We have a very special guest blogger (and one of our fave customers!) on our site tonight, Jenna Maurer sharing her tips on staying body positive as a gal! Over to you Jenna.
Straight up, I am a very big fan of self love. It's so important to learn to be happy with the person that you are. But the journey to self acceptance is for most women a long and complex one.
From my early teenage years I have struggled with my body image. I hated what I saw in the mirror and at times I resorted to drastic measures to try and change the reflection, often going down some very unhealthy paths. And the truth is, not matter how much weight I lost or how loose my clothes became, I was still never happy with what I saw.
As I've gotten older, I cannot say my struggles with my body image have totally gone away, but I have learnt some very helpful ways to contradict damaging thought patterns. Most of us are going to continue to be bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards, so it can be good to have a few tricks under your belt. The truth is I'm not going to love my body every day, but I am learning to give it the respect it really deserves. Your body is a pretty incredible thing, and here are a few tips and tricks for leaning to love it better.
Ignore your Jerkbrain. You know that moment when you look in the mirror and that voice in you head says "Oh gross your thighs are looking really chunky in those jeans"? The part of you that thinks "You really should get a tan, you are looking pasty as"? Believe me when I say we all have that voice in our head, and it is really hard to ignore sometimes. I started to think of this rude, mean voice as my Jerkbrain. It's probably going to be there, so when I here that voice, I acknowledge the feeling, and then I tell it to go away, because it is not a caring or helpful way to think.
Respect what your body can do. Your body is actually pretty incredible. For all the imperfections your Jerkbrain perceives, your body is keeping you alive every day. It's hard to love it all the time I know, but when you are feeling really down about it, think about what your body is actually doing. It's giving you life!
You aren't your body, your body is just your tool. We get so lost in our own terrible body image that sometimes we forget that our body isn't actually who we are. Your body is really just the tool you use to experience the world. Think for a moment about the happiest memory you have. Your body was what allowed you to experience that moment. Remembering this can change the way you think about looking after your body too. When I think about food and exercise now I consider how I can best nourish my body so I can be the healthiest, happiest version of myself, rather than the skinniest.
No one else cares about your body. Like, at all. Not even a teeny tiny little bit. Take a moment right now to think about how much of your time you spending stressing about your body and worrying about how you look. It's quite a lot of time right? Every other person is walking around spending that amount of time thinking and worrying about themselves. So the truth is that no one really has time to care about how any one else looks when they're so concerned with themselves. At the end of the day your opinion is the only one that matters.
Try avoid comparisons with other women. This one can be tricky but it is important. Everyone grapples with their body image in one way or another, and even if you had the body of that beautiful girl in the advertisements, you would probably still struggle the same way. Wishing for someone else's body is a pretty fruitless exercise, so try and avoid these kinds of thoughts as much as possible.
Be conscious of the materials you expose yourself to. Is your Instagram full of people promoting unrealistic body standards? Anyone in your Facebook feed subtly body shaming others? We're living in a social media saturated world, so if someone is making you feel like crap about your body every time you pick your phone up, it's probably worth unfollowing them.
- Treat yourself. That delicious burger or cream cheesecake isn't really going to effect your body that much. And treating yourself doesn't have to be something you earn by exercising lots of working really hard. Sometimes we all need a hot chocolate or a new pair of shoes to make us feel better, and this isn't something we should ever feel guilty about!
Images: Pinterest; Words: Jenna Maurer
Tell us, what are some of your tips for staying body positive?