Today’s blog is brought to us by Elizabeth Jarrard, social media diva and co-owner of the blog “Guiltless”, my favorite positive body image blog out there!
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and loved every part of your reflection? Who among us has not compared themselves to our peers? Can you honestly say you have a very positive body image? The siren song of “Perfection” calls out to us from every magazine, tv show, billboard ad and website. It is very easy to start second-guessing yourself, and comparing yourself to this bombardment of images.
Stomachs can always be flatter, waists smaller, and thighs slimmer. Positive body image is seen as egotistical, and arrogant. You are much more likely to hear “Does this dress make me look fat?” than “I look great tonight!” We are bombarded with messages that our bodies are not good enough, that we should be ashamed of them, that they need to hidden until we emerge from a 60 day “miracle cleanse” with Jennifer Aniston’s rockin bod. This infects the entire country with a sense of debilitating self esteem, and creates an environment which fosters self-destructive behaviors and disordered eating. We are constantly being sucked into the media’s tornado of beauty and perfection, and it creates a perfect storm.
We must love ourselves and our bodies before we can create positive change. Love is the foundation of healthy weight maintenance, weight loss or achieving new fitness goals. If you hate yourself or your body you will not want to treat it right, with the respect and love it deserves. This hatred can manifest itself in obsessive exercise, binge eating, disordered eating practices, low self esteem, depression or restriction, or any combination of the above.
On the other hand, if you love something you will want to nourish it, respect it, help it to fulfill its greatest potential.
I have decided to block all fat, negative talk from my life. I challenge you to bring some more self love and body appreciation into your life!
• Say It-Shout it from the rooftops, or whisper it to yourself in your bathroom mirror. “I am beautiful, I love me, My body is perfect just the way it is.”
• Write It-write yourself a love letter. Graffiti it on your mirror. Make a list of things you love about yourself, both physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the self!
• Live It! Don’t put yourself or others down-stay away from negative comments, and always accentuate the positive.
• Support Yourself! Find a friend and make a compliment challenge-commit to creating a positive body image for the both of you.
• Step away from the scale If your weight needs to be monitored, leave that up to the doctors. Don’t let the number on the scale define you-How much you weigh should never affect your self-esteem or your sense of who you are.
• Take some time for YOU: Put yourself first One a month get a massage, a manicure, or a facial. Pamper yourself to long hot baths by candlelight. Get together with a friend and give each other pedicures. Buy lotions that feel and smell good and treat yourself to some perfume or body mist. Take naps when you need to, just because you can!
• Spread the love! Tell your best friend that she is beautiful, just the way she is. Compliment a stranger. Check out Operation Beautiful for inspiration. Don’t tolerate criticism of your body or your friends. Stop Fat Talk in its tracks, maybe even start a Fat Talk Free Week!
Elizabeth Jarrard, BS Nutrition Sciences, co-founder of Guiltless.