Let’s be honest – body love is a quiet battle that many of us come up against. While it’s so easy to shower love on everyone else, it can be a difficult art to truly and completely love ourselves. So, I asked Jacquie Sharples, the author of If Your Body Could Talk and passionate gal behind Carpe Diem Wellbeing, to share how we can have more body love…today.
7 Easy Ways to Have More Body Love
“Bodylove” means different things to different people. To me it is about treating your body with the love and respect it deserves. It is about making small and big decisions everyday that build a loving and productive relationship between you and your body, so that you are set up for success and happiness in your body and in your life. Having bodylove makes everything easier.
Here are seven easy tips to cultivate more bodylove in your life – every single day.
1. For every negative thought you have about your body, chase it up and away with a positive one.
It is a nice thought, that the day will come when we will never think or say anything negative about our bodies. But in the world we live in right now, that thought feels like a utopian dream. But maybe that’s ok. Just maybe we don’t need zero negativity to feel good about our bodies.
To begin to build our bodylove all we need to do is for every negative thought or word we have about our bodies, we can simply follow it up with a positive one. This neutralises the negative thought and begins to remind us of all the great things about our bodies. Struggling to find positives? Think about it. Think about everything your body is, not just how it looks – you should be able to list 10 things off the top of your head that you love your body for, without too much effort.
“I hate my thighs but I love my stomach and how it digest my food”.
“My lips are too small but I love my arms and how they let me hug my loved ones”.
”I don’t like x, y, z but I love how my body walks, runs, sees, hears, loves, breathes, beats and wakes up each morning giving me life to live”.
more positive talk about your body = more bodylove
2. Stop treating your body like a machine.
Sorry to burst your bubble but your body is not a machine. Yup I know, this is disappointing because we are all busy and need to keep up with the non-stop pace of the world today. But our body’s battery was not designed with a 24/7 lifestyle in mind. Your body needs rest, it needs recovery, it needs time out and it needs these things everyday. Don’t run it into the ground, don’t drain your batteries to the point of no return, don’t ignore fatigue, give you body some more rest, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I know, you know, you need it.
more recovery and rest = more bodylove
3. Before you eat, ask yourself this: “how will my body feel after I eat this?”
I know you ask yourself “what do I feel like eating” before you eat but what asking yourself “how will I feel after eating”? Will you feel bloated, heavy, tired, gross, guilty or full of regret? Will you feel light, refreshed, energised, happy and healthy? Will your body love you for your choice of food and be happy with the raw materials that you gave it? Or will your body be disappointed again and wishing it could choose a new owner? Choose to feel good, not just while you eat a meal, but after it as well.
more eating food your body agrees with = more bodylove
4. Treat your body like your dog – walk it everyday.
For those of us who have ever owned a dog we know we would never go more than a few days (or a day at all) without giving our dog a walk and a run around. What happens if we don’t? They get sad, they go a bit crazy, they put on weight, they play up to get your attention and they chew anything in sight! Think about your body like it is your dog. It needs to move everyday or it gets sad, it goes a bit crazy, it puts on weight, it will play up and it may just chew anything in sight.
more movement for your body = more bodylove
5. Ask yourself – if my body could talk what would it say?
Stop for just a second, put down your phone and your to do list and ask yourself that simple question. Tune in. “If my body could talk, what would it say?” What does your body need from you at the moment? And then ask yourself why you’re not giving your body whatever it is that it needs?
more listening to your body = more bodylove
6. Stop trying to change your body overnight.
We all understand how to change the shape of our teeth. We wear braces or invisalign or a plate, and we wear it for years. Each month we go to the dentist, they move our teeth ever so slightly and then we hold that tweak in place all month. Then we go back and repeat the process over and over again. Eventually (after years) the shape of our teeth has changed. It’s not rocket science. So why when trying to change the rest of our bodies do we expect it to happen so quickly. We pick up a 6 or 12 week plan and get surprised when nothing seems to change long-term? Come on. You’re smarter than that. Be more patient and more kind. Change the shape of your body the same way you’d change the shape of your teeth – tweak and hold, tweak and hold.
more small improvements and patience = more bodylove
7. Love your body like you would a best friend.
I know you don’t love everything about your best friend or your life partner. Go on, admit it. I also know that you wouldn’t live without them. I know you would never only focus on those bits of your loved ones that you wanted to change. I know you love and support them for all of the other amazing things about them. You understand that no one is perfect and you actually wouldn’t have them any other way. There’s something perfect in their imperfections. You love them for who they are and what they do for you in your life. But what about your body? What about giving your body the same break you give other loved ones in your life? Your body can be your best friend and one of your biggest supporters, if only you would treat it with the love and respect it deserves.
more loving your body like your best friend = more bodylove
Bodylove is there waiting for you, all you need to do is keep choosing bodylove over bodyhate.
more bodylove = more happiness
what are you waiting for?