Want to love the skin you’re in right now? Many women struggle with recognizing their bodies after seasons of change. Join me in creating a movement to finding more love for our bodies.
You’ve been waiting to buy that outfit after you lose the weight.
You’re certain you’ll feel so much better and so much prettier if you just lose the weight, so you wait. You hold off on buying any new clothes until you reach your goal.
But, you feel uncomfortable and miserable. You can’t seem to be happy in your own skin.
You know everything will change when you lose the weight.
You spend years chasing this weight loss and feel frustrated all the time. You feel like a failure. You tell yourself you don’t deserve any new clothes. You don’t deserve to feel beautiful because you can’t seem to do anything right. You feel lazy and frustrated that it’s so hard to lose weight.
You lose the weight and for some reason you still don’t feel comfortable and happy with your new body.
Feeling uncomfortable in your own skin carries over into every aspect of our lives.
When we don’t love the way we look, we often hide from mirrors, from cameras, and we may even lose our confidence to accomplish things that have absolutely nothing to do with our weight.
Today, my goal is to help you know, to truly know how beautiful you are. To know what to do to bring more self-love into your life regardless of your weight or dress size. Because those things don’t matter.
What matters is that you’re comfortable and confident in your own skin.
Before I move on, if you think I’m telling you to throw all of your efforts out the window, I promise that is not the intention. In fact, I wrote a blog post all about how to love your body now AND seek change for it.
Today’s goal is to help you use powerful and positive self-talk to bring more self-love and happiness into your life no matter where you’re at in your journey.
Your body image may or may not be holding you back from accomplishing your daily to-do list, but I’m guessing you’d agree that it often holds you back from other things in life. Maybe it holds you back from working toward hard things. Maybe it holds you back from putting yourself out there. Maybe it just drags you down throughout the day, but if you avoid a mirror, you’ll be fine.
The key to a positive body image and more self-love is practice. It’s first noticing your negative self-talk and changing it into positive self-talk. It’s believing in the positive words you say to and about yourself.
Today, we’re talking about how to incorporate positive self-talk (or affirmations) to bring more body love, more body confidence, and more happiness into your everyday life.
For this exercise, you’ll need your self-love affirmation workbook. It guides you through every step to create a powerful self-love affirmation that you can repeat and use daily.
When you write it, the magic begins.
After you write it, you can start reading it.
When you start reading it, you’ll be able to start saying it.
When you start saying it, you start hearing it.
When you start hearing it, you start to believe it.
When you believe it, things begin to change.
When things begin to change, you will understand. And believe.
4 STEPS TO WRITING A SELF LOVE AFFIRMATION
STEP 1: DREAM
How do you want to feel about your body? What do you want to look like? What do you want to be able to do with your body? What experiences do you want? Spend time dreaming about how it would feel to love your body. What would that look like to you? Write words and phrases that come to mind.
STEP 2: USE KEYWORDS
Now, use those words and phrases and turn them into powerful words. What words describe your beautiful body? Confident? Strong? Beautiful? Write words that mean something to you. Words that make you feel good.
STEP 3: WRITE A STATEMENT
Put those words together into a statement about yourself. Make it present tense and positive. Write your statement as if it was already real.
STEP 4: REPEAT
In order for you to believe your statement, you must repeat it often. When you repeat it often, you start to believe it. It get infused into your entire being. It becomes a part of you. It becomes real.
Want to write your own affirmation or need some suggestions of pre-made affirmations that have worked for others?
The key to self love is not weight loss. It’s not a dress size. The key to loving yourself is to embrace even the flaws. To see beauty no matter where you’re at in your journey. To be grateful for the body that is yours and to find ways to take care of it that feel good to you.
If you want to continue this journey, head on over and follow my popular gratitude practice to help you be grateful and find love for every inch of your body.
You are worth loving. You are worth feeling confident and proud. You are worth it, my friend. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
You’re here because you want a better body image.
