Believe it or not, the answer to healthy body image is not found on the internet being endorsed by a celebrity. It is not a once off task that you complete and then forget about. And it doesn’t come from sucking on a weight loss sucker. There is no quick fix.
It took me years of self destruction to realise that a healthy body image isn’t something that just happens and when it does happen, it doesn’t always stay for very long. It takes works and a lot more than a two week diet stint
One of the things that has helped me with my body image is forming habits. They have helped me to experience body freedom and even acceptance which in turn has helped me develop a healthy body image.
These habits will look different for everyone and there is no right or wrong way. If they work for you then that is what you need to keep doing. If you haven’t found your habits or even considered them then I am hoping this post can help you.
I spoke to a few of the most body positive women I know to find out their habits
Meg – Mindthecurvesza
I have followed Meg since she started her blog and Instagram account and she has been one of the biggest influences in my own journey. She is authentic about her body posi journey and inspires so many women.
She says: I cull and curate my social media frequently to expose myself to things that inspire and empower me, rather than make me feel bad about myself. I try to surround myself with a wide array of body sizes, shapes, colours and abilities so that I have frequent reminders of how beautiful diversity and authenticity is, and that the real world is not filled with airbrushed people.
Lisa – It’s Lisa Welsh
Lisa is a life coach who lives her life freely and does it with the biggest smile and the most contagious energy. She can help in so many areas of your life with her courses, podcast, blog and social media.
She says: Over the years, I’ve put my body through hell trying to lose weight. Eventually, I realised that the effort I was wasting on being at war, could just as easily be spent on learning to love my body. Both options have been equally as challenging – but only one has led to peace – and fun! So, I have a few body-appreciation habits that I incorporate into my daily life.
My favourite body-love habit is sleeping naked. That means I start every day snuggled under the covers, noticing my warm skin and the softness of my body. I can move and wriggle around without restriction. It’s even better with freshly ironed sheets!
When I’m getting ready for the day, I don’t rush to get dressed – and I like to have a little naked boogie for fun and silliness in the mirror. It just takes away the heaviness that can come from noticing your reflection still hasn’t morphed into a supermodel!
And finally, ending the day by spending a few moments massaging cream into my skin – a mini self-massage – is another loving treat that I love to give to my body.
Katie – Katie_parrott
Katie is my international fashion icon. I love her style and that she dresses her beautiful body however she wants to (which is always fantastic) and shares that with us. She is also body positive and always has a good message.
She says: I take things that don’t fit me out of my wardrobe and I disregard tags when I’m shopping. I only keep things in my wardrobe that fit my current body, not some aspirational “thinner”body.
Monique – being_maddies_mom
I have always admired how true to herself Monique is. She has also had a huge impact on my own journey because she genuinely loves her body and has taught me how to. She is a mom to a little girl now and I just know she is going to spread the message down to all the young girls she possibly can.
She says: Learning to love the skin I am in has been a long process and one I feel that I am still learning to do. Loving your body is a daily practice. The day I chose to embrace the curves I have and stop ‘punishing’ myself for the skin I am in was a day I will never forget. Looking in the mirror and seeing my reflection staring back at me – I saw more than just a curvy woman. I saw a strong courageous woman who is way more than the shape or size of her body. I shifted focus from how my vehicle through life looked but rather what it has done for me and continues to do for me on a daily basis. I am more than just my curves. I shifted focus in beating myself up for everything I wasn’t to everything positive that I am. I have two legs that move, sight, speech, hearing and man my mind is strong. The day I can truly say I absolutely started to truly love and worship my body was the day I became a mom. This body I perceived to be unhealthy, sick, ugly and every other name under the sun that society tends to push into your thoughts – this body planted and grew my perfect daughter. It made a perfect human being… my love for my body further deepened during my three-year breastfeeding journey that saw my body produce a substance that I can only call magic which not only solely kept my daughter alive for the first six months of her life but it further allowed her to thrive for a further two-and-a-half-years. What helps my self-esteem and body image on a daily basis? My daughter. My body created her. My body nursed her. My body holds her tight. My body protects her. My body is her mama. My self-esteem and body image will influence her opinion of herself and of her peers. Being a mom to a girl practicing self-love and kindness is hugely important to me. She will know no size to beauty. Each and every day this is my motivation. I love and respect my body for the road it has endured to get me to where I am today and I couldn’t be prouder to call it mine.
Jane – gijanefit/unselfishlyme
Jane is wow, an entrepreneur, personal trainer, soon to be mom, she is studying, running online courses, teaching kids yoga. I don’t know how she does it and I can’t keep up the half the time but I know that she has a very strong opinion on loving yourself and she teaches you how to through her course, Unselfishly me
She says: So I haven’t always had a good body image. You’d think being a personal trainer I had it all together and loved my body, but I didn’t! I think everyone ebbs and flows with their body image and self love and it’s more of a journey than a destination. I was teased growing up because I have a hollow back, so I’ve always had a bum. Back then it wasn’t cool, but now of course I LOVE it and people always say I’m so lucky to have it. And I agree! I’ve worked hard over the years to be in a healthy mindset and for me that’s showing my body respect. Self love and self respect for me go hand in hand. I don’t exercise to look amazing, I exercise to be strong and healthy. For me, there is nothing better for self esteem than feeling fit and being able to measure my strength. Being able to squat 80kgs is a goal I wanted to tick off and I did it, and for me that made me feel proud and powerful! So my self esteem is more about a feeling than what I look like. What I look like has come around as a byproduct of a feeling I created by putting myself first and being healthy. I love walking and that clears my head especially when listening to a podcast. I speak kindly to myself in the mirror and make sure I say positive words more often than negative words. Through creating a self love course I really had to do the work on myself first and know that it can change a person’s perspective of themself, and that it is done in the simplest of ways. I’m proof that it does work and it does work on others as well.
So my habits are definitely speaking kindly to myself every day, going for a walk 3 days or more a week. Working out to be strong and fit and not focusing on the mirror. Living a life of gratitude and being open to whatever the Universe throws in my way. Always listen to your signs.
Candice – candashian_cpt
Candice calls herself a pioneer of body positivity and I couldn’t agree more. She is a plus size model and businesswoman who spreads the message of bopo every chance she gets. She flaunts those curves and looks fine AF while doing it.
She says: I don’t compare myself to others. You are not supposed to be like anyone else. You are you and you are the only one who can be you. Your perspectives, gifts, and values are exclusively yours. You are a unique expression, revel in it. I have also created positive affirmations for myself. I tell myself things like “I am Candice Manuel, I have curves and I flippen love them. I have no right to compare myself to anyone for I do not know their whole story.”
Courtney – bycourtneymorgan
This lady is my local fashion icon. She rocks her body, she rocks her style, she rocks her attitude and honestly I just sit back and girl crush. I remember messaging her one day when I bought something completely out of my comfort zone and basically said “HELP” and that she did.
She says: I consciously push myself outside of where I’m comfortable dressing. If I’m feeling particularly insecure about a part of my body I tend to navigate why it’s making me uncomfortable and then dress it up or down as I see fit. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone has done wonders for my confidence and overall self esteem.
Shirmeez – curvedancer
Who says curvy girls can’t move? She will make you eat your words. She’s got the body, the moves and the bopo attitude.
She says: I go to gym 4 times a week to improve my dancing skills. It has helped on my journey because I feel stronger and fitter now that I go to gym more often and my dancing has improved.
So there you have it, some of the most influential women I know sharing their habits that have helped them. I truly hope this post can inspire and help you.