12 Ways to Instantly Feel Good About Your Body
Is your body perfect? No? Well guess what, no one’s is. Besides, perfection is hardly the point when you’re talking about the thing that carries you out into the world, that works tirelessly for you day in and day out, and that is, after all, the only one you’ll ever have.
That’s all to say, you should feel good about your body, regardless of how close it comes to “perfection.” Feeling good about your body doesn’t mean becoming complacent or ceasing to strive for your health and wellness goals. On the contrary, feeling good about your body is the only attitude from which you can really start any sort of journey.
It’s essential to accept and love yourself before you can make a change—if your change comes from a place of shame or hate, it will lead to unhealthy tactics and, ultimately, be unsustainable. Not to mention the fact that weight loss is a challenging—and often discouraging—process, and you’ll need a strong sense of self-worth to hold onto during those tough moments. Otherwise, it will be all too easy to give up.
Summer tends to be the toughest time of year to maintain a healthy relationship with your body. With all the skin-baring clothes and occasions that call for (gasp!) bathing suits, any insecurities you have are brought front and center. That’s why we’re here with 12 of our best tips—including some from DietBet Referees—for boosting your body self-love each and every day.
1. Fake it ‘til you make it. If you don’t feel great about your body, sometimes the first step is to pretend that you do. Even if you don’t believe it, faking the feeling can be incredibly powerful. Ask DietBet Referee Alexis shares, “When I was a teenager, my best friend said that every morning you should look at yourself in the mirror and say ‘Look at me! I am a goddess.’ It might sound silly, or feel silly, but it works!” Referee Manager Jen seconds that, adding “Taking time to remind myself that I am awesome is part of my daily to-do list!”
2. Quit comparing. One of the strongest triggers for feeling bad about your body is comparing yourself to others. No good ever comes of this, so it’s a habit to nix ASAP. When you find yourself comparing, try to distract yourself, or better yet, think about something entirely unique about you that makes you feel good.
3. Dress the part. Wearing ill-fitting, old clothing can exacerbate any negative feelings you may have about your body. Instead, find pieces that make you happy (this doesn’t need to be expensive—don’t underestimate the power of a bright $5 scarf, or an amazing thrift-store find). And beware of keeping around too-small clothes to “motivate” yourself, as this can backfire big-time. Referee Maureen shares her story: “I used to save all my favorite clothes because I just knew that I was going to fit in them again. I recently cleaned out my closet and donated everything that no longer fit me. I went out and bought a few new things and while I’m not at my desired weight I feel so much better having clothes that fit. There is nothing worse than trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans that don’t fit after working so hard and succeeding at losing weight. Get rid of them! You’ll feel good about helping someone else in need and you’ll feel good putting on that flattering outfit that actually fits!”
4. Embrace affirmations. “It has taken me a long time to accept that daily affirmations work—I wish my younger self had believed that many years ago,” DietBet Referee Karyn says. “I work on saying nice things to myself and I try to express gratitude for all the good in my life. Every day I tell myself that I am amazing and that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.” If you’re at a loss for affirmations, the internet has an abundance of inspiration. A great place to start is these collection of body-positive quotes from Spark People.
5. Get gorgeous. “Beautiful” is not a synonym for “thin,” and there are plenty of ways to get yourself feeling absolutely gorgeous that have nothing to do with your body. Get a professional blowout, or a mani-pedi, or pamper yourself with a spa day at home. You can turn heads just like anyone else.
6. Give thanks. Karyn mentioned gratitude, another powerful tool for boosting the positive feelings you have about your life. Being grateful for the good things in your life has been scientifically shown to improve your happiness. Simply take a few minutes each day, or several times a week, to jot down some things you’re grateful for. You’ll be amazed at how it brightens your outlook.
7. Take care of yourself. Treat your body right! Get enough sleep, drink enough water, floss your teeth, moisturize, etc etc. Regardless of whether it’s related to your weight loss, do the things you need to do to stay healthy and clean. When your body feels good physically, it’s easier to love it.
8. Get lost in something. One of the best ways to stop feeling bad about your body, while enriching your life at the same time, is to find something you’re passionate about it and throw yourself into it. Whether it’s a hobby, or volunteering somewhere, or a big personal project, having something unrelated to weight loss that gives you purpose is hugely empowering.
9. Have fun! Life’s too short not to enjoy it. Get out there and do the things that make you happy, smile wide, see the people who make you feel good. There is no required BMI for laughter.
10. Write it out. Journaling can be a great way to tackle negative body feelings. Sometimes, seeing the thoughts in your head written down on paper (“My legs look like overstuffed sausages”) is just so ridiculous you can’t help but laugh. And if not, writing things down is a cathartic way to work out what’s going on in your mind and take the power away from some of the thoughts.
11. Just stop. This trick is very simple, and maybe a little silly-sounding, but it works. When your inner critic starts making you feel bad, just picture a big stop sign in your head. Don’t try to argue with the thoughts, or justify them, or dwell in them—just look at the stop sign, turn yourself right around, and send your thoughts elsewhere.
12. Reflect on how far you’ve come. “It really helps when I look at older pictures at my highest weight and compare them to the body I’ve worked so hard for now,” says Referee Jenn D. “Am I at my absolute goal weight? No, but you know what? That’s okay—I’m better off than where I started and that is enough for me.” Ref Jeff agrees: “What I’ve been doing is looking at my starting pictures and putting them side-by-side with my current photos. Although I may feel like I haven’t changed in appearance at all the past 4 months, in those comparisons I look like a new person and it makes me feel great about myself!”
There’s so much that matters more than the number on the scale—from non-scale victories to the simple fact that you’re a worthwhile human regardless of your size. For Referee Ashley, this quote from Steve Maraboli has been very powerful: “The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. It cannot measure beauty, talent, strength, or love.” As she says, “This has been so important in my weight loss journey. I was beautiful at my highest, and I’m beautiful at my lowest. The scale cannot tell me my worth as a person.”
Another great place to go to feel good about yourself—a DietBet game. The support and encouragement players offer each other is unconditional and unlike anything you’ll find out in the “real world”. Find a game today and let the other players lift you up!
Make it WayBetter
Notice the things and people that make you feel good—and try to get more of them in your life!