Did you know that a whopping 91% of American women and 34% of men are unhappy with their bodies? Today's society bombards us with unrealistic beauty standards everywhere we turn, making it difficult to stay body confident. Remembering that advertisements, movies, etc. are a false standard can be challenging too, so we've compiled several ways for you to start embracing a body positive life.
Let's start with exercise. Most of us exercise with some type of goal to improve our outward appearance, but have you ever noticed how good a workout can make you feel? Focus on those feelings, instead of how exercise makes you look. Plus, don't listen to every piece of advice that you may hear on social media, like "no pain, no gain!" Working out shouldn't feel like a punishment and if something is hurting you, listen to your body and stop. Doing things that make you feel good are signs that you respect yourself and will naturally make you feel more positive about your body. This thought process can also be applied to taking easier days or rest days. You don't need to feel guilty or shameful for giving yourself a little break.
Another area of becoming more body positive is changing the way you feel about your weight. Have you ever noticed how sometimes stepping on the scale can make you want to dive back under the covers of your bed? Ditch it! You're more than a number! There are plenty of other ways to measure success on your wellness journey (like noticing your clothes fitting looser, realizing that you're falling asleep easier, your anxiety is decreasing, you're becoming stronger in your workouts, etc.). Directly tied to our relationship with our weight is often our relationship with food. We've become hyper-focused on "good" and "bad" foods that make us "good" and "bad" people when we eat them. Food does not control you or how you feel about your body. The key to a successful relationship with food is remembering that the food you put into your body is another form of self-respect. Be consistent with healthy choices, but realize that it's totally okay to have some treats too! You are human after all. And as a unique human, fight the urge to compare yourself to others. Even if we all did the exact same workouts and ate the exact same perfect diets- we would still come in all different shapes and sizes. We are made to be different and special in our own way. The next time you start beating yourself up about everything you think your body is not, remember everything that you are and try to gently start incorporating some of the these suggestions!
If you would like help on living a more body positive life, please reach out to the SAFFP Fitness Director, Emma Clark, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 843-518-6635.