There is so much controversy around the body-positive movement. There is debate on who the movement is for, why it was created in the first place, and of course the argument between BOPO (body-positive) Advocates and the health and dieting community. It can be so exhausting factoring in all viewpoints. Here are three things you need to know about the body-positive movement:
- Body-positive grew from the fat-positive movement in order to bring inclusion and acceptance of fat + plus size bodies in our society not to bring awareness to physical health and wellness
- All bodies are impacted by body shaming and body insecurity, including men and transgender individuals.
- Body acceptance is an important aspect of the body positive movement. If you learn to accept your body you can learn to love your body.
The majority want to change something about their body, have already done so, or hate their body altogether. All body types, shapes, and sizes struggle with accepting their body. Our weight (the number), skin color, hair texture, body type (hourglass, lean, athletic/muscular, thick, etc.), and even our height are things we wish we could change. No matter how thin, fat, short, or tall you are, we all have compared our body to someone else, have judged, criticized and shamed ourselves because of how our body looks.
Here are my 10 tips to help you be more body-positive and begin to love your body:
1. Know You Are Not Alone
Get to know why you struggle to accept your body. Ask yourself, if I know that I am not the only person struggling to accept their body, and that the people who have the body type that I desire struggle to accept their body, where do my body issues come from?
2. Listen to Yourself
How does your body feel on a day-to-day basis? What does your body need to feel good? How can you begin to give your what it needs while working, being a parent, and taking care of other responsibilities. Stop focusing on what your body looks like and focus on how it feels and try to give it the nourishment it needs every day.
3. Be grateful
Your body is more than a physical vessel. Your body has function and purpose. Not every body has the same capability so be grateful for what your body can do.
4. Get Bare
Find some time outside of the shower to be naked with lights on. Get bare in your personal space and be raw with yourself. Get comfortable with yourself while looking in the mirror.
disclaimer: this may be really tough to do. avoiding the mirror and bare body is common when struggling to accept self. Challenge yourself to get uncomfortable and face what you have been running away from.
5. Compliment Yourself
While you are standing in that mirror, try complimenting your body. Say 1-3+ compliments celebrating your physical self. Say to yourself what you would want to hear from someone else. Challenge yourself to only say kind things about your body and if your inner-critic shames, bullies, or criticizes your body, challenge that thought with a compliment.
6. Move Your Body
Every body deserves movement. I hate the gym, but I do love to dance, so I get my movement by dancing in living room. Our bodies get stiff and are less limber and flexible when we do not move. This is not about losing weight, it is about accepting that our bodies were created to move.
disclaimer: you are not required to look or be like anyone else. If you love to work out for 3 hours at the gym, go for it. If you loathe the gym and working out and would rather go dancing at the club, go for it, but don’t forget to move your body sometimes.
7. Ditch The Scale
Stop obsessing over the number you see on a scale. I stopped looking at a scale about 3 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I still struggle with body acceptance and I still have goals for myself but I realized I can achieve the same goal by wearing waist beads or by paying attention to how my clothing. feels on my body.
Go back to #3 and #4 to check in with how you feel instead of focusing on stepping on a scale.
8. Wear What You Want
If your body looked like you desire it to, would you wear certain clothing that you don’t wear now? If the answer is yes, it is time to get uncomfortable. Try wearing a piece of clothing that you feel is not for your body type. Challenge yourself to do exactly what you desire.
9. Touch Yourself
Firstly, get your head out of the gutter … Just like getting BARE, complimenting ourselves, and ditching the scale can feel uncomfortable, so can touching your body. This is another way to embrace your body and normalize your imperfections. Body love is about accepting ourselves and touching the parts of our bodies that we struggle to love is a great and challenging way to show our bodies love.
Next to movement, resting is the most powerful way that you can show yourself some love. Resting does not necessarily mean sleep, but resting your mind and body are so important in body love and its essential in having the energy to take care of all our responsibilities. Without rest you will not be you.
If you would like to challenge your inner critic and begin to accept your body for all she is. Learn more about The Heart Advocate program, Perfectly Imperfect and begin accepting your body and being compassionate with yourself.