10 Small Habits To Start Loving Yourself Today
In over 15 years in the health, fitness and nutrition industry, my weight and body image hasn’t always been positive and strong, mainly due to injuries over the years which has made it hard to do the things my mind and body would like to do. As a result of this my weight has fluctuated, but I’m ok with that and here is why!
To put it simply, I learnt many years ago to love my body and celebrate what it can do. With an increase in self love and a change in mindset, which has been at times a tough journey but a fulfilling one. I can also say that I love my body whole heartedly – cellulite, wrinkles, excess skin, athletic thighs and all. I do get frustrated when my clothes don’t fit, and or I sometimes find it harder to do the things I love like running, or even putting on my socks on a bad morning! It wasn’t until I fully understood what was going on in my mind that I was able to flip the narrative and embrace what I see in the mirror every day. If we want to love our bodies, we have to start acting like it!
The key points to start this journey are to dispel the bad information which can come via a range of diet promotions, restrictive rules, social labelling, or unrealistic social media. We then look at our mindset and living big, celebrating what our bodies can do and planning more ways to go and do what makes us happy. For me that was travel, hiking, adventures, and doing it all with like minded positive people.
Here are 10 body self-love things you can do, to start loving your body today!
1. Know yourself
Touch, feel and look at yourself, be conscious of a daily occurrence of what makes you happy. How many of those times is it weight related? I have been thin, and I’ve also been considerably overweight and both times unhappy with my circumstances. The mindset towards self love and happiness comes with a desire to achieve a goal or feeling, which often is not weight related. For many years now, exercise and doing stuff has been my happiness. I love going outside, exploring, travelling, running, riding and my size doesn’t have to stop me.
2. Talk to yourself like someone is listening.
This is a big one. While you’re getting ready in the morning, it’s easy to drift to thoughts of self-criticism while putting on outfits or looking in the mirror. Equally, when you are having a ‘bad’ day or have no ‘willpower, we can start berating and being a bully to ourselves, this needs to STOP! Try to be positive and do something good for you and your body! Tell yourself each day what you are proud of what you ‘get to’ do. Change the way you define beauty and how you conceptualize your own self-love.
3. Being thin doesn’t mean you will be happy.
This starts with staying away from the media. The reason we want to be thin is generally due to media and peer pressure, we are brainwashed into thinking thin is healthy and therefore equals happy. But unless you love who you are, regardless of your size you won’t be happy. We need to continually question this relationship between weight, health and happiness. Reduce the amount of media you expose yourself to with the narrative that skinny = happy, and instead follow body positive people.
4. Don’t live through others opinions
Before you can learn to love your body, you need to relinquish the idea that you wouldn’t feel sad, lonely, or rejected if you looked different. Bending over backward to meet the impossible ideals of others will not help you feel better about yourself. Is your body the problem, or are their ideals the problem? Instead of continuing to try to fit into a system that pits you against your own body, what if you adopted a new way of thinking that designates you as valuable – exactly the way you are?
5. Celebrate how your body can move
Celebrate all the ways your body can move. Can it dance, can it hike, can it run, are you strong? Find a passion and a hobby that celebrates the way your body moves. When you shift your mindset and work out how to feel strong, vibrant, and whole, you’ll keep coming back for more. What activity makes you feel good and empowered? Now go do more of that, then spend 5 minutes each night high-fiving yourself and congratulating your body.
6. Make a self love list
Self love isn’t taking yourself out and buying expensive ‘stuff’ – it may just be locking the door and having a nice bath. Self love is about taking the time to give back to you. Start to question what you are doing. ie: Do I really need to do it? Will it make me happy? Is it part of designing my life? For the most it may not be, as we often run around pleasing others in the hope we’ll be seen as a good friend, parent, or person. However what inevitably happens when we try to please everyone is that there is nothing left for ourselves.
Masturbation is a powerful way to get in touch with our bodies and remind ourselves of all the pleasure our bodies can give us. Research has found that “This can be the turning point for a lot of people when it comes to making peace with their bodies.” “Understanding that you are worthy of sexual pleasure is so powerful. You, in whatever body shape, right now, can and deserve to experience pleasure.” There are so many benefits of masturbation so do it often. Treat yourself to good sex toys and indulgent rituals. Your body is wonderful for orgasmic highs and rushes of oxytocin, and becomes easier to love.
8. Dress to feel good about yourself
One of my biggest frustrations with my fluctuating weight is having several sizes of clothes to fit my changing body. It is dismaying to buy clothes on a ‘skinny’ day to have them hang in your cupboard, making you feel bad while you wear your stretchy pants. Buy clothes to fit your body shape and clothes that make you look and feel sexy and ditch the one size fits all. Wear workout clothes that make you feel really good. There is a past version of yourself however you can also dress the body you have right now.
9. Nourish yourself because you love your body
Eat mindfully, be present and don’t deny foods. Nourish your body to be full, eat 80% whole foods, eat when you are hungry, make the food look smell and taste good. Food is morally neutral; it isn’t good or bad. Eat with pleasure regardless of what it is, Eat the off limit foods too, let’s avoid the restriction, which = bing > craving = binge no more sitting in the cupboard and eating shamefully, accept, enjoy and move on.
10. Find support.
Find people who make you feel good about yourself and make them your new friends. There are people who consistently make others feel good about themselves. When you are in the presence of someone who has a “good eye” and a “good heart,” you see yourself in a more positive light. Such a person treats you with respect and makes it easier for you to increase your own level of self-respect. Such a person says and does things that bring out the best in you.
Choose one or two of these points and make them into daily habits, when you have them nailed and you don’t have to think of them any more add another two and before long you will be loving yourself sexy!