Today I am sharing 5 ways to start accepting your here and now body.
First, I think that it is important to start by asking yourself: how do you feel in your body right now?
Do you feel that your body or any parts of your body are strong? What parts of your body feel weak to you?
Are there parts of your body that you feel proud of? Are there parts of your body that you hide or feel ashamed of?
Now that we have a baseline for how you are feeling in your body, I want to help you get started on the path to accepting your here and now body. Not when you are X pounds lighter or X clothing size. Right. Now.
Check out the quick 3 minute video on 5 ways to start accepting your here and now body to get you started!
Now that we have done a quick review over my 5 ways to start accepting your here and now body, let’s dive a little deeper into each one:
1) Diversify your feed:
If you are on social media, be sure to follow accounts that show a diverse range of body sizes! Seeing bodies that look like your own will help you on your journey to body respect/acceptance. If we continue to only follow body types that we *wish* we looked like, then we will only perpetuate a cycle in our minds that we should be ashamed of our bodies. By ensuring that we are exposing our minds to all different kinds of body shapes and sizes, then we are helping to reinforce the truth, which is that all bodies are good bodies!
Not sure where to get started? Here are some ideas to help you as you start to find more diverse social media accounts to help you on your journey to body acceptance/body positivity.
Check out these hashtags on Instagram:
Then, under those hashtags, see if any of the posts from body positive accounts speak to you. Be careful not to fall into the trap of clicking on any accounts that are perpetuating diet culture or ‘before and after’ photos of weight loss. Not every account that uses these hashtags are doing so from a place of sincerity.
2) No more comparing:
How often do you find yourself having thoughts like: ‘I wish my body looked like theirs.’ Or something along the lines of, ‘I wish I could wear that outfit, but I would not look good in that type of clothing because of my body shape/size.’
These types of thoughts about our body can have such a negative effect on our mental health and our relationship with food and our body. I have one technique that I like to use with clients who are starting out on the path to body acceptance. It is called ‘reframing.’
Every time you find yourself comparing your body to someone else’s, it can be helpful to practice reframing that thought. Let’s go back to our previous example: ‘I wish my body looked like theirs.’ We could practice reframing this thought by saying: ‘That is how their body looks and it is not better than how my body looks. I love X about my body.’
It would also be helpful to make a list of all the things that you like (or even love) about your body. Too often we tend to spend much more time thinking about all the things that we wish that we could change about our bodies instead of all the things we like about our bodies. Try not to only focus on aesthetic things you like about your body, but also the things you like that it can do.
For example, it could be that you like how strong your arms are because they allow you to pick up your child or grandchild when you are playing together. Maybe it’s that you love working outside in the yard or garden, so having strong legs to squat down is something you like about your body.
3) Wear clothes that fit your here and now body
Do you have clothes in your closet right now that you are ‘saving’ for when you get to a certain weight?
Donate them. Get them out.
I would like to challenge you to wear clothes that FIT and feel comfortable on your here and now body. It is natural that your body is going to change shape and size over time, so it is important to adjust your clothing to that.
I also want to be cognizant of the fact that it is also not that ‘simple’ to simply go out and purchase new clothing. Some ideas to help could be to take your clothes that no longer fit to a consignment shop that may purchase them from you. Or you could also try selling them on social media. Then when purchasing clothes that fit, see if there are any consignment or thrift shops in your local area where you can find clothing for much lower prices. This also helps the environment, so it is a win-win!
4) Use affirmations
I understand that affirmations can sometimes seem ‘gimmicky.’ They can also feel silly when we have spent so much time speaking negatively to ourselves. But, imagine if we consistently spoke to ourselves in the positive ways affirmations do? Imagine if instead of thinking about how much we want to change all the parts of our bodies that we do not like and starving ourselves into a smaller body, that we spoke to our body as someone we liked, appreciated, respected or even loved?!
Search for some affirmations to use each day that help inspire you to respect and accept your body. Repeat them at least once a day and/or when you find yourself having negative thoughts toward your body.
Here are some affirmations to get you started:
“My body is worthy of nourishment.”
“I’m not going to sacrifice my mental health to have the perfect body.”
“I am strong.”
“I am powerful.”
“I am worthy of love.”
“I give my body permission to change.”
“I will allow myself to find pleasure in food without feeling guilt or judgment.”
“I am beautiful no matter how my body changes.”
“I am worthy of the time spent on healing my relationship with food and my body.”
Need some more affirmation inspiration? Check out my Instagram where I routinely share inspirational quotes!
5) Focus on health, not weight
Believe it or not, someone can be living in a smaller body that is idealized by our society and still not be healthy.
Health does not equal your weight.
Research has shown that it is much more beneficial for us to focus on what makes us feel good. If you are wondering what that could look like, it could mean that you are adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks. Or maybe you enjoy stretching and doing yoga as a way to move your body. Maybe you enjoy walking outside and that gets your heart pumping, which helps to improve your cardiovascular health.
It is more important to make the focus on the positive things you can ADD to your lifestyle that can benefit your health than it will ever be to focus on how you can restrict your food intake and try to make your body smaller.
What are some ways you work to accept and respect your body?
I hope that these 5 ways to start accepting your here and now body have been helpful for you. Be sure to also check out my FREE 5 Body Acceptance Journal Prompts to help you on your journey today!