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Love Yourself: 5 Ways to Become More Body Positive

With spring in the air and summer quickly approaching, getting our #springbody or #summerbody (or, even, #picnicdaybody) becomes a more common thought. However, it is important that we seek physical wellness to promote how we feel — and not just how we look. Boosting your own level of body positivity requires focusing on your well-being from the inside out. Here are a few baby steps you can take to see yourself in a healthier and more positive light.

1. Compliment your unique attributes and accept your flaws.

Engaging in self-affirmation first thing in the morning can automatically change the mood of your day for the better. Even if it turns out to be an average day, or a bad day, end it on a good note by complimenting yourself before you go to bed. For example, look in the mirror and say, “Okay, so I didn’t have the best hair day, but my eyeliner was on point.” It may be a bad day, but it’s not a bad life.When you simultaneously acknowledge minor “flaws”, without sinking into a negative attitude, and genuinely compliment yourself at least once, you will be working slowly but surely towards total body positivity. Saying, “yeah, I have flaws!” is a sign of strength and shouldn’t be a shameful statement at all.

2. Realize that everyone has insecurities.

Nobody is perfect. Okay, maybe Ryan Gosling.Jokes aside, everyone has at least one “bad” thing they can say about their body. We all lead different lifestyles, come from different backgrounds and are ultimately our own unique people (see #5!). Focus on learning to love your own characteristics (good or bad), rather than the standards of perfection that are evident in society and the media. Accept your flaws and insecurities, but also realize that everyone you know is probably in the same boat.

3. “Exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it.”We can thank this motivational post to define what exercise and working out should really be about. Don’t force yourself to run a particular number of miles because you’re feeling guilty about the meal you ate for dinner, or because one of your dresses no longer fit. Work out for mental and emotional fulfillment, and not just for the physical benefits it may entail. Exercising because it makes you feel good, from the inside out, can result in a more wholesome workout.

4. Eat better, not less.

Whether you’re looking to lose weight or feel indifferent about working out, food choice plays a huge factor in your mental wellness. Sugary and salty foods do provide us with temporary happiness — but only in moderation. These foods can also leave us feeling bloated, guilty and easily agitated.

The key to enhancing your level of body positivity when it comes to diet is to simply eat well, and not necessarily less. Treat yourself to a bowl of ice cream, but try to incorporate more veggies and fruits in your day. Substituting a smoothie or fruit juice for your morning Starbucks latte can leave you feeling more refreshed and healthier throughout the day. You’ll feel better knowing you didn’t have to skip a meal or necessarily eliminate something altogether from your diet; it’s all about balance and moderation.

5. Stop comparing yourself to others by changing your mindset.

Social media can make comparing yourself to others easy and even habitual. Flattering Instagram filters and photo applications can make nearly anyone and everyone look flawless or incredibly close to perfection.This can inevitably make you feel like achieving a particular standard of “beautiful” is impossible, when your focus shouldn’t be on the standards at all. Instead, focus on the fact that we all come in different shapes, sizes and colors, making our world so beautifully diverse. Translate this thought into building your body positivity by loving your uniqueness and accepting the uniqueness of others.

Varsha is currently a senior at UC Davis double majoring in Communication and Sociology. A Bay Area native, she relishes any opportunity to visit the beach and explore cities big and small. As an avid reader and writer, she hopes to utilize her passion for storytelling through a future career in PR. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and always enjoys a good cup of coffee. You can find her writing poems on the quad, reporting stories for AggieTV and daydreaming in the Arboretum, figuring out life as a 22 year old. 
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