Sometimes it's a little bit hard to love the body you have, but with anything that takes practice, learning how to be body positive takes forming a habit. You're not going to wake up randomly one morning and love all your curves and taught "imperfections" after years of nit-picking those things. But the important thing is that you can love them — and all of yourself — if you make it part of your everyday routine. Being body positive isn't a case by case basis thing, where you squash mean thoughts every two out of four times they sneak through. Rather, you have to build your life around getting rid of mean triggers, surrounding yourself with positive people, and creating habits that stop those knee-jerk reactions of negativity.
That might sound like quite the undertaking, but it's actually very low-key. All it requires is for you to create ways to be body positive every day in little ways, whether that's going to the gym because you're proud of the strength of your body (and not your jean size,) or focusing on the badass things you accomplished this month rather than fixating on your shape. Adjust your priorities and happiness follows. Below are seven ways to become body positive in little ways.
1. Screw The Scale
Take out any negative triggers in your house that will make you want to be body negative. Lauren Koski, health coach and lifestyle contributor from Huffington Post said, "Have you ever felt really great about your body and lifestyle, only to get on the scale thinking you've lost weight but you didn't? Did you get discouraged and tell yourself you need to go on a diet, pronto?! If so, you may want to ditch the scale!" If you begin acting mean to your body the second you step on one of those bad boys, just toss it.
2. Surround Yourself With Happy, Body Posi People
Instead of surrounding yourself with "perfect" bodies that are either impossible to attain or that you simply don't want to attain, Koski suggested, "Go through your social media accounts and get rid of anything that makes you feel bad about yourself. Fill your feed with uplifting pages!" Whether that's body posi bloggers, women that know how to love themselves, inspiring quotes, down to earth celebrities — just make sure they're all positive. Their good, self-loving vibes will rub off on you and will teach you how to treat yourself.
3. Change Your Langauge
Sometimes being body negative is a knee jerk reaction — it's an ingrained habit, and becuase of that it can be hard to break. But you need to start training yourself to do so, so replace it with a new, healthier habit. For example, every time you want to shame yourself, change your language and instead bring up one thing you love about yourself.
Fashion writer Lisa Basile at lifestyle site The Gloss, explained, "A large part of inspiring others and staying inspired stems from not being body negative in your group of friends or in your head. Instead of talking about how fat/how much cellulite/how ugly you are or feel or have, turn the conversation around and focus on your positives." By highlighting your positives every time you want to focus on your negatives, you'll see there's so much about yourself that's beautiful.
4. Exercise Because You Love Yourself, Not Hate Yourself
Don't make working out about size of wieght goals. Rather, make it about making your body strong and proving to yourself all the amazing things it can do. Nutrition coach and lifestyle writer Deanna Schober from self-development site Tiny Buddha, suggested, "Stop obsessing over external appearances and obtaining an ideal body, and instead focus on the way being healthy makes you feel and what it gives you." Instead of trying to fit into a certain jean size, get excited about going to the gym and beating last months record run, yesterdays plank, or last week's squat. Your body has so many more uses than just parading around in skinny jeans!
5. Treat Yo'self
Instead of earmarking "loving yourself" for when you're 10 pounds lighter, treat yourself right here, right now. Don't wait to buy those pretty dresses or that fancy pair of pants. Koski explained, "You deserve beautiful clothes, hair, makeup, whatever, NOW, not 20 pounds from now!"
Treat yourself like you're proud of yourself and that you think you're beautiful. If the mood strikes, get those highlights you wanted, indulge in a mani, let yourself have that expensive face cream, buy that wardrobe you've been building in your head. Don't reserve these treats to a thinner version of yourself — treat yo'self now!
6. Bump "Weight" Waaay Down The Accomplishments List
This might feel a little new age-y, but if you're really struggling with loving yourself, this will help so bare with me. When you feel like you're starting to nit-pick about your body and how it doesn't look like you want it to, force yourself to stop and make a list of your current accomplishments. Switch the track from obsessing over your thighs to obsessing over how you're killing it in your career, how you're learning to cook, or how you're running your own project.
Schober explained, "Just like in the rest of life, when we focus on what we don’t have or what we haven’t accomplished, we feel frustrated and ready to give up. Listing your achievements instead puts your focus on what is going right, which in turn motivates you to do more." Your weight is never going to be your best accomplishment, so stop making it be.
7. Treat Yourself Like You Would Your Best Friend
Create a new habit of treating yourself like you would your best friend. That means you lovingly explain to yourself that your thighs are fine, your pant size means nothing, your body be lookin' right, and that you're one hot tamale. No matter what, no matter when.
Naturopath and eating psychologist Emica Penklis told Vogue Australia, "Skills can be learnt. It’s so wonderful to nourish yourself as you would another, or a lover, treat yourself as you would like others to treat you." Love yourself, and you'll look more beautiful than a skinny waist could ever make you.
Images: @ tessholliday /Instagram