Body Positivity and Self-Love
A few weeks ago, my friend and photographer Lyda asked me to participate in an upcoming photo shoot to celebrate body positivity and self-love (read: the Body Positive Movement). The timing was perfect. Not long before our conversation, I had been struggling myself – trying to lose weight, getting “in shape,” finding the best workouts for where I wanted to be… While I’m lucky enough to say that I haven’t dealt with an eating disorder, I’m friends with many who have. I wondered if the calorie-counting and strict workouts were leading me down a path I didn’t want to follow.
I knew that by participating in this shoot, I would be confronting the insecurities that had been bouncing around my head for weeks. And so, I agreed.
With social media constantly inviting us to play the comparison game, it’s easy to get confused about what real beauty looks like. And let me tell ya, it isn’t limited to one shape or size! This photo shoot celebrates the differences between all of us women to acknowledge that we are all beautiful. And that, my friends, is the message I want to share with y’all today.
Practicing Body Positivity
Disclaimer: I’m not perfect at this, and I think that’s the point! Because we know ourselves better than anyone else does, we’re often the first to point out our own “flaws.” Little do we know that others don’t even see these insecurities until we give them a name! And trust me, as one of four women in my family I absolutely know this to be true.
Instead of focusing on what we wish was different about ourselves, it’s time to accept and celebrate every body. Here are a few things I like to do to keep my perspective healthy and positive, and just so ya know, we’re all on this journey together!
- Exercise to be healthy, not to “look better.” I like to work out, but used to only do so to have a better bod. While that’s definitely part of exercising (and a huge motivator), I’ve learned that I get much more out of working out when I have the intent to become stronger or healthier. And, it takes the pressure off!
- Don’t deprive yourself, appreciate that sweet treat! I’m a major sweet-tooth and I absolutely love getting a sweet snack in, sometimes on a daily basis. I’ve been sticking to Halo Top ice cream lately for its great taste and low-cal benefit (Peanut Butter Cup is 10/10 the best flavor out there).
- Take the time to thank your body for all it does. We’re so quick to point out all the ways our bodies don’t do the things we want, but do we ever take the time to thank them for what they actually do (i.e. keep us alive)??
- Stop putting down other people’s bodies. If we all focused on seeing the good in each other, it would be easier for us to see the good in ourselves. Don’t believe me? Try giving out a few compliments today and see how you feel 😉
- Forget the number on the scale or your clothing size. Nowadays I’m a different size in 10 different clothing stores. And you know what? It doesn’t matter! A size tag or number on the scale doesn’t tell you who you are or what you’re worth. These quantitative measurements don’t count all of the other amazing parts of you that make you, you!
- Set goals that aren’t related to your appearance. It’s one thing to aim for a healthier lifestyle and another to focus solely on the way your body looks. I’ve learned to shift my focus towards goals related to my strength and endurance instead of my waist size.
Behind the scenes…
When I first started blogging, I didn’t know what it would lead to. More specifically, I didn’t know that blogging would lead me to some of the most awesome ladies in Austin, Texas.
I’m incredibly lucky to call Lyda (@lydahamphotography) not only my photographer but my friend – and a real one, too. She has lots of gifts, including bringing people together in communities of love and kindness. When she asked me to participate in this shoot, I couldn’t help but immediately agree. I literally knew none of the other girls, and I’m not sure you could even tell from these photos. And that’s how this group of beautiful, talented gals was brought together in the spirit of joy (and donuts!).
I hope that this post inspires you to join the movement for body positivity. We’re all in this together!