This guest post comes to us via the lovely Mara, who blogs (almost) daily over at Medicinal Marzipan, can frequently be found rabble rousing on facebook or you can shoot her an email at medicinalmarzipan[at]gmail[dot]com. Don’t hesitate to hit her up with any of your body image questions or comments!In a world overrun with messages and images dictating how you are supposed to feel about your body, what size it is supposed to be, or what you are supposed to wear, it can often be extremely difficult to harden your resolve and decide to love your body regardless of your size. The truth is, no matter how much you weigh, we are all under the a constant stream of input about our bodies, and we all take them to heart in our own unique ways. The difference then exists not in what the rest of the world is telling us to be, but in how comfortable we allow ourselves to be in our own skin.
You can make the conscious choice to love yourself, unconditionally, no matter what your weight or size. By removing these conditions, you are able to move more freely, open your heart to heightened self-esteem and self-worth, and be kind to yourself no matter what anyone else thinks about your body. This is not the easiest thing to do, but there are a few steps that you can take to make this journey towards loving your body easier.
1. Buy clothing that fits.
Buy clothing that not only fits, but also makes you feel good about yourself, makes you feel presentable and attractive, and represents the way you want others to see you. This means that you have to allow yourself to going up a size, or two, when you need to – without criticism or judgment. Buying clothing that fits you will remove the constant daily reminder of I’m so fat. I don’t deserve ______. I’m not worth ______. that you feel when you are getting dressed in the morning. You ARE worth looking your best.
2. Treat your body with the respect that you would treat a friend or family member –
say nice things, let it know that you are grateful for all that it does for you, for carrying you around in the world. Eat food that makes you feel nourished and energetic. Make time and space for movement. It is very difficult to hate your body when it is motion, when you can truly feel how strong it is.
3. Drink enough water.
This may seem menial, but when you don’t drink enough water you can feel stuck and lethargic. You get sick more easily. Your brain doesn’t move as fluidly as you might like. Drinking enough water makes your skin glow and your body feel more capable. That said, also, get enough sleep – it is much easier to fall into a rut when you are exhausted.
4. Refuse to engage in negative self talk.
This is not always the easiest of tasks. From childhood, women are taught to relate to one another in regards to their perceived flaws – “oh my calves are GIGANTIC!” “YOUR calves?! Would you look at my _____.” Picking on your body can be a easy go-to as a conversation filler, but it is remarkable how quickly those thoughts make their way into your heart and contaminate your thinking about your body. Make a choice to be nice to yourself. Tell yourself that you’re beautiful. Tell others that they are beautiful. If this concept seems foreign – fake it. You will be surprised one day when you realize that you have taken these “fake” compliments to heart.
5. Immerse yourself in a body positive culture.
True, there are plenty of people out there just waiting to tell you how GIGANTIC you are or how much you need to change, but there are also many resources, companies, blogs, friends, and lovers who want to love you exactly the way you are. Surround yourself with positive people. Find products, clothing companies, and activities that reinforce your love for your body, exactly as it is.
6. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Run, jump, skip, hula hoop, dance with reckless abandon. Do things that put a huge smile on your face, and remind you of a time where you felt more comfortable in your skin. Have fun. It is amazing how difficult it is to engage in negative body image patterns when you are too busy doing the things that you love to do and that make you feel good about yourself.
How do you feel about your body? How do you keep your body happy?