My Body is Beautiful and Yours is Too

There are so many things floating around social media about our bodies. Some are ads to products or diets that are meant to change our bodies. Some are messages telling us that our bodies are fine exactly the way they are. But what exactly is feeling body positive and how do we get there? Self love and acceptance may be a continuous journey; we’ll have good days and bad days. But there are things that influence how we feel and think about our bodies and recognizing them can transform the way we live. 


First, I’ve found that surrounding myself with people who speak of food in a positive light, not something that has to be earned, influences the way I feel. That doesn’t mean an open conversation with your friend or family member about how you’re feeling isn’t valuable too. Everyone is going to have days when unwanted thoughts creep in, and having someone you can trust to talk to about it is important. The way you approach the topic, speaking from a personal standpoint and not a critique of anyone else’s choices, goes a long way. 


Next, I’ve found that exercise makes me feel strong and grateful for my body and what it can do for me. It’s important to find exercise that you genuinely enjoy; it should feel like a treat, not a chore. The boost of endorphins it provides and the good sleep that often follows also helps to elevate your mood. I’ve also found that it helps me listen more thoughtfully to my body and what it’s craving. Similarly, I’ve come to recognize that when I’m feeling bad about my body, it often has nothing to do with my physical body and is just a reflection of how I’m feeling internally. Sometimes, taking a step back and reflecting on your emotions can help you realize that your body doesn’t deserve the negativity you are channeling towards it, and it actually just needs some extra love. 


Sometimes our bodies will change: puberty, pregnancy, college, seasons, periods, and countless other things cause our body to change. Change is okay. The phrases “freshman fifteen” and “beach body” are harmful phrases that instill fear or expectations about how our body is supposed to be at a given moment. But our bodies are working for us. Our bodies know what we need and they tell us in various ways, such as telling us we’re hungry, thirsty, or feel like moving. Our bodies do so much for us. They take us places, allow us to enjoy delicious foods, see beautiful places, and hug people. Notice how good your body feels when you do these things. 


Remember, it’s okay to have good days and bad days. Honor your progress. Life is hard sometimes but it’s also full of incredible experiences that you deserve to fully enjoy. My body is beautiful and yours is too!