I’m so happy to have you here! Loving on that body that is uniquely yours is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
I truly believe (and have seen mighty changes in my clients) that learning to love yourself is the first step in any good health and wellness journey.
It’s the step toward achieving everything you want. It’s the first step in being truly happy and content with the journey and not just looking at the endpoint.
But, for whatever reason, your body image has declined over the years. Maybe you feel like you’re sporting the “mom bod” after having children. Maybe you’re busy with work and taking care of a family that you haven’t had a lot of time to give to yourself. Or, maybe you have always really struggled with loving yourself fully and completely.
Whatever it looks like for you, today’s post is all about loving that body right now. Not in the future at a certain weight or dress size. Not tomorrow. Right now.
In fact, I’m guessing that your image of your body doesn’t really affect your day to day life that much. You are still able to accomplish most of what you need to get done without being affected by how your body looks. You usually just avoid being in front of a mirror for too long and always want to be in the back when someone’s taking a photo.
You may not think your body image interferes with daily life, but it does.
It affects the way you talk about yourself. It affects the way you act daily.
What does your self talk look like when talking about your body?
Do you only see flaws?
Do you only see things you want to change?
Do you carry that self-talk over into how you feel about yourself as a whole? Maybe you see a body you’re frustrated with in the mirror and quickly judge yourself as lazy or unable to accomplish any goals you set out to achieve?
Having a positive body image and engaging in regular positive self-talk can bring profound changes in your life. In fact, our practice today will be a popular gratitude practice that will help you get started on the right path toward loving your body and taking care of it in the way that is best for you because a positive body image also brings a desire for more self-care.
But first, if you’ve ever tried using positive affirmations, you know how powerful they can be in your life. So, I’ve created an entire easy to follow workbook that will help you create your very own self love affirmation. It’s a great start to your journey toward a better body image and something my clients have seen great success with. And if you don’t want to create your own, I also have an entire page of pre-made affirmations to help you on this journey.
Repeat your affirmation daily in conjunction with the following gratitude practice I will guide you through today.
The first step in building a better body image is to practice gratitude. In fact, if you’ve read other blog posts of mine, it’s the foundation for every solid health and wellness journey you find yourself on. Skipping this foundational piece can make you feel like you are missing an integral part of the journey.
This practice can be used anytime you need a simple reminder of how wonderful and amazing your body truly is and how much you can love it no matter where you’re at in each stage of life or each stage of your goals.
Now, I want you to spend time actually going through this with me today. This is not a blog post to just read and close out. Today you will start a gratitude practice.
Get comfortable in your chair, eliminate distractions, and join me for the next 5 minutes.
A GRATITUDE PRACTICE FOR MORE SELF LOVE
First, take a minute to scan your entire body (you may close your eyes). What are you feeling? What emotions do you feel? Do you have pain anywhere? Tension? Do you feel uncomfortable in any place? What words and phrases come to mind as you think about your body as a whole?
Move up the body to your torso. Your stomach and chest area. Again, what thoughts initially come up? Are they negative or positive? Look down at your torso. Start thanking it (you can do this in your head or out loud) for everything it’s been for you. Do you have things you don’t like about your torso? Change those negative thoughts into positive ones. What physical traits do you love about your torso? Remember, your torso houses your heart. Use your heart to be thankful for this area of your body. Vow to always speak kindly to this area of your body.
Moving outward toward your upper limbs, what emotions come up for your arms? Have you always hated your arms? Do you wish they were stronger? Throw out those self-defeating thoughts and start to reframe your thoughts into all that those arms have done and been for you. What do they accomplish on a daily basis? Where have those hands been? What stories can they tell? Think hard about all of the things your arms have done for you and still do for you every day. Thank them tremendously and vow to always speak kindly to them moving forward.
