Here’s to another new year and to another list of resolutions we hope to keep by the end. Let us guess somewhere along your list is something related to health, fitness, or weightloss. You are not alone. But for 2017, let’s do something different, something more drastic. Before we start diving into our health journeys and cutting out everything that is bad for us, we should make peace with where it all starts: ourselves. We challenge you to break the status quo and accept your body for what it is right now. Use the following steps to help jumpstart your body loving journey:
Banish self-destructive thoughts
Remember that everyday is a new start. So what if you had a cheat day, failed to go to the gym, or didn’t pass up that slice of cake after dinner? Don’t beat yourself over it. Accept that it happened and keep on going. Negative thinking will only keep you from reaching your goals. And right now your first goal is to learn to love yourself, not nitpick at every little thing that you think is wrong with you.
Embrace your body as it is
Your body is yours and yours alone. And with that it comes with some features that are unique to you as well as some that are common with everyone else. We can complain about having cellulite or we can accept that we have it and so do others. We can hate on how our body jiggles when performing any exercise, like running, or we can remind ourselves that our body moves because we are human. These are just some of the many concerns we have about our body and right now we need to put an end to the self-loathing. Taking control of how we see our bodies will change the our outlook of the lifestyle changes. No longer will it be seen as a chore, but as a way of living.
Make peace with constant body changes
Sometimes when we check ourselves out in the mirror, we forget that our bodies are constantly changing. From the moment we're born to hitting puberty to transitioning into adulthood and eventually entering old age, our bodies are shifting the way we look. Our weight fluctuates during different phases of our lives that may cause us to lose or gain weight that significantly alters our appearance. Lifestyle changes, giving birth, or health issues can dramatically change our bodies, but that doesn't mean we have to try so hard to go back to the way we once looked. As Olivia White,the blogger behind "House of White" put it in regards to post-pregnancy, "I'm not the same person I was before I had babies, so why would I want my body to reflect something I no longer am?" Same mindset applies whether you've given birth or not. You aren’t who you were in the past and neither is your body.
Stop body shaming others
We are notorious for body shaming others, whether we intend to or not. Comments like "You're so lucky, just eating whatever you want and not caring. I'm a dancer so I can't do that" are extremely unnecessary and insulting as Rebecca Jane Stokes, editor at YourTango, experienced as she was bringing home cookies for her and her roommate on a train. We need to be aware of the types of comments we make about others. Body shaming comes in variety of forms from fat-shaming to skinny-shaming and even pregnancy-shaming. We are not designed to look exactly the same. Our body types are uniquely ours and how it changes doesn't reflect yours or your unsolicited comment and advice.
Find some fitness inspiration on social media
Use your social media accounts to find others out there that inspire you to be your best self. There are millions of real people like you going through these similar changes. They are documenting every step on the road to living a healthy and active lifestyle. HelloGiggles contributing writer, L’OReal Thompson Payton was able to fully embrace body-positivity through Jess Baker, author of Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living, blog: The Militant Baker. Others have found motivation and support through fitness communities, such as #BBG (a.k.a. Bikini Body Guide), #Blogilates, and #ToneItUp on Instagram. Wherever it may be, find a place where you feel inspired to keep pushing yourself into the direction of your goals.
Repeat a self-love mantra that resonates with you
Mantras are key phrases or words that can help you focus and channel your energy in the direction of prosperity. They can help increase confidence, clarify your goals, and help retain muscle memory. In this case, we want you to find an existing mantra or create one of your own that helps you build your self-love. Use your mantra to remind yourself that you are perfect just the way your are.
It’s no secret that society has a lot of us obsessed with the way we look, especially when it comes to weight. But this is the year we put an end to obsessing over our bodies. This is the year we take our fitness and health resolutions to a whole new level. We are going to show what it really means to be body positive and live a healthy and active lifestyle. This is your year to finally #LoveYourBody, flaws and all.
By: Shanice Perriatt