Living in this photoshopped age of Instagram can make it nearly impossible to escape comparison and body-shaming. You open your feed and are instantly greeted by models without an inch of cellulite or fitness bloggers with abs for days. And while things are changing—shoutout to model Ashley Graham and women like Adele who are proving that all body types should be celebrated—it’s still difficult to keep a positive body image 24/7. Even my friends who have strong, healthy, beautiful bodies that I consider “perfect,” struggle with being proud of what they’ve got.
Having a positive body image doesn’t change overnight, but there are habits other than exercise that can help. Here’s what I do when negative body thoughts start weighing in:
Get your mind in a good place.
For me, feeling good in general stems from my state of mind. If I’m stressed, tired, or upset about something, the downward body spiral is usually next. I do everything in my power to make each day healthy for not only my body, but my mind as well. Meditating, creating a peaceful morning routine, getting enough zzz’s, and being efficient with my time all help to maintain a happy mental space.
Balance the negative with positive
Being aware of my thoughts is crucial. If I begin body-shaming myself, I immediately stop and think of 3 things I love about my body. I take time to address what I truly love—not just parts that quickly come to mind. I also say a quick ‘thank you’ to my body because I am beyond lucky to have one that is stable and healthy. Negative thoughts are a waste of time and training your mind to instead think positively can make such a difference.
Reward your body.
I do something that makes my body feel GOOD. That might be a yoga class, a long walk, stretching, a bath, or a massage—it doesn’t have to be exercise related. Whatever makes your muscles and skin feel good is a sure way to give your body well-deserved love.
Stock up on healthy groceries.
The easiest way for me to feel gross is to eat gross. So making sure I have healthy ingredients on hand for the week is not only good for my body but for my mind as well. Taking the time to plan recipes each week not only eliminates the guesswork of what I’ll eat, but it also makes nourishing my body a no-brainer. I always feel better when I’m eating well (and yes, I still buy dessert because my version of a healthy diet consists of balance!).
Limit social media.
If I’m feeling especially down on myself, the easiest thing to do is take a social media break. I log out of my accounts and practice the habits from above until I’m in a better headspace. Self-doubt thrives on comparison and seeing a feed of people’s best photos can be very unhealthy.
How do you deal with body image struggles? I’d love to hear!