Body Love: How to Create A Healthy Body Image

Body Love: How to Create A Healthy Body Image

Body love…something that I talk a lot about and practice every day. I receive messages on the daily from you guys asking how I practice body confidence and stay away from comparison. The journey to loving your body is a hard one – especially as (self-identified) women. It often comes with a lot of speed bumps along the way. With the intensity of social media in our lives, it’s hard not to compare ourselves, subconsciously, to other women. When you visit my pages, I want you to be reminded of your beautiful body and how amazing you are as your own unique self.

Stop comparing

The first step we can all take is to stop comparing ourselves to other people – online and offline. We are all unique and that truly is what makes us special. Remember that most of us are going through the similar thought patterns – you are not alone.

My tips:

  • unfollow people on Instagram that make you feel bad about yourself and your body
  • drift away from relationships in your offline life that make you feel bad about yourself and your body
  • next time you catch yourself comparing, try this instead: when you begin to compare yourself to someone (online or offline), try switching up your mindset and think something positive. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m jealous of that woman – she has the best legs, I wish I had her legs”, think to yourself, “That woman has healthy legs. I am happy for her that she has a working, capable body.”Then tell yourself 1 positive thing about your own body, such as, “I am grateful for my own legs because they allow me to go for my morning walks”.

Eat to nourish, move to flourish

This goes without saying, but showing body love can also be in the form of nourishing our bodies and staying active! This keeps our bodies healthy and happy. Eating nutrient-rich foods and keeping an active lifestyle is a great way to feel energized, reduce stress, and get away from negative self-talk patterns.

My tips:

  • Drink at least 2L of water per day to stay hydrate. This keeps your mood is stable and your cells nourished.
  • Do at least 20 minutes of exercise per day. Whether that’s a workout you love or a walk around the block. Exercise increases endorphins and helps us make smart and happy decisions!
  • Whenever you feel stressed or negative self-talk coming, do this: put on a happy playlist and do some stretching or a quick yoga flow. This can help us unwind and tune into our beautiful body.
  • Eat healthy fats at every meal: healthy fats are great brain-fuel and help to keep our mood stable and happy. Try this recipe, or this recipe.

Have a once-a-week self-care day

This is my favourite tip and one I truly stand behind! Self-care days are super rewarding and help me rejuvenate for the week ahead.

Schedule in a day, (I love Sundays), to spend time with yourself to do things that make you feel happy and loved in your own body. Some ideas are:

  • Take a trip to the farmers market or produce store
  • Take a warm bath or go for a dip in the ocean
  • Drink tea and read a good book
  • Head to your favourite coffee shop to do some journalling to release negative thoughts
  • Make yourself a nourishing, delicious meal
  • Watch your favourite TV show or listen to your favourite artist and dance around your room
  • Check items off your to-do list that you’ve needed to do for a while but have put off. This can often feel super rewarding and help us feel proud of strong and amazing bodies. Try cleaning your closet or fixing your broken cabinet.

Do mirror work

Here’s where I get a little woo-woo on you: let’s try something new! This exercise is something I’ve been practicing for years and truly love it so much.

Try this: stand in front of your mirror first thing in the morning, smile, and say “I love you”. Simple as that!

The mind is more powerful than we think. This is how we can switch up our mindset to start truly believing that our bodies are beautiful – because they are!!

Gratitude journaling

I love including gratitude journaling into my life. I have a post all about intention setting here,but today I want to talk about a different style of journaling – journaling for body love!

My tips: write down 10 reasons why you love your body. For example, “my body is healthy, my legs are strong, my smile is bright”. This helps us uncover things that we didn’t realize are so amazing. How incredible is the human body!?

STOP the negative self talk

I remember in high school – I’d be eating an ice cream cone or a bag of chips with my friends, laughing and feeling great, when one of us would start including guilty negative self talk into the conversation.

“Ugh, these chips make me feel so gross. I should stop before it’s too late.”

“I swear I’ve gained like 5 pounds since I started eating this ice cream cone. I should really go to the gym tonight”

Sound familiar? These messages we’ve been conditioned to spread and support only lead to negative body image and false ideas of the role that food and exercise should play in our life.

My tip: BE the change! Pipe up when someone says something negative about food or their body. Remind them that they are amazing and eating a bag of chips doesn’t change that. Watch your words and be an example when it comes to body love – actively participate in supporting other women. “How amazing is this ice cream cone? I love being able to release guilt from my diet, feel balanced and enjoy the food I’m eating.”

See the big picture

Think about it: does it really contribute to the big picture? We often like to overthink a situation, making it much worse. Next time you catch yourself in negative self talk, try looking at the big picture – does this really matter? Think of all the other amazing things we can focus our energy on when we stop obsessing over, and overanalyzing, our bodies.

The bottom line: Your body is amazing – don’t let yourself think otherwise!

Xo,

Sisley


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