Embracing your Body

It’s a new year. 2024. “My New Year’s resolution is to lose 20 pounds”… how many of us have said this year after year? Achieving a healthy body image is a universal goal, irrespective of your size or shape. In a world that often idealizes thinness, embracing your body when you identify as “fat” can be challenging. But remember that a healthy body image isn’t about conforming to unrealistic standards; it’s about loving and appreciating the body you have. Check out below where we will explore strategies for cultivating a positive body image, regardless of your size.

1. Practice Self-Compassion

Start by being kind to yourself. Treat your body with the same love and respect that you would offer to a friend. Acknowledge that your body is unique, and that’s something to be celebrated, not criticized.

2. Challenge Negative Self-Talk

Recognize and challenge negative thoughts about your body. Replace self-criticism with self-affirmations. Instead of focusing on what you dislike, highlight what you appreciate about yourself.

3. Surround Yourself with Positivity

Seek out people and environments that uplift you. Connect with friends who support and encourage body positivity. Unfollow or mute social media accounts that promote unrealistic beauty standards.

4. Celebrate Your Body’s Abilities

Shift the focus from appearance to function. Your body is capable of incredible things, so celebrate its strength and vitality. Engage in activities that make you feel good and appreciate what your body can do.

5. Choose Clothes That Make You Feel Confident

Wearing clothing that fits well and makes you feel comfortable and confident can boost your self-esteem. Don’t be afraid to express your personal style and embrace fashion that makes you feel great.

6. Mindful Eating

Adopt a mindful approach to eating. Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and savour each bite. Avoid diet culture, which often perpetuates unhealthy relationships with food.

7. Diversify Your Media Diet

Consume a diverse range of media that celebrates body diversity. Follow body-positive influencers, watch movies and TV shows with diverse casts, and read books and magazines that promote self-acceptance. It might be time to stop following those Instagram models that have that body you wished you had – as seeing their posts might actually impact you, rather than encourage you.

8. Seek Professional Support

If negative body image significantly impacts your mental health, we have many counsellors who can support you to help you in providing strategies for managing these feelings and improving self-esteem.

9. Reject the Idea of “Ideal”

Recognize that there is no single “ideal” body size or shape. Beauty comes in all forms, and what matters most is your health and happiness, not societal beauty standards.

10. Focus on Holistic Health

Prioritize your overall well-being. This includes mental, emotional, and physical health. Instead of striving for a specific weight, focus on nourishing your body with wholesome foods, staying active, and nurturing your mental health.

A healthy body image is not determined by your size but by how you perceive and value yourself. Regardless of your body type, you deserve to embrace self-love and acceptance. By practicing self-compassion, challenging negative self-talk, and surrounding yourself with positivity, you can cultivate a healthy body image that allows you to feel confident, happy, and empowered in your own skin. Remember, your worth is not measured by your size but by the love and appreciation you have for yourself.