Body Acceptance: How to Stay Body Positive When Everyone’s Talking About Weight Loss by Dr. Cortney Warren
Conversations around body positivity and body acceptance have grown over the past few years thanks to the body positivity movement. If you’re struggling to stay positive amid an onslaught of weight loss messaging in recent weeks, it’s because living in mainstream American culture makes it difficult to maintain a positive body image. Our body becomes a "project to fix" instead of a part of us to embrace, appreciate and love.
Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also pointed out that teen girls are feeling record levels of sadness. So, how can you stay positive about your body despite social media messages and interactions emphasizing how you should strive to look?
- Notice and challenge negative self-talk. Anytime you notice you’re being self-critical of your body, pause. Stop yourself from being judgmental toward yourself or others.
- Reduce exposure to people/media that make you feel bad. If you notice looking at media or being around certain people who are highly critical of their bodies makes you feel worse, it’s perfectly healthy to set a boundary and limit your exposure.
- Embrace gratitude for your body and other aspects of yourself. Take time to appreciate all of the wonderful aspects of your body and your appearance.
- Try not to compare yourself to others who you think represent the ideal standard. Try to focus on yourself without comparing your looks to models, media images or even friends and family who you think represent “the best” because it often will make you feel worse about yourself.
- Focus on health, not weight. The journey of life is a long one, and the goal should be to be as healthy as possible. If you want to use a scale to track your weight, don’t do it more than once a week. If it’s very triggering, perhaps don’t do it at all for now until you feel unaffected by the number that appears.
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