You might want to change the way your body looks, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love the way it is now. Every body should be celebrated and yours is no exception. If your goal is to lose weight or transform your body in any way, how can you treat your body right if you don’t love it? We treat the people in our lives the best who we think the most highly of and care the most about, so why don’t we care about ourselves and think about ourselves in the same manner? Everything you say to yourself, imagine that you are saying it to a younger version of yourself. Would you want that version of yourself to hear those hurtful words you tell yourself regularly? It hurts our feelings to have other people put us down for the way our bodies look, so why should we perpetuate the pain by saying the same things to ourselves?
The negative thoughts you have about your body will affect the way you transform it. Self-hate promotes self-destructive behavior that will keep your from creating the body you are picturing for yourself. You have to build up the confidence in who you are now so that you have the confidence to become the person you strive to be. Here are ways you can love your body now and instill the confidence in yourself to achieve your goals:
Appreciate what your body can do, instead of what it can’t do or how it looks. Can it run 3 miles? Can it lift 50 pounds? Can it dance beautifully? Can it carry your child and bring it into the world? Can it beat an illness? Those are all things to celebrate about your body instead of focusing on your appearance. Your body should be thought of as a vehicle for your soul instead of something pretty for others to look at.
Don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be someone who is leaner, stronger, bigger, faster, etc so you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to compare yourself to others. You also don’t know another person’s story and how long they have been working to get their body the way it is. Take inspiration from others, but don’t compare yourself to them. Every person, every body, every story is different.
Celebrate the small victories. Did you reach a 5 pound weight loss/gain goal? Did you run further than ever before or lift more weight in the gym? Did you successfully avoid the unhealthy food at the office or family party? Celebrate it! The more you celebrate your small victories, the more confidence you will have. Just remember to reward yourself in a healthy way because unhealthy rewards may lead you to feelings of regret that will make you feel bad about yourself all over again. But, if you’ve worked hard all week for that one serving of ice cream or a couple glasses of wine, go for it!
Stay off of the scale as much as possible. Sure, it’s good to check in once in a while to have a general idea of where you’re at. But your body can be up and down in weight for a day or two for an innumerable amount of reasons so you’ll drive yourself crazy focus on a number instead of how you look and feel. When you look in the mirror, pick things that you love about your body and focus on those instead of focusing on what you don’t like. It’s the best confidence boost! You can take this a step further and actually write on your mirror the things you love about yourself – both physically and personality-wise – along with bits of motivation to give yourself an extra boost of positivity.
Another confidence-building thing you can do when you look in the mirror is to simply smile at yourself. Seeing happiness coming out of your body will make you love it more. Not to mention, everyone feels better when they receive/give a smile!
Stay away from people who want to put you down about your body. Don’t let someone else’s negativity affect the way you feel about yourself. If you can recognize someone who is continuously making you feel bad about yourself, do your best to avoid them or to at least avoid conversations centered on your body or bodies in general.
Focus on what you think of your body and yourself and not on what others think. Once you take the value away from someone else’s opinions, they no longer have any impact on you. If you love and approve of yourself then that’s all that matters.
Wear what you want to wear and what makes you comfortable instead of what society decides you should wear. If you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, then your confidence will shine through. It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it.
Lastly, don’t focus on the physical aspect of yourself all the time. You have a beautiful soul inside of you that needs to be nourished and uplifted regardless of how you feel about the shell it is in. Happiness will result in healthiness.