Although it may seem like the body positivity movement is born out of the modern era, its roots are more established than just a few Instagram hashtags.
The term ‘body positivity’ was officially coined 25 years ago, when thebodypositive.org was created. It offered an unlimited supply of educational resources to help people to feel gradually more comfortable with themselves through the means of radical, inner-acceptance, deciding deep down what is true for them.
At its core, I feel body positivity is our right to do what we want to do and that it’s nobody else’s business, recognizing what works best for us and celebrating it from there. There is no ‘normal’ body. There is no secret sauce for creating the perfect relationship with your body because, the truth is—one size doesn’t fit all. ‘Perfect’ is an entirely different concept, depending on who you’re talking to.
In today’s world, with ample amounts of pressure coming at us from all angles, we must focus on doing what we feel is true to ourselves and the body we live in. We should listen to what we want, and work with what is best for us.
Today, I will be providing you with a few of my thoughts on how you can begin to surround yourself with endless body positivity. We will focus on finding the confidence to make your own decisions compassionately that will feed your soul and allow you the space to do what’s right for you.
WHEN IS IT ENOUGH? IT’S TIME TO START DOING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU, RIGHT NOW!
You are your own most prominent and best authority. You should never make decisions for your life, or yourself, based on somebody else’s opinions or previous experiences. I feel the first step to genuine body positivity is to harness the message’s inner core entirely, and that is by listening to the body itself when you question a choice for it.
As I tell many of my clients, what you do with yourself is your business only. If cultivating a positive relationship with your body includes cosmetic surgery, procedures, or a specific routine, that is the true essence of body positivity. Regardless of what your friends, family, or the media surrounding us may tell you. It’s your body and your choice, so don’t be afraid to make the right choice that makes YOU feel good about YOUR body.
I once had a client who had suffered a significant loss in upper lip lining due to excessive cold sores. For years, she felt insecure about her un-even lips, to the point where she would line them excessively with makeup to have them appear fuller. It really bothered her, but everybody told her that it would be a mistake if she did it.
Of course, as dangerous trends such as ‘The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge’ came up, a collectively negative view ripped through society on lip fillers. My client anxiously delayed having her lips evened for years due to the words of those surrounding her, completely unaware of the weight it would pull off her shoulders if she were to make her own choice in the matter. After a certain point, my client made her decisions regardless, and now she feels her lips are even, and she can look in the mirror and feel nothing but positivity.
My message is to remind yourself that society doesn’t know what is suitable for your body. Only you do. Feel free to remind yourself of this fact throughout your journey to a healthier relationship with your body.
WE DON’T ALL WEAR THE SAME SIZE SHOES, DO WE?
So why would we all live by the same, daily methods of living?
I feel one of the most important things to remember when creating a specific health and wellness routine for your body is genuinely coming to understand that one size does not fit all. I can assure you that the experience of your friends, daughters, sisters, or partners during a specific diet or workout routine will not conform to yours—each body is unique. It is, of course, natural for us to converse with other human beings and seek out advice from others, especially if we are desperate to increase the healthy relationship with our body. It is natural to look for outside answers. However, by doing this, we fall into the trap of the one size fits all approach. Therefore, we forget how for each and every one of us, all of our experiences work differently.
Test out what works best for you, and build a healthy diet or workout routine. You don’t need to cut yourself off from discussing with your friends, partner, or even your dog. But remember, what worked for Martha down the street may not work for you, and that’s okay. You will find your rhythm through your own experiences.
MINDFULNESS AND MANTRAS ARE THE KEY TO ANSWERING YOUR INNER QUESTIONS
One of the best ways we can work on ourselves with the best result possible, inside and out, is by learning how to control (or at least grasp) the thoughts that go through our minds when we look in the mirror.
By creating daily practices and rituals centered around self-love and acceptance, we can change the relationship we have with our body on an even deeper level than how it physically sits on the outside.
While breathing in and out, practice for 10 minutes a day mantras that are true to you. For example, these can be short sentences such as ‘I love my body as it is today’ or more in-depth statements such as; ‘I feel ___ about my body image acknowledge my improvement in ___ aspect of it.’
There are no rules for mindfulness, so play around with what feels right to you, and repeat daily until you feel like you have mentally overcome obstacles between your mind and body. You can even read how our mind and body act as one and start to learn about the special relationship between our host and the mind.
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