We all have those days: body positivity isn’t remotely on the radar. Your jeans feel uncomfortably tight, nothing in your closet seems to fit, your skin is breaking out, and your hair doesn’t want to cooperate. You frantically wish you had someone else’s body—or in the very least, a part of someone else’s body. If I wasn’t on my period, you tell yourself, I’d feel way more confident in my body. You’re not alone. Thanks to diet culture and social media, this is a common (read: daily) experience for countless women. But don’t fret. In this guide, you’ll learn tips for coping on poor body image days, along with how to practice body positivity.
comparison is the thief of joy
Comparison tugs at the rug beneath our feet—it removes any sense of satisfaction with our own lives. Especially on Instagram. This is your gentle reminder that social media is a curated highlight reel. Between filters and makeup and stylizing and lighting and angles, there’s an exorbitant amount of content that masks the bigger picture. Much what’s portrayed is a facade. Without intentional boundaries, social media can be incredibly triggering—eat like her, dress like her, workout like her, and I’ll look like her. It’s exhausting and unrealistic. Ultimately, these comparison traps curtail self-confidence. And we need self-confidence in order to live our fullest lives. Unfollow accounts that make you feel anything less than enough.
how to feel comfortable in your skin
Speaking of self-confidence, it’s not about soaring with self-confidence—or feeling comfortable in your skin—every day. Rather, it’s about feeling comfortable in your skin more often than not. It’s about finding a happy medium. Remember: the longest relationship you will ever have is with yourself. Nurturing that relationship should take precedence (yes, even as a mom!). Against all odds, you have the ability to harness positive energy and talk to yourself in a compassionate way. It’s simply a matter of tapping into that ability. In turn, you’ll find that kindness breeds more kindness. To begin feeling more comfortable in your skin, prioritize your well-being. Make self-care a non-negotiable. What makes you feel safe, relaxed, calm, and joyful? Incorporate more of those things, even if they only take a couple of minutes. By making time for your needs, you’ll be a more confident version of yourself. And you can do this in several different ways. For example, learn to say no to people who rob you of your energy.
finding a middle ground with food
While I believe in eating balanced, wholesome meals most of the time, wiggle room is essential. My relationship with food is no longer black and white. I’m not dogmatic about what I eat, and long gone are the days when I wouldn’t touch cheese, butter, sugar, or anything fried. All foods fit. Deprivation and restriction are never the goal. On a daily basis, we want to gravitate toward colorful veggies and fruits, high-quality sources of protein, and healthy fats. After all, these help us feel our best. We want to eat in a way that supplies sustained energy, supports our hormones, doesn’t cause digestive issues, and balances blood sugar. However, making peace with your body means making peace with food. Enjoying your local coffee shop’s croissant—or baking cookies with refined sugar—doesn’t make you any less worthy or healthy.
3 Ways to practice body positivity
There are so many small yet profound ways to practice body positivity. Ultimately, the more we can take the emphasis off our bodies, the more we can let our bodies do what they’re here for: allow us to live our lives. In addition to the ideas below, start with your closet. There’s no denying that when we look good, we feel good! Donate clothes that no longer fit and only keep clothes that spark joy and make you feel comfortable.
1. Learn to accept a compliment. This is one of the most important—but undervalued—tips. By not being able to accept a compliment, you are putting yourself down. Avoid responding to a compliment by downplaying yourself. Simply showy your gratitude by responding with a smile and a thank you. Let that compliment boost your mood and self-worth. When we learn to accept compliments, we are simultaneously practicing body positivity.
2. Surround yourself with people who don’t body shame. If there’s one thing you remember from this article, it’s this. There’s no point in spending precious time with people who constantly talk negatively about their bodies. We should have zero tolerance for this. Unfollow people on Instagram who don’t serve your well-being. Set boundaries with your friends and family (this is crucial). If body talk comes up in conversation, kindly ask to change the subject. Ultimately, the magic of body acceptance lies in spending quality moments with people who build you up—in spending face-to-face time with people of all different body types, who are also accepting of all different body types. It’ll remind you that beauty is boundless.
3. Let yourself feel your insecurities. Don’t be ashamed of your poor body image days. They’re normal. Talk about them. Write about them. Journal about them. Instead of sweeping your feelings under the rug, surface them. There is something incredibly cathartic about writing down your emotions. And remember. feeling insecure is part of the human experience. You have the power to feel more confident in your body—I promise.
Body positivity books and Articles
Last but not least, I wanted to include a few of my favorite books and articles for encouraging positive self-talk. I hope you find them helpful. Feel free to leave me a comment, send me an email if this post resonates with you, or sign up for a free, 20-minute consultation with me! The journey to body acceptance doesn’t have to be lonely or solo — it can be collective and supportive.