Scan your head. Scan your face, your skin, your eyes, ears, nose, etc. What words come up? Do you find yourself wishing your features were different? Go through each feature of your face and say one thing you love about it. Think about all the things those eyes have seen. All the beautiful smells that nose has smelled. Think about your mouth and everything you are able to communicate. Think about your brain and the amazing way it gets you through every single day. Think about the memories you hold dear in that brain. Thank your head for all that it is for you. Thank it for the features that allow you to live a full life. Vow to always speak kindly to each area of your face and head.
Scan your entire body one more time. Now what emotions are coming up? Can you find a smile on your face? Can you see a more beautiful body inside and out? Are you more thankful? What emotions came up for you? What blocks or negative thoughts are still hard to overcome?
As you continue to work on your body image, go back and perform this gratitude practice as often as you need. Eventually, you will feel more confident in your physical attributes. You will start to love even the physical parts of your body.
I hope this was helpful. I hope you’ll use it often.
Thank you for joining me in this gratitude practice. Share with any dear friends that need this message.
And don’t forget your affirmation workbook. It’s another incredible tool that will help you bring more positive self talk into your life. More positive self talk = a happier lifestyle.
"There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection.” ― Steve Maraboli
I remember it so vividly. I was speaking to a large room of beautiful women and mothers about body love and self-confidence.
I had just finished telling them that they could love every inch of that beautiful body of theirs. That they could accept and even love the flaws. That they were worth so much more than they often gave themselves credit for. I felt inspired and I truly hoped they did too.
After the session, a woman ran up to the front and asked me a question that plagues so many of us when it comes to learning to love our bodies AND take care of them at the same time.
Her question was this:
“How do I know when to accept my body as it is and when I need to work for change? I don't know how to determine where that line is and that is my struggle.”
You’ve seen it all over in blog posts, in news articles, conferences, books, and anywhere you consume information.
“Love your body!” they preach.
And you want to. You truly want to.
Truthfully, you’re not really happy with the place your body is at. You’re frustrated by it. You’re frustrated you’ve “let yourself go” over the years. You’re frustrated that you’re way too exhausted to hit the gym in the mornings. You’re frustrated that taking better care of yourself feels guilty because it takes what little time you have away from your family. You feel selfish for even thinking about self-care, even though you know it’s not selfish.
It’s not like your current body really holds you back much. I mean, you’re able to still do all the things you need to get done in a day. Granted, you’re exhausted, but that’s the life of a mother! You have a good family, a roof over your head, a job that provides for you. You’re doing pretty well. You decide to ignore accept this “mom body” you’ve acquired over the years, vow to avoid mirrors or pictures, and carry on with life. Still unhappy with your body, but not enough for it to interfere that much with daily life.
If you can avoid any sort of confrontation with your body, keep that swimsuit packed as far away from sunlight as possible, and carry on with life, you’ll be just fine. It’s the life of a mother. It’s what you signed up for, right?
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
Why can’t you love that “mom body” you’ve so faithfully earned over the years?
The truth is, there is nothing wrong with learning to love and accept your body right now AND still seek change. It doesn’t mean you have a bad body image. It means you love yourself enough to want to take better care of it. It means you speak kindly of your body, embrace imperfection, and love the journey.
What is the balance between body acceptance and seeking body change?
First, practice gratitude.
Have you ever thanked your body for all it’s done for you? I mean really stepped in front of a mirror and turned every negative thought, every flaw into gratitude?
I go into major depth about using gratitude to change our body image in this post, but it truly is the first step in any journey toward more self-love.
If the thought of standing in front of a mirror and saying nice things about yourself is too much right now, grab a piece of paper and write a letter of gratitude to your body. Spend 5-10 minutes writing your letter. Come back to it every time you find that negative body talk creeping back into your life.
Second, be realistic.
Sometimes I think we want the body we had in high school with all the maturity and wisdom of a 30-year-old woman.
Or, maybe you want to get your body back to wherever it was when you were in your “best shape ever”. Having goals is fantastic. Working hard to reach them is fabulous. Chasing an unrealistic ideal is not. It will only leave us feeling deflated, defeated, and frustrated.
