You've probably heard a lot about the importance of having a good body image or body confidence. After all, who doesn't want to love themselves more and feel more confident in their body?
And it sounds simple enough: love yourself and your body as you are. But how exactly do you do that? Especially if you've struggled with feeling good about your body for years or if you are trying to lose weight? How can you improve your body confidence?
True self love doesn't happen overnight, but by following these tips and being patient with yourself, you can totally and absolutely do it.
1. Set the intention to love yourself. Take a few minutes and either on paper or out loud set your intention to love yourself unconditionally inside and out. It sounds simple, but putting this into words can make a huge difference in how you go about your day and how you think about things. Which leads us to...
2. Check in with your thoughts. As much as you can, begin to be aware and objective about your thoughts. Are you talking to yourself like you would a best friend or someone you love? Are you unjustly comparing yourself to others? Are you beating yourself up? Now, if you are being negative, don't beat yourself up over that. Just be aware of it and ask yourself if you could see the situation in a different way. Instead of honing in on what you don't like, could you focus on the things you do like? Finding and focusing on even the smallest bit of gratitude can begin to shift your mindset to the more body positive.
3. Reclaim your scale. For a lot of us—especially if you're trying to lose weight or have heavily dieted in the past—the scale can be a pretty emotionally loaded place. Take your power back with this exercise.
4. Start a daily ritual. Every day, do something that connects you to your body in a positive way. It can be writing down a few things you're grateful for, meditating, reading something inspirational, going for a walk outside or simply repeating a phrase like "I love myself." Figure out something that helps you to connect with your intention, and do it on the daily.
5. Use exercise and food as a way to show yourself love. Don't spend time doing workouts you dread or eating foods you hate. Instead, pick the activities you enjoy and do them with joy. Eat the healthy foods that make you feel awesome and start to see them as a way to show yourself love, rather than a way to punish yourself.
6. Celebrate your successes and "failures." When you have a day where you feel really great about yourself, feel awesome about that and celebrate. And when you have a not-so-great day? Celebrate that, too, by using it as a way to learn and improve. Redefine your definition of "failure" by seeing it as a way to grow.
7. Write yourself a love letter. You know how great it is to get a thank-you letter in the mail, so why not write yourself one? Take 10 minutes out of your day and write down all the amazing things that your body does for you and all of the ways that you are uniquely you. Then, read that letter to yourself whenever you need a pick me up.
How body confident are you? What tip could you follow right now to feel the love more? Believe me, the journey and process is so, so worth it. And you know what? You deserve it!
About the Author As co-founder and co-author of "The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet" and Editor-in-Chief at Fit Bottomed Girls and Fit Bottomed Zen, Jenn has several fitness credentials under her belt. She is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, advanced health and fitness specialist, and an AFAA-certified group exercise instructor. Jenn has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and an MA in health journalism from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Jenn can be found doing HIIT workouts with her husband, making a mean green smoothie, running with her pup and snuggling with her daughter.
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