10 Ways to Practice Body Positivity in your Life

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o matter how much I wish it would – body positivity definitely does NOT come naturally to me. I wish I could say that I wake up every morning feeling like Beyoncé – but that’s just not realistic. Just like most worthwhile things in life – I have to actively pursue it. These are some of my favorite ways to pick myself up when I’m not quite feeling myself. If you have trouble remembering that you are enough, try applying a few of the following tips to your day.

1. Practice gratitude

Starting each day with a sentence as simple as “Thank you (body part) for (doing its physical function!)” can put you in a positive mindset for the rest of the day. This doesn’t just apply to yourself either; showing gratitude towards other people will eventually reflect itself back into the way you perceive, treat and talk to yourself.

2. Don’t set size/number related goals

Instead of setting an “ultimate goal weight” or using a size 0 pair of jeans as motivation to lose weight, focus on how great you felt after that workout that you absolutely smashed. Progress pictures can also help you to recognize small changes in your body that the scale won’t pick up on. A scale doesn’t take into account the lessons you’ve learned, the shift in mental health you’ve experienced, or the encouraging people you’ve met along the way.

3. Starting living your “dream life” now

It’s easy to fall into the mentality that “once I achieve that ‘dream body’, then I will start doing all the things I’ve always wanted to”. This is absolutely not true! Why wait? Crushing on that really hot guy at the gym? Say hello! Always wanted to go to join an aerial silk class? Then book it! Eyeing a super flattering bikini? Treat yourself! Life is too short to be waiting around for tomorrow.

4. Realize there is no “perfect body”

The sooner you are able to recognize and accept this, the easier it will be to start loving your body. By removing a standard by which you compare yourself to, you eliminate all those negative thoughts that can creep up on you. There will always be someone more [skinnier, toned, fit etc.]. And that is more than ok; because they will never be you! Simply strive to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

5. Donate clothes that don’t make you feel awesome

There’s no point keeping clothes that you don’t absolutely love. If it doesn’t fit you; replace them with clothes that do! Don’t keep those jeans that are 3 sizes too small for you because they will “motivate you to lose weight”. It will only discourage you, and cause you to give up. Doing a wardrobe clean-out will clear your mind, and keep you motivated.

6. Stop comparing yourself (period)

I’m not just talking about those models you see in magazines as you’re waiting in the check-out line at the grocery store – often times we compare ourselves to friends, family, and coworkers without even realizing it. It takes a conscious effort to change this mentality of inadequacy to one of appreciation and contentment. Comparison is not only the thief of joy, it is also the thief of triumph, satisfaction, and success. The only person you need to compete with is the person you were yesterday. Comparison will only make you feel defeated and hinder you from reaching your long-term goals.

7. Make time for things that spark joy

Finding hobbies that make you happy will give you confidence in your day to day life. When was the last time you did something just for you? It’s so important to make the time to invest in hobbies that make you happy; you don’t even have to be good at it! Practice makes better.

8. Find the good in others

Judging or critiquing other women’s bodies is not only unkind to them, it’s also unhealthy for you. People who pick apart others often also do it to themselves. In the same way, those who uplift and support other women will be more likely to be kind to themselves. Regardless of what it does for you – there is no such thing as too much kindness. If you think the woman in your SoulCycle class on the bike next to you look hella good today, tell her! Making someone’s day can be as simple as paying them a compliment. Kindness isn’t expensive.

9. Be kind to yourself

Have you ever stopped to listen to what you say about your body? Would you say these things to your best friend? Your daughter? A stranger? If the answer is no, then you have no place saying it to yourself. Your biggest critic is yourself; you have to live with yourself 24/7. Learning early on in life how to be kind to yourself is one of the most important favors you can ever do yourself. Some examples of things you can say to yourself include: “My body is healthy”, “There is no one else in this world with a body exactly like mine” or “My arms give the best hugs”.  

10. Surround yourself with positive people

If your friends are constantly bringing other women down, or always running to try the latest diet, it may be time to find new friends. You become who you surround yourself with. Find people who will lift you up, and encourage you to love yourself for who you are now. They will be there to get you through the tough times, and celebrate your successes with you. At the end of the day, the most important thing is not how much others love you, but how much you love yourself.