"Body positivity" has been thrown around the internet for many years now. It encouraged many people, including celebrities, to post photos of their "real" bodies with visible flaws. Even fitness influencers hopped on the trend. They showed their followers that their six-packs aren't always visible and that they don't eat clean every day
But many people, especially women, continue to struggle with body image. Considering how the media depicts the "ideal" body, it isn't surprising. Despite the growing body positivity movements, most models still have lean physiques. In addition, weight loss products continue to portray overweight people as unattractive.
Body positivity doesn't imply that skinny is unattractive and big is the new beautiful. Instead, it believes that every body type is beautiful and that weight doesn't necessarily indicate health.
However, being body positive doesn't mean you shouldn't lose weight if you want to. In fact, it would encourage you to care for your health more. But if you have a positive body image, you won't see weight loss as a way to "fix" yourself. Instead, you'll view it as a challenge to boost your self-confidence and sense of accomplishment.
Sadly, it is not easy to approach weight loss with such a mindset. We still look at our love handles, flabby arms, and muffin tops with disdain. We should change this attitude if we want to succeed in weight loss. Hence, these are the ways to approach the activity without self-deprecation:
1. Don't Try to Fix Yourself
Again, weight loss isn't about fixing yourself. If you look in the mirror feeling disgusted with yourself because of your body fats, weight loss isn't the solution.
Excess weight isn't the primary cause of a negative body image. It's a general self-esteem issue. The media might've influenced your beauty standards, making you believe that your shape and size are unattractive. Weight loss won't cure it because if the media shows yet another beauty standard you don't have, you would think you're unattractive again.
Weight loss isn't even a cosmetic procedure in the first place. It's a preventive measure for those who face risks of diseases associated with their body weight. Therefore, don't lose sight of sustainability and health before beginning your fitness journey. It's OK to make reaching a certain weight your goal, but above that, prioritize addressing health concerns.
2. Be Critical of the Media's Messages
When you see models, influencers, or companies telling consumers that a thin body is more important than a good personality, criticize. Don't be a part of the problem by letting their spiels sway you. Pay attention to brands' slogans, images, and other promotional materials. If they make you feel bad about your body, they are not spreading the right message.
Focus on media that tackle diet and weight loss without stigma. For example, if you're following a fitness influencer, see if they encourage you to be strong, not beautiful. If their brand message is too centered on vanity, find yourself a better influence. Anyone or anything that makes you doubt your self-worth is detrimental to your well-being.
3. Focus on Yourself as a Whole
When you think of your body or look at yourself in the mirror, avoid focusing on the surface. Instead, try to see yourself as a whole. Think about what your body can do. Broaden your concept of beauty. Identify the things you like about yourself. This thinking pattern will help you gain a positive body image.
Remind yourself that beauty isn't skin-deep. While it's great to love certain parts of your body, they shouldn't be the only things that make you feel beautiful. Your character, talents, and even imperfections should also define your beauty.
4. Treat at Weight Loss Procedures as a Choice, Not a Requirement
There's nothing wrong with wanting to undergo a weight loss procedure. It can help you reach your fitness goals conveniently, after all. Plus, you don't need to go under the knife-non-surgical procedures like painless i.Lipo treatment can work as effectively as any surgical liposuction.
However, treat such procedures as an option, not your only way to get fit and beautiful. Consider making it a treat for yourself after working hard in the gym or changing your lifestyle. The procedures can be your method of maintaining your new body. That may be a clever decision because procedures allow you to stay fit while eating what you want.
Remember these positive approaches to weight loss before starting your fitness regimens. Every day, tell yourself that you are already beautiful. You're losing weight to enhance your muscle health and strength, not to become desirable in the eyes of society. Impressing society will only dampen your self-esteem because we are always the most prominent critics of ourselves.
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A travel, beauty and lifestyle blog with the occasional afternoon tea by Angelina Belle
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