It’s not our fault that we have equated skinny to being beautiful and happy. I mean, just look at all the women in the media these days. Yes, there are those companies that are hiring more “normal”-shaped women to be the face of their products. However, we still see a vast majority of women in the media that are stick-thin and not truly representing what the everyday women looks like.
Growing up, I remember my father always calling me “chubby”. By no means was I overweight, but yes I carried some baby fat in my face that made me appear to look bigger. But at that point in my life, I still went on my childhood ways and ate whatever I wanted.
Later, when I started high school, I remember constantly comparing myself to my friends as they were always thinner than me. That’s when I went on my first real “diet”. But of course, my idea of dieting was caesar salad loaded with dressing and a diet coke. Needless to say, it wasn’t really working out for me.
When I started university, I remembered everyone warning me about the “Freshman Fifteen”. And you guessed it, it happened. Things just kept snowballing from there and I graduated university 20 pounds heavier than when I first started.
That’s when the true restriction began and I went through the most intense yo-yo dieting I have ever experienced. Not to get too deep into my toxic relationship with food but let’s just say it became extremely unhealthy and my body image was at its worst ever.
Now at the age of 31, I look back at everything I’ve gone through and realized how much of an idiot I was putting my body through all that torture. As someone who wants to be a mother one day, I’d hope my children can embrace who they are and truly love themselves regardless of what they look like.
I also learned a few things throughout the years about practicing self-love and wanted to share these 7 Things You Can Do to Love Yourself More with you!
1. Ditch the Scale!
The scale is honestly not the best reflection of your body. There were days when I felt great about my body and was living a healthier lifestyle, only to step on the scale and realized I gained a few pounds. This is such an easy way to get discouraged and feel down about yourself. The best way is just knowing how you feel in your clothes and rocking them out!
2. Resetting Your Internal Dialogue
Think about all those negative things you say to yourself and think, would you say this to your child, your best friend, your parents? It’s difficult to stop the thought, I know... but once you realize it, stop it right away in its tracks! If you wouldn’t say it to your loved ones, or even your worst enemy, why in the world would you say it to yourself?
3. Social Clean Up
I really found this to be key as I entered into the workforce and met new people. It’s really important to surround yourself with positive and healthy people. This is also the same when it comes to your social media. What and who you see on a day-to-day basis can really affect you so filter out the things that don’t positively impact your life.
4. Get some R&R
Rest and relaxation is important for everyone’s mental health. Whatever relaxation means to you… it could be a massage, going to the nail salon, shopping, anything! Know that you deserve to treat yourself with things you enjoy, no matter what your weight is.
5. Grab that Pen and Start Journaling
You need to know that you are worthy, and you have so great attributes outside of your appearance. I know it’s difficult sometimes to see yourself in a positive light but you should make an effort to list something you appreciate about yourself everyday. What are you thankful for? What kinds of things have you accomplished? If you start focusing on what your body CAN do, you’ll focus less on the size of your body.
6. Exercise to FEEL Good, Not Look Good
Be active not to focus on weight loss, but be active because moving your body releases endorphins (happy hormones) and your HEALTH will thank you.
7. Focus on New Goals
Find a new hobby, or something that you enjoy doing and setting a goal for yourself. It could be perhaps taking up guitar or learning to be a better cook, but focus on something that makes you happy. This way, your focus starts shifting from your body image and towards awesome things your body CAN do.