When we are struggling with our body image, it can feel difficult to be satisfied with ourselves and to show our body love. Diet culture does its best to convince us that our body may not be good enough, but this is far from the truth! The truth is that it’s OK (and totally normal!) to not feel amazing in your body every second of every day. However, there are ways that we can work towards cultivating a more positive relationship with our bodies, and therefore ourselves. Shift the focus from picking out things that you dislike about yourself, to practicing self compassion and self care.
Don’t know where to start? Keep reading for six ways you can show your body love this fall.
Wear Comfortable Clothes That Fit
Clothes are meant to fit your body, not the other way around! Feeling comfortable in your clothes is a way to honor your body and show your body love. Dressing yourself in a way that you do not feel tightly squeezed allows us to listen to our bodies with less distraction and discomfort. Dressing yourself in a comfortable way helps us to be more confident and show our bodies self love.
Throughout life, our bodies will change, and that is something to be celebrated, not demonized! We understand how hard it can be to undergo body changes and we encourage you to remember that you are so, so much more than a body. Check out our previous blog post for steps for purchasing new clothes when your body has changed.
Honor Your Body’s Hunger and Cravings
When we are feeling unhappy about our body, it can feel like our best option is to restrict, track calories, or do anything we can to eat less. The goal typically is to ultimately change our bodies. But what would it be like to focus on feeding our body what it truly needs in that moment? What would it be like to focus on nourishing our body, rather than punishing it?
Learning to identify and honor your hunger is an essential part of feeling energized, focused, and positive. It also happens to be an essential part of reconnecting with your body and healing your relationship with food. There are steps you can take to move toward a compassionate and successful understanding of your hunger. One way is by observing your hunger and truly paying attention to when you begin to feel hungry and start feeling full. Eating balanced and consistent meals and snacks throughout the day also allows us to be more in touch with our body’s cravings.
Cleanse Your Social Media
Social media is without a doubt a huge part of our day-to-day lives. Originally, social channels were a way to connect with old friends and post a few photos. Today, it’s likely a habit that can make or break your day, oftentimes leading us down a rabbit hole of disordered thoughts around body image or what and how much we “should” be eating in a day. This comparison trap is a slippery slope and can lead to intense feelings of body insecurity and shame or guilt around your own food intake.
Remember that social media should be bringing you up, not tearing you down! An act of self care is going through your feed and hitting UNFOLLOW on any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself, or less worthy.
Additionally, seek out social media accounts that DO give you confidence, motivation, are uplifting, and inspire you to love yourself and your body. We have a list of social media accounts that we recommend to help facilitate your self love journey!
Exercise In A Way That Makes You Feel Good
Do you exercise to “burn off” something you ate? Or maybe you exercise as a way to punish yourself for overeating? Are you pushing yourself and putting an immense amount of pressure on yourself because you feel like you “have to?”
Often when we exercise we find ourselves only focusing on external cues such as calories burned, heart rate, pace, and distance. Overly focusing on these cues may interfere with our ability to connect with our working muscles before, during, and after exercise. Ask yourself: How is your mood? Your energy level? Do you feel physically different?
Discovering joyful movement can lead to a healthier relationship with exercise and our bodies. With practice and a helpful shift in mindset, you can learn to engage in exercise that is enjoyable and good for your mind and body.
Practice Gratitude For Your Body
The idea of self compassion requires a shifting of intention (hello mindfulness!) to help build a foundation of wanting to take care of ourselves. Self compassion is so helpful because it offers an alternative response to our noticing of experience by encouraging us to turn towards ourselves in moments of pain or discomfort through both words and actions.
Some ways to start with self compassion are brain-storming some statements that feel good for you such as: “I am doing the best I can right now”. If this type of internal lingo is unfamiliar to you, try role modeling and ask yourself if your dear friend or family member was feeling the same way, what words would you use for them?
Remind yourself of all the amazing things your body is doing for you at this very moment! Your body is keeping you functioning and alive, and that is a reason in and of itself to show your body love. If body positivity feels overwhelming right now, think of how you can appreciate your body for what it is doing for you in this very moment. Journaling is a great tool to begin expressing your emotions and feelings around your body, and ways you can offer yourself self compassion that will work best for you.
Work With A Professional
At the end of the day, asking for help is a form of self love. We are not meant to have to figure everything out on our own! Learning to love your body is a journey, and having a support system through that journey can be extremely beneficial in reaching your ultimate goals. Even when we know what we could or should be doing, sometimes we benefit from guidance and understanding to get there.
We want to be there to support you every step of the way. Having other like-minded people around you for encouragement and engaging in a good vent session can be so helpful as you navigate your relationship with your body. Knowing others are in your corner and that you can pop in and chat about what’s going on with food will help you feel heard and know you are not alone.
NourishRX is a team of experts who typically serve clients located in Massachusetts and Colorado. We proudly treat our clients virtually and would love to see if we’d be the right fit for you. Whether that’s through joining our newsletter to receive more resources or meeting with one of our dietitians to further your healing journey, we’re here for you or someone you love who is struggling with an eating disorder.