Body Positivity and Self Love are crucial aspects of life that we neglect to acknowledge and show ourselves. If we don’t respect and love our bodies how can we expect anyone else too?
I wanted to write this blog to help other women and men out there with self-love and body appreciation. My journey of self-love has been a long one with many bumps in the road and it is still ongoing but I truly feel happy and content in the way I look and also the way I feel. I have gone from a very unhealthy size 8 to a unhealthy size 16-18 to a healthy size 10 pre baby and now I am a healthy happy size 14 post baby.
The first step to loving yourself is accepting your body the way it is right now, put aside what it used to look like or what you think it should look like. Your body looks and is the size it should be right now in this moment whether you like it or not so rather than fighting it and hating on it, accept in. A lot of us get hung up on how our bodies looked years ago and if you think back to that time when you were smaller think about what you were doing and the lifestyle you were living. For me when I was a size 8 I was 16, living out of home surviving on one meal a day, drinking a few nights a week, walking 40 mins a day to college for my studies as I didn’t have a car at that age and I ended up in hospital because I was so unhealthy. Yes I was a size 8 but I was a very unhealthy size 8 and I was not happy at all. Flash forward a few years when I was a size 10, I was really happy and healthy living a vegetarian lifestyle however I would sacrifice hours and most Sunday mornings in the gym and god forbid If I missed a workout, or ate badly for the weekend I would beat myself up terribly. Don’t get me wrong I was happy and I was healthy however my life revolved around what I was eating and how I was training and that works for some and it worked for me for a good 2 years however it doesn’t work for me now and my current situation with an infant.
Another step to selflove is doing active workouts you love rather than exercising in a gym, go walk your dogs, run around the park with the kids, go for a walk on the beach, do a bootcamp with a friend, go swimming in a lap pool, go play football with your friends or even the kids. Exercising doesn’t have to be boring and generic it can be fun! Exercising is supposed to make you feel good right?! Well you will feel great if you are doing a form of exercise you love.
Put away or give away the clothes that don’t fit you. There is nothing more depressing then trying to put on clothes that used to fit you only to find that they are too small or they don’t fit the way they used too. I find that I will be in such a great mood and then I try to put on my pre pregnancy jeans and that mood shifts to full blown depression where I am looking in the mirror pulling at my tummy with tears running down my face. Honestly who needs that negativity in their lives, certainly not me.
Shop the size that fits you not the size that you think should fit you. I was the worst for this, I would often shop for a size of clothes that would give me an ego boost as I didn’t want to come to terms as to my actual size. So even when I was a size 12 I would by size 10 tops, underwear etc and looking back I think how stupid I was, as soon as I would try to fit into these smaller clothes I would be so uncomfortable! So now I will often get the bigger size in tops as I have wider arms and I will get my actual size in underwear, my ass aint fitting in smaller undies anymore and I’m proud of my peach.
Unfollow people on social media that you compare yourself too, that make you depressed or that have a completely different body structure to you. There was a study that came out recently advising that it only takes 1 hour of scrolling through social media for you to mentally start body bashing yourself. For me this is no surprise, when I go on social media I honestly go on for a few minutes at a time not only because I don’t have much time because Zephaniah needs my attention but also because after more than 30 mins I start comparing myself to the Instagram models and I start putting myself down and wishing I was as fit as them or I was as tanned as them or had as much style as they do or a cool car like they have.
Don’t worry yourself with what other people will think of you, I’ve always said that other people’s opinion about me is none of my business as this is their opinion and they are entitled to their opinion even if it is very wrong.
Breath in (yes I’m serious breathe in) and Breathe out (go on breathe out) and I want you to make a conscious effort to stop the body bashing, see if you can go today without thinking or saying one negative thing about yourself and if that’s easy enough to do try it again tomorrow and then for the rest of the week and just continue on with the self-love. When you give yourself a glance in a mirror say something positive to yourself, often if I glance myself I will say “dam girl” in my head and it just reinforces those positive vibes about yourself. We really need to accept who we are, what we look like and fuel ourselves with positivity and affirmations and before you know it that self love will grow.