StrongBlackWoman: Loving Your Body and Accepting Your Body Image

 Throughout your life, you’ll notice and analyze personal attributes that frustrate, challenge, or upset you. Perhaps you’re not 100% happy with the color or shape of your eyes. Maybe you always wanted to be tall but, alas, you’re more height-challenged. You might pine for a thin, lithe body but you’ve got a thicker, more muscular frame. What can you do to accept your body – your current StrongBlackWoman’s body – just the way it is?

These action tips can help you feel good about your body:

1. Remind yourself that it’s the only body you have. It might sound silly but, unless you have lots of money and time to pay for and undergo cosmetic surgeries, this is the body you’ve been given. You can improve it, make it stronger, more flexible and more attractive, but starting by accepting it will save you a lot of grief.

2. Survey your body “systems.” How well does your body work for you? Examine the details of your very own body and its functionality. You’ll likely be pleased at all the things your body does for you.

3. Take pride in your positive attributes. If you have short, always neat hair, good for you. Strong arms due to working out? Great. Say to yourself, “Wow! Although my vision is not perfect, with my contacts I have perfect vision!” Maybe you have clear, unblemished skin or beautiful white teeth. These are attributes to be proud of, and you should celebrate them.

4. Notice when your body works well for you. Maybe you almost missed the bus this morning but you ran like a racehorse and jumped on the bus just before it pulled away. You must admit, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to run fast enough to catch the bus. Recognize how well your body can respond to your needs.

5. What do you want to change about your physique? Is it do-able? Be honest with yourself. If you want to look taller, you can buy shoes with higher heels. If you want to be slimmer or stronger, the right workout routine can help you achieve this – and it will take work, but it IS possible. Consider what is possible.

6. Develop a realistic plan for change. If you want to build stronger muscles in your arms, it can be done. But you must consult with exercise coaches and similar experts to achieve the results you want. Pay attention to those attributes that you have the power to change.

It’s wise to ensure you’re getting the best information in your efforts to alter your physical self. Write out your plan about what you want to change and how you will do it. Then, ask a friend to read it over to see if your ideas for changing your body are realistic.

7. Commit to your plan to change what’s possible and set aside time to achieve your goals. Once you realize what you do have the power to change and you have written a realistic plan, vow to follow your plan.

Allow time in an average day to work your plan. You’re forming a new habit and it must be repeated several times weekly to achieve the results you’re after.

8. Deal in healthy ways with the things you can’t change. Rather than get disappointed or angry about one of your body’s attributes, recognize that certain people are born with certain characteristics that likely are unable to be changed. But it’s okay because you’ve still survived. You’re still here at this moment.

Embracing your physical appearance just the way you are is the best route to living a life of self-confidence and serenity.

9. Take care of your body. The best way to show your love for your body is to take good care of it. Notice your appearance. Use lotions and moisturizers to maintain supple, smooth skin. Keep your hair healthy. Take part in regular and consistent exercise. Provide good nourishment to your body.

No matter what size, weight, or physical attributes you have, when you take care of your body, you’re showing the love you have for yourself.

Accepting your body image is so important to your everyday existence. When you can say, “I’m okay just the way I am,” you’ll lead a calmer, more settled, and happier life.

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