Love Yourself Healthy & Happy

“It’s not news that for women, body image is a loaded topic. With fat shaming, catcalling, and unsolicited comments about our hair, it’s no wonder some of us turn into full-on Frank Underwood neurotics when it comes to how we look. There are numerous ways to remind you that you’re valuable and lovable, regardless of what the scale says. Here are five tips to help you get started. Be picky about your media. We all know the media can be pretty freakin’ shameless when it comes to portrayals of women and female beauty. And it’s probably impossible to shield ourselves from that entirely. But we can minimize our exposure to the mean girls (and guys) of the world. Make your Facebook newsfeed a source of inspiration by following pages that make you feel happy: cooking blogs, yoga communities, whatever turns your frown upside down. Be mindful about the TV shows you choose to watch. If anything you’re watching makes you doubt you own worth, or portrays women in a way you don’t agree with, switch it the hell off! And in the timeless words of Baz Luhrmann, “Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.” Get jiggy with it. Embrace your sexuality! One of the main reasons body image is such a prickly subject for us ladies is that, when we don’t feel like we’re living up to our culture’s ridiculous beauty standards, we conclude that we must not be sexually desirable. That is so not true! Sexiness really is more about your attitude, and confidence is incredibly attractive. You don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to enjoy your sexuality. So start shakin’ what your mama gave ya! Do what you’re good at. As women, it’s so easy for us to buy into the insulting lie that our value is determined by our looks. And when we’re obsessing over thigh gaps and cankles and even contemplating cosmetic labiaplasty (which is actually a thing), we can begin to feel pretty crappy about ourselves. To combat that feeling, remind yourself of all the reasons you’re awesome – that have nothing to do with the way you look. If you’re a writer, set aside some time each week to journal, or consider starting a blog. Say yes to opportunities to showcase your talents at work. Whatever it is that you kick ass at, make sure you’re giving yourself time and space to do it. Blaze new trails. To the detriment of womankind, it has become the norm for us to go through our lives feeling chronically self-conscious. Take me, for example. I’ve always had a hang up about my hair. To my eyes, it often looks stringy, dry and just not good. So anytime I receive a compliment about it, my response is usually something like, “Thanks, but my hair has no body so it’ll just go flat again by the end of the day.” What’s sad is that this kind of behavior is actually expected among women. We’re supposed to ask if these jeans make us look fat, or if this top makes us look like we have lunch lady arms. But we can change this. Instead of making unwarranted self-deprecation your default mode, accept compliments with gratitude and really take them in, don’t deflect them or shrug them off. And don’t join in when your female friends are complaining about their supposedly fat thighs or saggy boobs. Be nice to yourself. For a lot of us, there’s a Debbie Downer that resides in the back of our mind, constantly telling us how ugly and fat we are. Reminding us that we’re not good enough, and compelling us to count calories or punish ourselves with crazy workouts. When you notice yourself thinking this way, be like T-Swift and shake it off. And then, to reassure yourself that your body is not your enemy, show it some love. Get a massage. Try a new haircut. Treat yourself to a new outfit. Anything that helps you appreciate how fantastic your body really is.” From “5 Ways for Women to Boost Body Image” By Sarah Cooke

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