There is a fine line between setting good, challenging goals and being completely unrealistic.
Ask yourself what is realistic for you. In fact, ask yourself “why”. Why do you seek change? Will taking better care of your body give you more confidence? Do you want to be a good example for your kids? Do you want to feel like you’re doing everything you can to live the fullest life possible?
Instead of a number on a scale, how do you want to feel? How do you want to feel in your own skin? That’s the change you’re working toward.
Having a goal that means something to you is so much more than a dress size. It’s not stressing about the time frame or the end result. It’s taking care of yourself in a way that fits your lifestyle right now. It’s knowing that you’re doing everything you can with your time and resources to take care of that special gift that is your body.
Third, change one thing at a time.
When we want change, we usually want it all at once. I hope this blog post today has helped you understand how important it is to love yourself first no matter what kind of change you desire.
Once you have a self-love practice, the “taking care of you” part comes much more naturally.
Start making daily choices that nourish your body in a way that will get you one step closer to your desired change.
Love your body enough to give it lots of fruits and vegetables. Love your body enough to go to bed early so you can fit in a quick 20 minute exercise routine in the morning. Love your body enough to buy clothes that you feel comfortable in now. Love your body enough to learn how to do some strength training (because if there’s anything that will make your body feel physically strong, it’s that). Love your body enough to manage stress in ways other than turning to junk food.
Only you will be able to find the balance between self-love and seeking change, but, when you get there, you’ll know it.
You’ll start to feel confident. You’ll take care of yourself in different ways than ever before. You’ll throw out the guilt for taking care of yourself because you realize it’s what makes you better in everything you do.
If you’ve ever used affirmations or are curious about how to bring more self-love into your life, I’ve made you an entire workbook to help you create your own self-love affirmation to guide you in this journey. There are even some pre-made affirmations if the thought of writing your own feels overwhelming. It’s a great place to start replacing the negative self and body talk into positive and uplifting words and phrases.
And if you have a friend or family member whom you love and want to share this with, please share this message. We need a world filled with more confident women who love themselves in every way.
Why do you exercise?
Or if you don’t, but want to, why do you want to exercise?
Are you looking for weight loss? Better fitness? Better health and wellness? To reach your short or long term goals?
Let me ask you another question. What would you say about your body image right now?
Are you confident with where your body is, or are you frustrated with where it is? Do you want to build more self confidence or love your body more? If so, today’s post is for you. And before I move on, you don’t have to completely dislike your body for this post to resonate with you. On the contrary, this post is for you to help build your self confidence and body image strength.
In fact, do you ever find yourself thinking or saying negative statements about your body? Maybe consciously, but also maybe subconsciously. In fact, approximately 90% of women have some sort of body dissatisfaction.
Today my goal is to help you find ways to use fitness to help you improve your body image and be confident with who you are, confident in your ability to reach your goals, and feel stronger as a woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc.
Before we move on, I’ve put together a very simple exercise program for you to follow. It’s a great one to get started on and can be performed as an at home exercise plan. Click the button below to grab it and get started with an exercise routine you’ll love right away. (Plus, it won’t take you more than 20 minutes!)
4 STEPS TO IMPROVE BODY IMAGE THROUGH FITNESS
STEP 1: LOVE YOURSELF NOW
Before you reach any goal, lose any weight, or start any program to change your fitness, you first need to appreciate the here and now.
I so often hear from clients that they will start loving themselves when…
“When I fit into my jeans”
“When I lose the weight I want”
“When I have time to take care of myself”
“When my kids are older”
“When I’m not too busy”
And the list goes on. But the truth is, if you don’t love yourself now, I can promise you, there will be no difference in self love, self confidence, or body satisfaction even if you reach your goal. It’s true. I’ve seen it time and time again.
