Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But on bad days, it’s understandable that you can’t help but feel a little down in the dumps over your body image. It is inevitable to compare yourself to others, especially when society provides you with images that give you a false perception of what is “standard size.”
Amid all these body image issues, there’s one thing you need to know for certain: you aren’t alone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 91 percent of women resort to dieting after feeling unhappy about their bodies. Now dieting is okay as long as you do it the healthy way and not putting yourself at risk, because when you go overboard, it can only result in even bigger health issues like eating disorders.
So do yourself a favor and love your body. It may be a long and tedious journey, but you’ll get there. In the meantime, here are five body confidence tips to help you feel better.
Body Confidence Tips to Help You Look and Feel Healthy
1. Stop the fat talk
Researchers asked 75 pairs of adult female friends on how often they talk about any of these four weight-related topics: weight loss, nutrition, appearance, and exercise. Surprisingly, the topic they talked about the least was exercise. When a group of friends get together, one person is more than likely to say, “I’m so fat,” while the other contradicts and says, “No, I’m the fat one.” Even the ones without body image issues tend to engage in this negative behavior.
Fortunately, you can be the one to break the cycle for good. If your friends are prone to “fat-talking,” try switching up the topic. You’re strong, independent, and successful women who have a lot of important things to talk about, so why feel the urge to pick on your own—and each other’s—body?
2. Look in the mirror more
Yes, vanity can boost confidence! If you’re uncomfortable with your body, you probably avoid looking at your reflection in the mirror, especially when in the nude. But try making it a practice to do your hair and makeup while completely naked. Instead of picking apart what you’d like to change about your body, try pointing out the parts you love the most about yourself. It may feel a bit awkward at first, but once you make it a routine, you’ll soon get used to seeing your body in all its full glory.
3. Name your body-shamers
For most cases, body image issues come from being bullied. Ironically, most of these body-shamers are someone you know. They could be an aunt who unknowingly body-shames you during a family dinner or an emotionally abusive partner who constantly points out your weight. If you find yourself viewing your body in a negative light, you can tell yourself, “Aunt Carol, you aren’t welcome here.” This creates a more powerful voice that allows you to heal and move forward.
4. Remember that size and weight do not equate to good health
When people think of plus-size, they almost immediately conclude that anyone of that size is overweight, fat, and ugly. In reality, dress size does not always equate to beauty or good health, for that matter. In fact, a recent study published in the International Journey of Obesity concluded that body mass index (BMI) is not a reliable way to determine anyone’s health. To support this, researchers at University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) found that 34.4 million Americans who are considered overweight by their BMI number 25–29.9 are actually healthy.
You know what this means? It is time people stomp their feet over the stereotype. If you eat healthy and get the right amount of exercise each day, then you should be proud of yourself.
5. Prioritize happiness
A happy person is confident, goal-oriented, and great to be around with. You are born with a body to love and take care of, so make that your daily mantra. Once you feel better about yourself, you are bound to change the way others see themselves as well, and there is simply no better feeling in this world than becoming a source of inspiration for others!