Society today has portrayed “prefect body” images all over social media. It becomes evident in the number of “likes” that these photos receive, that society admires and fantasizes about one day possibly attaining the same perfect bod. We often find ourselves comparing our bodies to others and saying to ourselves “wish I had her curves” or “wish I was buff like that guy.” These thoughts drown our perception of our own bodies because we are always going to try and measure up to “ideal image.” Here are 5 Steps on how to fully accept and love your body.
Step 1: Mind Over Matter
If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter! It’s evident that everyone is not built the same, from physical structure to hair color or even an individual’s attire. Focusing your energy and thoughts to perceiving your body as something positive and practice replacing negative thoughts or comments about your body with empowering beliefs. Accept what you cannot change and let the negative thoughts go. It can be as simple as smiling at yourself in the mirror and saying something positive about your body. This is enough to alter your mentality and you will be on your way to truly loving your body, if you don’t already!
Step 2: Taking Care of Your Body
A car will not run without gas, oil, tire changes and many other essential parts. Neither will your body if you do not take the time to take care of it. Living an active lifestyle and engaging in social and physical activities will fuel the body mentally and physically. It is also important to pay attention to what you feed your body in thought and in nutrition. Your body is your temple, so exercising and participating in a workout regime is important to loving yourself. People of all sizes can be active. Exercise can help you feel better about your body and give you more energy.
Step 3: Support Team
People who have your best interest at heart and constantly provide positive vibes are a great asset! Family, friends, and relationships all play a role in the confidence we find within ourselves. Surround yourself with people who have a healthy perspective about food, weight, and their own bodies.
Step 4: Be A Team Player – Love others
Once you have learned to love and appreciate yourself, spread the positivity to those around you. Love and treat others the way you would like to be treated. Become an advocate who believes in promoting self-worth over self-judgement of body image. Love is contagious. If others around you are able to see your self confidence and acceptance of your own body, they too will find peace within themselves. This time your role is to be the supportive team member and help others love their bodies.
Step 5: Enjoy your body and Life
This final stage serves more for reinforcement purposes to continue to love your body and those around you. Keep in mind that loving your body is not necessarily easy, it may not come over night. But being persistent and implementing the previous 4 steps in your life will improve self-esteem, self-worth, and you will begin to love your body. Loving and changing your body is not a race, it’s a marathon. Enjoy your process because you only have one life and one body!
by Liki K. Porotesano, MPH Candidate, Health Promotion Graduate Assistant