** Disclosure: Swimsuit was generously sponsored by Lime Ricki Swimwear but the content and opinion expressed are of my own.
Not too long ago, I wrote a more personal blog post about body positivity and the struggles I faced as a woman who’s been body shamed. Not only by society but also by family. It took a while for me to overcome my fears of even wearing a sleeveless shirt, let alone be able to walk around in a swimsuit.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still self-conscious but I have created myself 5 ways to learn to love my body the way it is now to help me overcome any negative thoughts I may encounter in my day-to-day life.
1 | Screw labels & buy clothes that fit!
I am neither fat nor thin but I do have meat and curves. I’m normally a size M and in my mind, I am so used to the idea that being a size M in anything is the average size. I mean, isn’t that what we were all trained to believe? Anything more than S or M is considered to be ‘distasteful’.
The truth of the matter is, most clothing stores that we all shop nowadays may label their clothes as an M but really, fits like an S. For a woman who is heavy chested, that doesn’t work out too well. No one should be ashamed of buying clothes that are bigger – because, for the longest time, I was! I end up hating what I bought simply because it didn’t fit right… but I was too embarrassed to buy something larger.
So I decided to stop caring what sizes I was buying and focused more on whether it fit me properly and how great it made me feel. I got rid of clothes that didn’t fit because all it did was generate negative thoughts towards my body.
I’ve accepted the fact that I can look good even in a size XL.
2 | Stop comparing yourself to people online
For the longest time, women often compared themselves to celebrities and now that we’ve included digital influencers & bloggers into the mix, it’s even harder not to compare yourself. It seems that everyone who is ‘instafamous’ comes off as being perfect. Perfect hair. Perfect face. Perfect body.
But keep in mind, everything you see in the media is always what it seems. Instead of sitting there and dwelling on why you can’t look like them, focus more on what you like about your own appearance.
There’s nothing wrong with admiring other people, but it shouldn’t stop you from loving the things you do and creating your own sense of style just because you don’t look like them.
3 | Surround yourself with inspiring people
…Instead of people who you’d rather be. Social media is full of beautiful women of all shapes & sizes. A lot of successful and intelligent woman willing to lend out a hand to help you reach your own goals or ready to go on a foodie adventure with you.
Cut people out who do nothing but make you feel bad about yourself and replace them with more body positive accounts. I noticed myself being more negative about my body when I followed fashion brand accounts that only featured ‘thinner‘ women and shops that were questionable in sizes. So I did myself a favor and started to follow shops that promoted different body shapes and sizes in their clothing and in their social media feed.
One of the shops I follow is Lime Ricki Swimwear. A swimwear brand that not only shows what a swimsuit would look like on thin women but also on thicker, curvy women. A brand that is 100% all about body positive and encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to be beautiful in swimwear. I’ll be honest, it’s almost rare to find brands that support women in different sizes and create cute clothing such as swimwear so when I came across Lime Ricki Swimwear, I was stoked!
4 | Diet talks don’t work
Unless you’re part of weight watchers or other dietary programs, nothing positive comes out of diet conversations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for supporting people in their choices as long as it makes them happy – such as diets – but it’s not a conversation that lights up my world.
If you feel uncomfortable when someone talks to you about their diets, it’s not wrong to ask them to change the subject.
But of course, ask politely.
This applies to body shaming as well. Don’t get caught up in conversing about other people’s body or looks to make yourself feel better. Instead, talk & think positively about other people. Go ahead and ask them where they bought that shirt that you’ve been admiring or that pair of jeans that we all struggle to find the perfect fit. If you can’t say anything nice about someone’s appearance, then it might be best to just to say anything at all.
5 | Realistic fitness goals
When I first started to go to the gym full time in bootcamp, I was so fixated on trying to achieve my desired ‘goal weight’ that I started to overwork myself to become skinnier. I forgot to celebrate achievements and dwelled that I wasn’t the weight I hoped to be at.
So I changed my mindset and stopped weighing myself. I started to create achievable goals based on ability and was more excited to achieve them which in turn made me more positive about my body.
My enjoyment at the gym shifted from trying to lose weight because I hated myself to loving my body that I’m challenging myself from the last set of reps I did.
I know it can be tough to stay positive and motivate self-love but I do believe that if you practice the simplest way to love your body every day, it becomes easier to block out any negativity thrown at you. I may have grown from the years past and have learned my ways to love my body, but I’m not gonna lie and tell you I still don’t struggle – because I do! I just choose to take the time to practice every day and go outside my comfort zone. You never know who you might be inspiring by just being yourself!