Let’s talk about low to love your body right now, exactly how it is at this moment. Though this post isn’t meant to belittle your health and wellness goals, it IS meant to help point you in a direction that will (I bet) result in longer-lasting fulfillment.
“Hey there! Amber here again with another weekly installment for the Fed & Fit Project blog, where we chat all about mindset, nutrition, and fitness!”
Life has many seasons, and you can be sure that your body is going to change along with them. From stressful periods of time to pregnancy, postpartum, injury, and illness, to hormonal changes throughout your life, you’re likely to experience multiple versions of your body. For many of us, these changes can be jarring, and they make us long for our previous bodies. However, even if you have a goal to lose weight or simply gain health, it is so important to learn to make peace with your body where it is at right now. Once you learn how love your body, you’ll learn how to work with it instead of against, and how to give it what it needs rather than punishing it.
Below are five ideas to get you started back on the track to body love, so you can keep moving forward to where you want to go in the healthiest way possible!
Ditch the Scale
Chances are you’ve heard this one before! While the scale can be a decent way of measuring progress, it is only truly useful if you have a good relationship with it. Many of us (me included!) attach too much of our worth to the number on the scale. The number on the scale is simply a measurement, it should not determine how you feel about yourself!
In addition, the scale isn’t a great measure of progress. Your weight naturally fluctuates depending on the time of day, where you are in your cycle, and a number of other factors. It also can’t differentiate between fat, muscle, or water weight. If you’ve been doing a new workout routine for example, you may be seeing the scale go up because you’ve gained muscle, or even water, but the increase in number can often leave you feeling defeated even if you know that to be true.
If you find yourself stepping on the scale frequently and beating yourself up over the number, it is time to get it out of the house! You can either throw it away, or, better yet, donate it to your local Goodwill. We recently did this in my home, and while the first few weeks without the scale had me very anxious that my weight would somehow spiral out of control without it, I’ve gained so much more peace with my body since giving up my daily weigh-ins. Bonus – at a recent check up I found out my weight is the exact same over one month later, and I’m sure eliminating that daily stress helped!
Buy Clothes That Fit and Make You Feel Fantastic
It sounds so obvious, but whether you’ve gained or lost weight, buying clothes that fit is a game-changer! Going beyond just clothes that fit, get yourself at least one outfit that makes you feel incredible.
When you’re squeezing into too-small clothes or walking around in baggy ones, you’ll be uncomfortable, and you’ll be served with a constant reminder of the changes in your body. When I say buy new clothes too, I don’t just mean one article of clothing, I’m talking a new bra, underwear, pants, and whatever else you need to feel good. While they are material, great clothes can give you that extra boost of confidence to remind you how awesome you are.
Start Listening to Your Body.
When your body is going through changes, it can be really easy to breeze right past what it needs and instead head straight toward what you think you need to do to “fix” it with things like restricting food, ignoring hunger cues, or intense workouts, because that’s what so many of have gotten used to doing over years of dieting. This is exactly how we fall into the cycle of restricting and dieting, then having a free-for-all, then heading back to restricting and dieting to start the cycle over again.
However, if you listen you might find that your body really needs rest, more healthy carbohydrates, some leafy greens, or a good dose of water instead. By going into “fix it” mode we often begin to quiet what our body is telling us in favor of doing what we think it needs to get the results we want. The thing is, your body is actually very smart and it knows what you need, you just have to learn to listen to it.
My favorite way to get in tune with what my body is telling me? Journaling! It isn’t glamorous, and it takes commitment, but journaling can be incredibly helpful in allowing you to connect how food, stress, rest, hydration, and fitness are impacting your overall well-being. The insights you’ll gain from each day of journaling can help you course-correct in the way that is right for you, and make you appreciate how much innate wisdom your body holds! Scroll to the bottom of the page to grab our custom journal template!
I know, you’ve heard all about self-care, but I’m here to tell you that self-care isn’t just about taking a candle-lit bubble bath every night (but hey, it can be if you want it to!). Self-care can make anything that makes you feel good. Even though your body may have changed in recent months and years, it is still absolutely worth your care and love. Here are a few ideas to incorporate into your self-care:
- 15 minutes of joyful movement – this means whatever makes you happy! Living room dance parties, a walk with your pup, and gardening on a beautiful day all count.
- Read a book for pleasure.
- Eat a meal that makes you feel good.
- Shut down negative self-talk by redirecting negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.
- Make a daily mantra to repeat every day or write on a post it where you can always see it.
- Stop checking your email once you leave work for the evening.
- Say no to an activity you don’t want to do!
- Schedule in 30 minutes every day to do something that makes you happy.
Caring for yourself in this way reinforces the (very true) idea that you matter, which can be especially important when you feel that most of your time and energy is dedicated to others. When you incorporate self-care into your daily routine, it can greatly boost your overall happiness and self-esteem!
Remember it Takes Practice
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could wake up tomorrow morning and completely love your body? Of course it would! However, it’s important to remember that these things take time, especially if you are undoing years of old habits. Some days you will feel great, other days you’ll wonder if you’ve made any progress at all, and that is totally normal. As you work through the steps in this post and keep incorporating self care and honoring your body’s needs each day, you’ll slowly feel more in-tune and at peace with your body as time goes on.
Note: For a deeper dive into these topics, you can check out the Fed & Fit Book.