Health & Fitness
How to Love the Body You Have Right Now
If you're like most women, you've probably got big plans to change your body. And the odds are even better that you've had those plans for what feels like forever. According to one study, 75% of women have disordered eating behaviors, and 80% of women report being unhappy with their bodies. Your body is your home, and you don't deserve to spend your life hating that home. There's nothing wrong with plans to get healthier, but if you don't love your body now, no amount of weight loss is going to change that. If you're ready to stop the battle with your body for good, these tips that can get you started on your journey.
Stop Reading Garbage
Women's magazines aren't sources of information; they're advertising-laden garbage that are designed to make you feel bad about yourself! Study after study has shown that women feel worse about themselves after paging through these magazines. Endless images of models who are so airbrushed even they don't look like themselves are bad for your health; these images create unrealistic expectations and make even the most beautiful women feel terrible. So put down the fashion rags and pick up a novel. You may find yourself feeling better without any special effort.
Focus On What Your Body Does
Your body's job isn't to look beautiful—it's to help you achieve your goals. From dancing with your partner to chasing after your beloved dog, your body is a finely tuned and beautiful machine. Rather than berating yourself for the way your body looks, try focusing on the amazing things it does. This can make it easier to exercise. Moreover, this attitude means that when you do exercise, you'll be doing so to improve your skill level and not to lose weight – an approach that can make a huge difference in the way you feel about yourself.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
If you're like most women, you likely spew an endless stream of venom at yourself every time you look in the mirror. Stop telling yourself you're fat, ugly, or not good enough. Instead, consider seeing yourself the way the people who love you see you. If you've gotten a compliment recently, replace your negative self-talk with the positive words you've heard from loved ones. With a little effort, you'll find that self-kindness can make a huge difference in the way you feel about your body.
It can be challenging to drown out the endlessly negative messages society sends about women's bodies. If you struggle to love yourself, try meditating. Meditation clears a busy mind and makes space for you to cultivate mindfulness and a loving attitude toward yourself. Twenty minutes a day spent in quiet reflection is all it takes.
Still can't get your negative self-talk under control? It's no wonder, in a society that teaches women to loathe their bodies in every way possible. Therapy can help you regain control over your thoughts and feel happy in your own skin again. Consider spending some time chatting with a therapist who specializes in body image. Often, a few sessions are enough to make a big difference.