If you’re wondering how to be body positive, it’s about choosing a lifestyle which is built upon healthier ways of looking at yourself and your body. Over the last few years, plus-sized models have become very popular, starring in swimwear ads, promoting the idea of ‘fit not thin’ and generally breaking down stereotypes.
However, opinions are divided, with some claiming that our expanding waistlines are nothing to be celebrated.
What many people don’t understand is that body positivity isn’t letting yourself go, it’s about being natural, healthy and fit. Whether you’re skinny or plus size is irrelevant.
The issue lies in either eating to soothe emotional pain or eating certain foods to lose weight. Body positivity is about eating for health. This is how you always feel strong, sexy, and powerful.
Here’s how to be body positive in our everyday life.
Avoid body checking
All of us are guilty of this. You know what we mean – sucking in our stomachs or pushing or lifting our chins unnaturally for a pose in a photo.
It’s a real thing, and it’s called “body-checking”; continually being aware of how your body is positioned at all times, sometimes to the point of obsession.
It’s when someone tags you in a photograph on Instagram, and you immediately have self-degrading thoughts. As I said, we all do it.
The challenge is trying to stop yourself from this behaviour. Learning how to be body positive is about acknowledging that you body-check yourself regularly, and not being too hard on yourself for doing it.
Just by realising it, and taking note when you do it, you have taken the first step – this is already being body positive. You’ll slowly but surely become less had on yourself. When you see a picture of yourself, point out what makes you look great in it
It will help you identify those moments when you are feeling self-conscious, such as getting dressed in the morning or going for a swim.
Give yourself fitness goals that have nothing to do with appearance
Focusing on how we look is one thing; it’s quite healthy to be aware of what you look like. That’s called pride. But constantly comparing yourself to the women on television or your feed is damaging to your self-confidence.
When it comes to exercise, forget about weighing yourself. That is not why you should be exercising. You should be hitting the gym or going for a run because you want to be healthy. We often get the two mixed up; being healthy and being thin.
They’re very separate. Thin doesn’t always mean healthy.
Getting fit is an excellent path to feeling strong and powerful, but not if you’re tearing yourself apart over a little dimpled flesh. Instead, aim for goals like running a half-marathon, or doing more than one pole fitness class a week.
Whatever your fitness preferences, be realistic and base your objectives on endurance and ability as opposed to losing weight.
By accomplishing these goals, you’ll begin to build self-confidence, becoming proud of your achievements along the way.
This is how to build inner-strength. This is how to be body positive; not weighing yourself every day to check if you’ve lost a pound.
Be wary of toxic messaging over social media
This has been an issue for some time. We’ve been sold a specific image for decades. As a result, eating disorders and body dysmorphia are significant concerns for many women around the world.
The main contributing factor? You guessed it – messaging through social media.
How do you combat this toxic messaging? Stop following fitness model accounts and start following body positivity accounts.
How much of your day is spent scrolling through your feed on Instagram or Facebook? Exactly. Now if you’re following hashtags or accounts that promote a particular image, how much does it influence your perception? A lot.
Some accounts and brands are famous for opting not to retouch models and instead are focusing on what makes women beautiful naturally.
By engaging with the body positivity community online, you’ll start to see embracing who you are is more important than striving to be something you’re not.
The journey to self-love and body positivity is achieved one small step at a time. It is an ongoing lifestyle based on accepting, embracing and loving who you are.
Just by acknowledging where you have been mistaken, or negatively influenced is how to be body positive in 2019.
I am allowed to look sexy, feel sexy, and be in love. I am worthy of all of those things. And so are you. – Mary Lambert