From social media and celebrities to ad campaigns and wellness programs, body positivity messaging is popping up everywhere these days.
Of course, I’m all for feeling positive about your body. Absolutely!
However, I know it can be really freaking hard, especially if you’ve been at war with your body for years.
If you, like many, struggle with body shame, the idea of making the leap from body loathing to body loving can feel really daunting, if not impossible.
This is completely understandable given our culture’s obsession with unrealistic beauty standards and terribly misguided, damaging tendency to judge and value bodies based on their appearance.
While I do believe you can greatly improve your relationship with your body, I know it can be tough to dig the skin you’re in every single day, even when you've worked hard toward feeling more body positive.
Do This Instead
Rather than striving to reach a state of perpetual body positivity, which can feel forced and like just one more thing to struggle with and fail at, I encourage you to instead focus on body kindness, body respect and body appreciation.
Why? Because no matter how you feel about your body, you can always be kind to it, respect it and appreciate it.
For many of us, practicing body kindness, body respect and body appreciation feels so much more accessible and doable than feeling unconditional adoration for our bodies. All three things can be done at any given moment, in both big and small ways.
What It Might Look Like
What body kindness, respect and appreciation look like is up to you. To help get you started, here are a few practices to consider:
Speak respectfully about your body to yourself and others
Dress your here-and-now body in well-fitting, comfortable clothes that make you feel fabulous
Honor your body’s hunger, cravings, desires and needs
Nourish your body with foods that are pleasurable and satisfying
Move your body in a joyful, energizing way
Acknowledge all the miraculous things your body does for you
Rest your body with plenty of sleep and relaxation
Soothe your body with caring, tender touch
End the comparison game—your body vs. other bodies or your former body
Revitalize every cell in your body with regular doses of nature
As I’ve seen with myself and with my clients, by focusing on body kindness, respect and appreciation, in time, you will naturally start feeling more positive feelings toward your body.