So, the first step to this whole journey is to start today by finding love for yourself from day one and practice it throughout your journey. It might be simple at first, but that’s ok.
If you’re looking for ways to do this, check out my posts on creating a healthy body image through positive mindset shifts, creating body confidence no matter what stage of life you’re in, and practicing gratitude for your body.
The key is to start with something small. I usually recommend starting with gratitude. Be grateful for where your body has been, and how it’s arrived where it is today. Have you carried, borne, or nurtured a child? That’s incredible. Practice gratitude for it. You may even want to go further and start being more thankful for those stretch marks because they mean you have a beautiful child. Maybe you’ve worked hard toward a goal, or your body has pushed you through a difficult time in your life? Be thankful for the experience you’ve been through. Then, be thankful for today. For the opportunity to improve, to progress, and to build strength as a woman.
STEP 2: START SOMEWHERE
Now that we have a practice for self love, self compassion, and body image, let’s move on to talk about the ways fitness can help improve your self and body confidence.
First, it’s ok to have a goal. It’s ok to want to lose weight. It’s ok to want to make physical changes with your body. It’s not ok to dwell on the negative or dwell in the past.
Create some realistic goals for yourself. If you want to lose weight to be able to accomplish more at the gym, at home, or just to feel like you’re living your best life, that’s ok.
The key with any sort of fitness program is to JUST START. (After any sort of clearance from your doctor if needed). Don’t wait until everything is perfect with your schedule, your life, etc.
Find something you love and get started. If that’s a simple walk every day, go for it! Find some workout videos online, go to an exercise class with a friend, involve the family in fitness. Whatever it is for you, just get started on something you can stick to for a bit.
Also, don’t forget to START WHERE YOU ARE. If you’re not a runner yet, don’t go out and try to run 5 miles. It’s unlikely you’ll do that again!
Pick something, and start there. Remember, everything counts. You WILL see results as you are consistent and continually improving, changing, and pushing yourself each day.
STEP 3: ALWAYS INCLUDE STRENGTH TRAINING
Step 3. My favorite.
Want a quick way to feel better in your own skin? Strength train. Lift weights, do lunges, do anything to get those muscles working!
Whenever someone comes to me to get the “toned” look, I tell them strength training will be key. No, you will not bulk up, it’s not in a woman’s makeup.
But you will find yourself feeling firmer, stronger, and happier with your body. Two of my favorite workout plan sites include Ace Fitness and Bodybuilding.com. You can find specific exercises or full body workouts. And don’t forget, my workout plan is filled with a great mix of cardio and weight training to really kickstart your fitness goals.
You don’t always need weights to strength train, but I recommend if possible to find one set of weights you can use just to take it to that next level. Lunges, planks, squats, pushups… they all count as strength training. Anything that pushes your muscles to get stronger.
If you want to feel better in your own skin, always include strength training.
STEP 4: DON’T FORGET NUTRITION
And lastly, don’t forget about your nutrition. We only exercise a little bit each day, but we have to eat multiple times per day. This means nutrition is KEY.
Nutrition is a big subject. Today, I’m going to keep it simple.
In fact, I love the quote by Michael Pollan, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”.
It covers everything. Eat real food. Don’t over eat. And eat your fruits and vegetables!
Of course, nutrition can get complicated in a hurry, but just remember the best nutrition (and exercise) program for you is the one you’ll follow.
Pick one thing to change at a time. This could be cutting back on one sweet each day, eating a side of vegetable instead of a bread at dinner time, adding a snack with fruits or veggies.
The key is balance. Find the balance that works for you. Try to build your meals around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. It truly is that simple.
If you find yourself suffering from any emotional, mindless, or distracted eating patterns, you can read through my mindful eating series to help you find that balance with nutrition you’re looking for.
The key is to get started today. Get started on loving yourself for who you are right now. Get started on a simple program that you love and will follow. Start changing one thing about your nutrition today.
The small changes add up to exponential growth.