. Have you ever noticed that when you eat a lot of sugar, you feel tired and cranky? What you eat has a direct effect on your mood, so why not aim for something healthy?
On top of this, switching your diet, especially if you've spent years eating junk food and whatever you want, can make you feel as though you've triumphed. Successfully making that change gives you a boost, adding to all of the feel-good chemicals in your body, like serotonin, that will help you love your body.
Lizzo said it right – "you look FINE!" And you really do, even though you may not believe it right this moment. But now, it's time to remind yourself of that fact.
Look at yourself in the mirror. Put on your smallest bikini. Face the mirror, focus on your eyes, and tell yourself that you look great. It's a small thing that can have a huge impact!
Get Up and Exercise
Have you heard of endorphins? Well, as Elle Woods reminded us, they are our friends! They're those chemicals that are released in the brain when you do things like exercise.
What do endorphins do? Well, in essence, they make you feel good.
Have you ever noticed that you feel great after going for a run or spending some time quickly walking your dog around the block? A half-hour on the treadmill or exercise bike can give you a huge boost, improving both your mood and your self-esteem.
In fact, when you exercise regularly, you'll not only get into shape and possibly lose a little weight (not that you needed to, but good health is important), but you'll begin to find that you love your body as well. You'll see your waistline shrink a little and your legs and arms tone up. These small changes will help you love your body for what it is, glowing skin and all.
After all, it's all about how you feel, not looking like your idols.
Self-care is all over the blogosphere these days. Everyone wants to point out just how important it is, and there are many people noting that it seems to be something reserved for certain economic and social classes.
Well, we’re here to tell you that isn't true. Self-care is for everyone! You need to spend some time taking care of yourself, your body, and your mental health.
The more time that you can spare on self-care, the better. Taking half an hour a day to focus on something that you enjoy will lower your stress levels, leading to better mental health and an overall positive body image which is another key to learning to love your body.
Learn to Care About Yourself
But I do care about myself, don’t I? Now, we don't mean caring about yourself in the physical sense. After all, we already covered that with the "eating healthy" and "exercising" ideas. What we mean is to actually care about yourself like you care about others. If you have a hard time loving your body, then you probably don't think very highly of yourself. It sucks, but it's true.
Years of comparing your body to others can beat down your self-esteem, leaving you with a focus that centers around your flaws. In order to truly feel better about your body, you need to learn to love and care about yourself. It's all about that mental strength.
Only you can turn things around, so you focus on liking – better yet, loving – who you are in every way! Your body deserves your love, so give it freely!
Seek Some Professional Help
Asking for help is completely ok! If you're truly struggling with your self-esteem and find it hard to even come up with something nice to say about your body, then you may need professional help.
There's nothing wrong with seeking the assistance of a therapist or a psychiatrist, and we definitely need to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health care. Some disorders, like depression and anxiety, may prevent you from coming up with even one good thing about yourself. Thankfully, these things can be treated, so you can learn to love yourself again.
Remember That No One is Perfect
No flaws? Raise your hand! Clearly, that would be no one. If you've noticed one common refrain here, it's the fact that no one is perfect.
Those actors, actresses, YouTube stars, and social media influencers? Nope! They have physical flaws too. Sure, they may also have personal chefs, dieticians, and trainers, but those only keep them in shape and help hide their flaws – yes, they still have flaws like every human on this planet!
They look in the mirror and think, "My thighs are too big, my nipples are too chapped, and my butt has too much cellulite." You may not believe them, but they are besieged by the same self-esteem challenges as any of us. The only difference is that they have the power of photo editing software or a personal trainer behind them, as well as professional hair and makeup artists. They cover up any flaws, making them look perfect.
But want in on a little secret? Perfection isn’t beautiful! So, stop chasing this version of perfection. It's not real! Those stars and influencers have a lot of help to make them look the way that they do.
While you may not, you can give yourself the confidence and body positivity to feel like they do. The more you believe in your awesomeness, the better you'll feel.
In Conclusion – Love the Body You’re In
Share the love… starting with yourself! Learning to love your body can take a little time, but the results are well worth it.
You'll feel better about yourself and have more confidence when you walk into a room. You'll find that your clothes feel better on your body. It all comes down to how you feel about yourself.
So, start loving yourself and the body you’ve been given. Because there’s just one you, and you are beautiful!