Two Tips to Stay Body Positive

Two Tips to Stay Body Positive

Don't get lost in what you think everyone expects you to look like

It is 2107, and although there are many attempts to promote body positivity, it can still be hard to look at yourself in a positive way. On one hand, we have people like Ashley Graham who are killing the model game and then we have “plus sized” models who are in actuality a size 4 instead of a size triple zero. With the mixed messages being sent, it is kind of hard to feel like you’re “socially acceptable”.

Here are two ways to stay positive about your body.

1. Be Kind

Every morning after my shower, I look in the mirror and compliment at least one thing about myself. It is really easy to say, “my thighs are too big” or “I look bloated today.”

However, looking at yourself and finding something new and positive to say about yourself daily, will help you appreciate who you are. Keeping a log of all your positive comments along with the dates is a great way to boost your confidence whenever you are feeling not so confident. It is a reminder that each day there was something you found unique about your body, so unique in fact that you complimented it.

I also found this to be helpful when I started working out. Looking at myself I could see my body changing which motivated me to go to the gym. Seeing the transformation daily allowed me to feel how much control I had over my body. Seeing the working progress reminded me that I wasn’t getting smaller, but I was getting more toned, and living a healthier lifestyle.

2. Don’t Compare

It seems like forever, people have always compared themselves to others. Saying things like, “I wish I had her butt” or “her stomach is so much flatter than mine” may seem harmless, but let’s be truthful, it makes you feel like what you already have isn’t good enough. I always have to remind myself that what celebrities have isn’t always real.

Like yea sure Gigi Hadid really has that stomach, but she also has the money for the personal trainer, nutritionist, and whatever else you may need to maintain Gigi Hadid’s body. Those goals aren’t realistic because I know at least for me; their bank accounts will never match mine unless they somehow go broke. Also, sometimes their bodies aren’t real. For the longest time I didn’t want to believe that Khloe Kardashian’s but was real because she was working out until I had someone explain to me that her butt to thigh ratio is humanly impossible.

Instead, set reasonable goals for your body. Don’t use someone else’s body for inspiration; use your own body as your inspiration. Don’t say you want someone else’s body feature, instead focus on how you can improve yourself healthily. It is easy to get caught up in an intense workout plan until you crash and burn. It is okay to pace yourself. Never try to “perfect” yourself. Your mind is constantly growing and changing, so is your body. Don’t strive for perfect instead strive for a healthy better.

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I'm Done Explaining Myself And My Body

I'm a work in progress.

When I started college as a freshman, I was small. Small in a lot of different ways, but small in body size, first and foremost. Small in the most important way, I told myself.

Today as a senior, I am larger. Larger in body size for sure, but larger in a lot of different ways that I’m starting to realize are much more important. I’m larger in areas such as spirit, mentality, and empathy.

But throughout sophomore and junior year, I was only concerned with the expansion of my body. Mostly, I was concerned with what others were thinking about it.

There are a host of reasons behind my expanding body during those years, and I spent a solid portion of those years trying to explain my reasons to everyone. Literally. Everyone. To my family, to friends past and present, to people I’d just met who hadn’t even known me when I was small. To Facebook, to Instagram, to Twitter.

I explained myself and my weight gain to anyone and everyone before they could make up their own assumptions before they could place their own narratives on my body.

In her powerful memoir, “Hunger,” Roxane Gay concurs with this particular anxiety of mine: “When you’re overweight, your body becomes a matter of public record in many respects. Your body is constantly and prominently on display. People project assumed narratives onto your body and are not at all interested in the truth of your body, whatever that truth may be.”

I was determined for people to understand my truth — even the darkest areas of that truth — because I couldn’t bear to have those typical narratives placed on me. I could not allow people to think I was simply lazy and overeating for no reason other than a lack of willpower.

First and foremost, when I was explaining my body, I’d make sure people knew that at one point not too long ago, my body was small. And by the end of my explanations, I’d still be large in size and feel even smaller in the aforementioned more important ways.

Explaining my body never left me feeling more confident and safe in how people saw me. It just reinforced that my own self-worth was equated to my body size.

Luckily, things have changed this year. Through education, experience, and consistent training of my thoughts, I’ve slowly begun redefining my self-worth and started practicing more love and acceptance towards my body. I don’t feel as great a desire to explain my body to people, although I’m certain people still have their own explanations when they see me.

I’m a work in progress. I know my truth. And that’s all that really matters.

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an ode to my stretch marks.

the title says it all

part i.

as the pounds dropped

as the rolls disappeared

as my jeans got looser

angry red stripes forced their way through my skin's surface.

it was almost like

they were hating me for the torture I was causing my body

as a single tear falls from my eye and onto to the scale that didn't change

a little voice whispers in my head:

airbrushed does not mean beautiful.

part ii.

as I watch the fiery stripes fade into ash

as I watch the soft silvery lightning bolts travel down my thighs

I think:

oh, great and mighty daughter of Thor!

birthmarks etched into your skin, softer than velvet

it's like a spark of electricity had glided its lips over your flesh

ever so tenderly

and as the thunder is rumbling in the distance

you are left unfazed,

for you are the hurricane.

part iii.

as I run my fingers over my tiger stripes

as I feel the little grooves they make in my skin

I whisper to myself with a smile:

"I have earned these."

Cover Image Credit: Zinteta

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