I think self love is super important but I’m finding a bit of frustration within the framework of the body positivity that is being promoted more mainstream. A particular problem I find is individuals preaching self love and body positivity but also preaching size-based goals and who promote daily ab checks, before/after photos, half naked body check ins, etc. This is a way in which we police our own bodies, checking every single day to see if one part we have deemed problematic is getting better or becoming worthier. I’m not saying there is anything inherently wrong with wanting abs, but if it becomes to the point where you are policing your body every day to see if it’s “better” while at the same time talking about self love, are you practicing what you preach?
Some tips to help you practice self love & body positivity.
1. Be authentic:
If you’re struggling, talk about it. We all struggle, no one feels 100% happy with themselves 100% of the time, that doesn’t make you less of a self compassion/self love advocate. It makes you human.
2. Stop policing your body:
I personally don't like progress pictures and if that’s the only way you’re measuring success, that might not leave you in a very happy mind set. Break up with the scale, that number does not define your worth. Putting your worth in a number is so restrictive and takes up so much mental energy.
3. Make your goals for you:
My goals and success are for me and me alone, the internet does not need to hear about it all the time. Certain milestones? Sure! A particularly gruelling workout where I thought I was gunna die but didn’t and it’s a miracle? Yasss, support that shit. But if your goals are in place to make others happy (especially when that’s the internet) that’s no good. Or if you feel your success is based on how many people comment/like a post, that's a horrible way to measure yourself.
4. Find like minded people:
I don’t follow any fitness accounts that are all selfies, before and after pictures or gratuitous body shots. Why? It’s not helpful for my mental health, it makes me feel bad. I am a strong, fit, amazing person and scrolling through that makes me feel terrible, I don’t need it. I follow individuals who are jazzed about working out, who come up with fun workouts, who offer body diversity, who inspire me, especially people who offer scientifically sound advice on injury prevention/rehab.
5. Talk to yourself like you’d talk to a friend:
I would never tell a friend their love handles were looking flabby, why would I say that shit to myself?