By Katherine Tinsley
It’s time to talk about body image—like embracing your figure and learning to love the skin you’re in. Your body is powerful and it has gotten you through troubling times. However, there is a significant amount of pressure to fit unrealistic standards for beauty that are not only unachievable but unhealthy. Most of the images we consume online are heavily edited to give the illusion of perfection. These are five tips to help embrace your own body type.
1. Stop Weighing Yourself
One thing that makes the journey of body confidence difficult is stepping on the scale. Weight is just a number. In fact, muscle weighs more than fat and the weight fluctuations shown on the scale can actually be water weight or gaining muscle mass. The changes on the scale don’t always reflect the changes in fat loss or gain. In order to relieve some of the anxiety surrounding weight, don’t weigh yourself. The numbers on the scale aren’t as important as you think.
There is power in speech and how you talk about your own physique can impact your self confidence. Everything we say about ourselves either out loud or in our head is an affirmation, but that doesn’t mean the affirmations we say are always positive. Instead of saying to yourself, “I hate my thighs,” or “I hate my boobs,” etc start telling yourself “I love my body” or “I am so thankful for my body and I am proud of it.” Ultimately, affirmations shift how you view yourself and can help build confidence in your body.
3. Stop Comparisons
Everyone is built differently and has their own unique body type and shape. However, it is easy to frequently compare yourself to not only the people around you, but those that you see online. If you find yourself comparing your body to someone else’s or saying you wish you looked like someone else, stop yourself. Comparisons can shatter self confidence because it sets unrealistic goals for yourself. You don’t have to be in competition with anyone other than yourself.
4. Change How You View Exercise
Exercise and “getting in shape” is usually associated with weight loss, but exercising is actually a part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise can increase mood and can help the relationship you have with your body. Health doesn’t know a dress size and exercising for the purpose of you and not for weight loss can help build body confidence.
5. Cancel Diet Culture
From weight loss teas, meal plans, calorie counting apps and fads, diet culture is a part of our everyday lives and conversations. Although it is easy to get sucked into, there is a way to tune it out. Start with unfollowing accounts that promote weight loss teas, supplements and diet plans. Dieting often comes with calorie and macro nutrient restrictions in order to lose weight. Instead of dieting, delete any calorie counting apps you might have and focus on eating whole foods instead of processed foods. It will prevent the yoyo effect with healthy eating caused by dieting and help build a consistent healthy lifestyle.
Ultimately, reshaping your views on your own body and building your body confidence is a difficult part of the self care and self love journey, but it is crucial. It is important to love the skin that you’re in regardless of size.
Katherine Tinsley is an editorial intern who specializes in building the bridge between the industry and culture, self care, and fostering difficult conversations.