Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and didn’t like what you were seeing? Have you ever wished you could change some parts of your body so you could be happier with your reflection? If you answered yes to any or both of these questions, this article is for you. Licensed dietitian and nutritionist Hitaf Zwein will give you some gentle tips to love your body in all of its parts because you are perfect the way you are.
10 Tips To Love Your Body As It Is
Insecurities and body dysmorphia are not uncommon. They are not age-related or gender-specific either. They target anyone and everyone with a little doubt in their mind that they don’t fit typical beauty standards. Hitaf Zwein will share her tips to help you respect your body and love it again little by little. It definitely takes work, but the outcome is worth every second spent. Here are the ten tips:
Appreciate and remind yourself of the parts of your body that you like the best.
Talk back to negative thoughts.
Pay attention to how often you find yourself bashing your body (or the bodies of others) and don't let those thoughts go unchecked. Work to actively replace those comments with kind statements.
Stop weighing yourself.
No number will ever truly be good enough, so this practice is unlikely to help you feel happier about your body.
Wear comfortable clothing.
Wear comfortable, flattering clothing that fits you without being too tight or hides your body by being too baggy – regardless of your size, whether you are petite or on the plus side.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
No one body is the “right” kind of body. Therefore, how can your body be “wrong”?
Avoid dieting to "slim down" before a big event.
Your capability of having a great time and making lasting memories is not contingent on losing weight.
Focus on self-care.
Take a bubble bath, get a massage, do whatever you need to feel loved and safe within your own body.
Honor your hunger.
When you recognize your physical hunger signals, make the time to eat. Ignoring that communication from your body will cause you to be over-hungry, and then it's difficult to determine what you really want to eat and when you have had enough.
Honor your fullness.
Slow down your pace at meals to allow your body to really enjoy the experience of eating. Pause in the middle of your meal to check in with your level of fullness and ask yourself how the food tastes. Then, when you observe the signs that you are comfortably full, give your body the gift of stopping before you are uncomfortably full.
Be realistic about your genetic makeup and realize that all bodies are different.
When you are practicing self-care, honoring your hunger and fullness signals, and moving in ways that feel good your body will likely balance out at its natural weight. Note that I did not say "ideal weight." Ideal weight is a fictional concept because all bodies are different, and not one is ideal.
Before you go, here’s a story to give you strength in the fight to respect your body. Maya Angelou, an American poet and civil rights activist, told of her travel story to Africa, where the tribe hosting her bathed communally. At the sight of her bare, the women began to weep and console her. She was confused as to why they behaved as such until she understood that it was due to the lack of stretch marks on her body. The women thought that she was childless because, in their culture, they wore their stretch marks as a badge of honor. The marks told her story, how she was a mother and a fighter.
So whenever you feel that your insecurities are getting too loud, remember this story. Your nose, your belly, your stretch marks, and any other part of you tells your story and the story of your ancestors. It deserves your love and respect.
What are your experiences with body respect and self-appreciation? We’d love to know. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!