According to dosomething.org, approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their body image. I was part of that statistic six years ago.
And I’m sure you were/are, too.
And like you, I used to have a VERY negative body image. I’d constantly look at all my flaws.
Like the cellulite on my thighs. The length of my sideburns. The color of my skin. The color of my eyes. The size of my breasts.
I could go on and on…
Then one day, I decided I wanted to stop hating my body because I was tired of always beating myself up. I learned different ways to incorporate more self-love activities to retrain my thoughts regarding my body image.
These are my five tips on how to stop hating your body for good!
Tip #1 — Focus on the Blessing
I’m sure we could all find flaws in our body. We’re either too tall or too short. Too skinny or too big. Too curvy or too flat. Too this and too that…
But the reality is that if you focus on all the “negative” (what you perceive as negative) aspects of your body, you’ll continuously find evidence for more “negative” areas.
And I don’t know about you… but this type of thinking didn’t serve me well. So I decided to shift my thoughts on the blessing that my body is to me.
In Psalm 9:1 it says, “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”
So be grateful for your body. God created you in His image. And when you begin to focus on the blessing that it is, you’ll have a better relationship with it.
You can say things like: I’m healthy. I’m free from disease. My body functions perfectly. My body helps me accomplish mental and physical tasks every day.
Imagine if you were to shift your focus to those types of thoughts? How differently would you view your body?
Tip #2 — Forgive Yourself
I believe we’re our own worst critics. And although it’s not easy to forgive others, I find that forgiving ourselves can be even more difficult.
I’m giving you permission today to forgive yourself for not treating your body the way it deserves to be treated. Forgive yourself for the eating disorder(s), for the self-inflicted injuries and for the negative statements you said to yourself.
Forgiving yourself allows you to put the past in the past and not allow it to move forward with you in the journey of self-love and confidence.
Tip #3 — Stop the negative talk
Have you ever had a pet puppy?
On their first day of potty training, did they have an accident?
Did you yell at them? Hopefully not! Because they’re a puppy and they’re still learning.
Well, same goes here.
Instead of talking negatively about yourself. Talk to yourself like you do to a puppy. Be very understanding. After all, you may not be potty training but learning how to love yourself is a new skill you’re working on.
So the next time you talk to yourself. Ask yourself if you would say the same thing to your puppy. If not, refrain from saying it.
Tip #4 — Don’t identify yourself with your condition
I’ve noticed that, as humans, we’re always looking for ways to define ourselves and place ourselves into categories.
So we say things like:
Let me tell you something. All of these labels aren’t who you really are. They describe certain characteristics. But characteristics can always change.
However, the never ending truth that you can always rely on is this:
You are a child of God. You are an extension of his divinity. You are loved. You are His masterpiece.
So whenever you begin to label yourself according to your condition, remember that they’re temporary and don’t make up who you really are.
Tip #5 — Stop viewing your body as the enemy
If you notice you’re gaining weight then 9 times out of 10, there’s something you can do to come to your body’s rescue. You can cook healthier meals, not eat out as much, etc.
For example. When I eat dairy, my body pays for it. So I decided to eliminate dairy as much as I could. However, in the occasion that I do consume dairy products (what can I say? I love pizza!), I DO NOT hate my body for reacting the way it does. I know the consequences of eating the dairy and understand that my body is just doing the best it can to digest it.
Remember, your body is NOT the enemy. It’s quite the opposite. It’s your ally. And it’s helping you survive every day.
I’m curious, do you have any tips for overcoming a negative body image? Which of these tips will you implement today?
Originally published at medium.com