Here are eight tips to start loving all of the the skin you’re in:
1. Stop the negative self-talk. Remind yourself that obsessing over what you eat or look like doesn't make you look any better. Remember, you’ve tried this method a thousand times before.
2. Give thanks! Thank your body for what it does, more than what it looks like. Your big strong legs should be appreciated for squatting 200 lbs with a barbell.
3. Pick a new health “marker” (or a couple) to focus on. Energy, digestion, and a healthy gut, for example.
Your ability to “go with the flow” on vacation or dinner out, and not freak out. Having refreshing sleep and balanced hormones, pursuing your passions and setting goals in these areas or feeling spiritual health and connectedness.
4. Work it! Play to your strengths. What are you naturally good at? What are your natural physical and characters strengths you bring to the table? Comparing yourself to others will not get you anywhere other than discontent and chasing those dangling carrots.
5. Smash the scale! Or throw out the FitBit. Delete the fitness or calorie tracker. Delete the Instagram accounts that trigger negative thinking, or unplug from social media altogether. Stop tempting yourself with things that put you down. Ironically, when we stop using these measures as barometers for success, often our body (and metabolism) starts working for us, not against us.
6. Nourish! Eat and work out to nourish your body, not to punish it. Choose foods that nourish not only physically, but sometimes emotionally or mentally. Even though “emotional eating” is often viewed as a negative thing, it’s not bad occasionally.
7. See your body as a whole, and not parts. You and your worth are not your thighs, your stomach, or your underarms. You are a whole person.
8. Stand up for non-weight-bias and “health at every size.” Seriously, if and when you are truly taking care of yourself, your body will go to where its happy place is. For some, this is “bigger boned;” for others, this is “smaller framed” or “smaller chested." People in larger bodies often experience the effects of weight bias more deeply than those in smaller bodies, but no one is exempt from feeling shame about their body when we rely on society’s ideals. Our culture makes many people of every size feel on guard, critical of their perceived "flaws," and wanting something other than the body they are in today.