With an influx of articles coming your way this month about diets and programs to lose weight, workouts to shrink your abs or lift your buns, and the best New Year resolutions to change, change, CHANGE, we want to start 2018 off by encouraging you to shift your mindset about your self-image. “The human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds,” according to an MIT study. With these findings, we can see how the inundation of ads that use only size-zero models and equate thinness with happiness, has caused the collective American psyche (especially for women) to buy into a distorted view of beauty and success—which leads to incessant thoughts of inadequacy. Not-feeling-good-enough is a crisis, and we are looking to get more folks on the feel-good train by unlearning the negative messages our minds have soaked in all of our lives.
Rewiring your brain is a lot easier said than done so we put together a starter kit of daily activities for you to try this week to help you get to loving and appreciating your body RIGHT NOW, as it is! This download is based on the fabulous practices we have picked up from the body positive community while pursuing representation in media, film, television, and fashion through our vodcast Plus This!, for the 67 percent of women who are plus size in the U.S.
Here are some highlights:
Get present with gratitude
When you can find time, even if it’s only 5 minutes in the morning, get into a mindset of gratitude. Really acknowledge your body & all of the things it can do. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your beliefs change. Start with something small like your eyes and how they allow you to see the beauty around you, or for the speckle in them that reminds you of your Dad. Then continue with the rest of your body, and start by finding one thing you’re grateful for on each body part. Even if it’s just, my arms are soft and feel good in a hug. You’ll start to feel better about the body you’re in.
Get rid of your scale
This one is a BIGGIE. Go to your bathroom right now and get rid of your scale. We don’t care what you do with it—give it to your neighbor or donate it, just get it out of your house! If you want to go even further, when you go see the doctor, turn your backside to the scale, and ask to keep the number written only. Or, even yet, ask not to be weighed at all!
See yourself in social media
As a plus-size woman, it is hard to find yourself represented in the world, but you can curate your social media so that you see images similar to yourself reflected back at you. Follow accounts with people that are your size and unfollow pages that make you feel like you’re not enough. Bloggers, yogis, dancers, artists, etc. are out there. Find them!
Combat negative self-talk
Each of us has an inner critic saying the worst of the worst to us. Try this: when you have a negative thought about yourself. STOP. Breathe, and ask yourself, “Is this a helpful thought?” Then, say the negative thought out loud and ask yourself if you would say these words to your best friend, or better yet to a child? Trust us, you wouldn’t (if you would, that’s a whole other article). Then take a deep breath and replace that thought with one of your gratitude thoughts (see above: Get Present with Gratitude).
You can find more steps towards loving your body as it is in this download, 7 Steps in 7 Days Towards Embracing Your Body As It Is Right Now, and see yourself with new eyes this year!
Actor/influencers Kathy Deitch and Eva Tingley spearheaded PlusThis!, the multimedia brand which features pop-culture, fashion, debates regarding food and health and the societal negativity and stereotypes that surround women who dare to take up a little bit of space. The duo broadcasts live every Thursday at 6 pm PT from Universal Broadcasting Network and simultaneously across several platforms including Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
Photo Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock