How To Love Your Body At Any Age Or Size
No one is 100% satisfied with his or her body, not even the supermodels. Cameron Russell commented in her TED talk that supermodels were, in fact, the most insecure people on the planet. They face constant pressure to look good at all times. Why is it so hard to love our body, the powerhouse that takes us anywhere our mind desires? The reasons are deeply rooted in our beliefs.
First, we believe there’s a golden standard for beauty.
If we don’t meet the criteria, we aren’t attractive. If beauty can come with different skin tones, hair, and eye colors, why can’t it be in different sizes?
Second, we like to compare.
Imagine you are invited to a party where you don’t know anyone other than the host. What’s the first thing you do when you arrive? You look around and analyze the people you see. Are they better looking, younger, dressed nicer? The more attractive they look, the more miserable you feel about yourself. Social media is a never-ending party where beautiful people congregate. The longer you linger, the worse you feel.
Third, we believe we can’t be beautiful if our bodies are flawed.
Every time we look in the mirror, all we see is the body parts we hate the most. Inspect the areas you have paid little attention to for years. Run your fingers on those parts of your skin and take in how different your touch feels. Instead of picking on your flaws, identify the areas that look good to you. Maybe you have toned arms, shapely legs, a firm butt, or full breasts. Think of ways to make them look better with flattering clothes. A properly fitted bra will magically lift your assets while tricking the eyes into believing you have a smaller waist. If you’re happy with your neckline, wear a little V neck with a necklace that compliments your eye color. Suddenly you look sophisticated and charming.
Before we get into how to love your body regardless of age and size, we need clarify a few misconceptions about beauty.
Have the right mindset.
Like it or not, your body will be with you every step of the way. Hating it, distrusting it, and abusing it would only age your body prematurely. Think of your body as the first hand-me-down car you drove. Every time a fancy car passed by, you wish yours could be that shiny and fast. Well, yours might never be like that. If you keep wanting more without caring for your body, it’ll break down a lot sooner than you’re prepared for.
Beauty isn’t absolute.
Contrary to common beliefs, beauty isn’t absolute. Have you ever seen those remarkable news photos, where the faces of ordinary people look stunning despite the plainness of their features? A talented photographer knows how to highlight the subjects’ natural strengths and let their inner beauty shine through. Learn to be that photographer for yourself—always focused on what you already have, and how to enhance your strengths for a better outcome.
Being healthy is beautiful.
Learn to care for your body—feed it the purest fuel, award it the kindest upkeep. In return, your body will carry you through life’s many challenges. Before you do anything to your body, think about the long run. How could it affect you twenty, thirty years down the road? Does it align with your values, or is it just a way to express your frustration?
Treat Food as Medicine.
Pay attention to what you eat and when you eat. Stop abusing your body with all the chemicals from drug use, chain-smoking, and excessive drinking. If you rely on chemicals for your emotional relief, realize they’re not the permanent fix. Masking your feelings doesn’t make problems go away. Tackle the root cause of your problem instead. It takes courage, and it takes time. Think about the person you always wanted to be and act as if you were that person. Life is easier if you focus on making the right choice each day.
Here are six things you can do right now to love your body regardless of your age and size.
1. Maintain a good posture
The correct posture helps to ease low back pain and relieve neck and shoulder tension. In return, you’ll increase lung capacity, improve circulation and digestion, improve core strength and energy level, reduce joint pain, and have fewer headaches. You’ll not only look taller and thinner but also appear more confident. Just by standing up straight and making good eye contact, you give off the impression of intelligence and capability. If you tend to slouch, use a concealable posture corrector to help you form a good habit.
2. Have a good night’s sleep
When you’re tired, you crave not just more food but also those higher in fat, sugar, and salt — foods you know are bad for you but evolutionarily primed to love. If you aren’t able to get sufficient sleep, try to catch a nap during your lunch hour. Even a fifteen-minute shuteye will help improve your brain function and productivity. Sleep-deprived brains do a poor job of regulating appetite and impulses.
3. Get active
Human bodies are not meant to sit all day. Inactivity leads to pain and inflammation because of reduced blood circulation. If you work at a desk, take a break, and go outside; enjoy the breeze and fresh air. Research has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, depression, and improved body appreciation. Walk around the building where you work and listen to your favorite music while you’re at it. You’ll find yourself more energized and productive upon returning to your tasks.
You don’t have to join a gym to get fit. There are simple and effective exercises you can do in the office or at home. Most smartphones have a built-in app to track your steps. Make it a challenge to walk twenty additional steps each day. After three months, you’ll be walking almost 2,000 more steps daily than when you started.
Getting inspired to build muscles? Check out this super-popular, 30-second workout sets designed to get you in shape. Chloe Ting, an Austrian girl’s workout routine has gained over 12 million followers on YouTube.
4. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water if you don’t have any medical conditions that limit your fluid intake. It not only helps skin look healthy but also improves elimination and reduces headaches, pain, dry mouth, and bad breath. The recommended daily intake is eight 8-ounce glasses (think 8 x 8), which equals about two liters or half a gallon. If drinking plain water isn’t your thing, try adding flavors to it. Cut up fresh fruits, place them in a water container, and leave it overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning you’ll have a refreshing drink to keep you going.
5. Adopt a skincare routine
Time is unkind. Instead of wanting to stay young forever, take care of your skin, and aim for looking younger than your age. Hydrate your skin—not just your face, but your whole body. You don’t need fancy name products; most of the drug store brands will do. Make sure you apply to your back, hands, and feet. Nothing reveals age more than wrinkly necks, hands, and feet. Don’t take long, super-hot showers. Hot water strips away the natural oils on your skin, drying it out and reducing its elasticity.
6. Be grateful
There is always someone better than you, no matter where you look. You’ll drive yourself mad competing with them. Instead of using others as markers for your satisfaction, think about how hard your body has worked for you. Stop living inside your head. Learn to let go of bad thoughts so your heart can take in more happiness. Learn to accept imperfections. Find good intentions from adverse outcomes. Remember, we always find what we’re looking for.
Now that you have learned these easy and effective ways to love your body, incorporate them into your daily living.