You deserve to feel good about your body. Although it may be hard to believe, you can move past self-criticism to self-acceptance to even appreciating your body and all it can do. Here are six ways to better befriend your body.
1. Make a Body Can-Do List
If you’ve long-held a negative image, you might have overlooked all the things your body has been able to do. Make a list of all the physical or sensual pleasures you can enjoy regardless of your weight. Do you like how it feels to walk, run, dance or do yoga? Do you feel good when someone hugs you? These things are a result of what your body does/has done for you – allow yourself the time to appreciate it fully.
2. Check Yourself Out – In New Ways
People who have a negative body image often engage in negative self-talk, especially in front of the mirror. Next time you start to “over-check” yourself in the mirror, pause to practice the S.T.O.P. technique to take a pause and practice something more positive.
I have choices here.
What am I thinking, feeling and saying to myself? “I look so fat in these jeans. I should be embarrassed to be seen in public.”
How true is this? What do I deserve to feel? “Truth is, 6 months ago, I couldn’t fit into these jeans. I am looking more fit and healthy than I have in ages. I deserve to enjoy how I feel in well-fitting clothes.”
Pick a more balanced view. “I’m looking pretty good today, and I’m proud of all the changes I made to get here.”
3. Tune-In to Your Physical Experience
When you walk, lift weights, practice yoga, etc. focus on the flex of your muscles and the energy of your movements. Simple activities like raising a barbell, stretching in the morning or relaxing in bed at night enable you to positively experience your body in motion.
4. You Can Wear It Well
The same physical confidence you exhibit while working out can be transferred to the rest of your activities. Make it a practice to stand tall, walk briskly, hold your head high, and you will begin to communicate body-mind confidence.
5. Enjoy the Pleasure of Touch
Deep tissue massage can release tension, relax your muscles. It also enables you to practice being kind to your body.
6. Give Yourself a Makeover
Practice a double act of compassion – donate your larger size clothes to charity and then invest in clothes that flatter your body type, reflect your personal style and express your confidence in maintaining your healthy changes. Updated cosmetics, skin-care products and haircuts can also strengthen body confidence.
Friends for Life
You and your body can become good friends. The friendship requires love, attention and patience to grow and overcome often years of bad feelings. Know that you can let go of these negative feelings, come to enjoy your body and find it easier to maintain your healthy choices for life!