A few weeks ago, I made the decision to stop going to Slimming World. My head hasn’t really been in it over the summer and my goals are not to necessarily lose weight anymore. I have been so focused on my outlook and body positivity that weighing myself weekly isn’t really helping my self-esteem. More weight training and less cardio means that the numbers on the scales have massively varied and I don’t think this should be measured weekly. For me, Instagram (for once!) has had such a positive impact on the way I have started to feel. There are so many bloggers and influencers taking the concept of body positivity head on. It can be really difficult to begin but once you start, it becomes much easier. You will start to not only like but maybe even start to love the way you look.
So, what is body positivity? Everyone has different ideas about what it means for them but in a nutshell, it’s accepting and loving your body exactly the way it is. Whether you’re big, small, muscley, lean, spotty, blonde, tall, short – we all come in different shapes and sizes and should love the way we look. After all, you only get one body so start loving it!
How did I get started with body positivity?
Don’t get me wrong, bringing body positivity into your life is a long ol’ process but there are a few easy ways to get started. Making little changes each day will help you to consciously have and manifest body positivity.
One of the hardest places to stop comparing yourself to others is when you’re scrolling through social media. It can also be a really good way of subconsciously seeing more body positive images. Mine started with following #bodypositive on Instagram. You can follow hashtags and they pop up in your feed every so often. There are so many girls (and boys) that are so inspirational to see. It’s a good place to begin if something you mindlessly scroll through promotes a healthy outlook on image.
There are also a few body positive figures that I like to follow and often seek out for some good vibes. My favourites have to be Chessie King, Olivia Larson and Iskra to name a few. A trend that I’ve seen pop up quite a bit recently is the “I Weigh” movement from Jameela Jamil. Other celebrities have also been getting involved, which is great to see, especially for young girls on social media. The idea is that you post an image of yourself and write what you weigh beyond your flesh and skin. It’s such a positive way to show what you’re made of and promote a healthy lifestyle on your own social media profile.
Change the way you look at others
This could be a more difficult one to grasp; I know I’m not the only person that judges people and what they’re wearing. Stop! It’s really not your place to judge and it’s not healthy for your own health esteem. I constantly wonder what people think about me when I walk past them if I’m wearing a completely different style and fashion to them. Now, I try to actively think of something positive about people when I notice them. I don’t have the guts to say how great the top they’re wearing looks on them but the thoughts are there. Snap out of a negative view on alternative fashions or styles to your own and embrace that everyone is different.
Stop weighing yourself
For me, this was the hardest thing to do. I’m a persistent weigher; I usually do it morning and night just to see if I’m being consistent. The smallest gain would affect my mood, even if it’s only a pound. I managed to stop doing it at home and waited for my weekly Slimming World meetings. The last time I went to group was after a really good week of gymming and eating well. I was so excited for my weight in. I hopped on the scales and looked down; a gain of 2.5lbs. I walked out and decided to not go back. Not because I’ve not been losing, but because my mood instantly changed.
There are obviously a number of reasons you can gain weight from day-to-day. I might have drunk more, my muscles were recovering, I was due on or the fact that I’d had a big lunch (although healthy). A number on the scales should not affect how you feel about yourself.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m still not weighing myself. I might do soon but I need to get out of the habit of it having an effect on my mental wellbeing. My clothes fit, my body is toning up really nicely in the areas I’ve been working on and I feel healthy and good about myself. Why does it matter when I’m trying on clothes in a shop, how much I weigh. This is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome and get past when trying to become more body positive but it’s the best thing I’ve done. You start to look at yourself differently and enjoy clothes shopping more.
Stay healthy and happy
Don’t get me wrong, I binge on bad foods every so often but I always regret it and start feeling sluggish very quickly if I continue it. Eating healthily is something I enjoy along with going to the gym. That’s not something I’m ever going to stop doing. I love cooking so tend to make everything from scratch even if it is a bit more effort. I set myself goals that aren’t physical for fitness. For example, at the moment I’m doing more weights so I’m setting myself the challenge to increase each week if I can.
It’s important for eating and fitness to not necessarily set yourself ridiculous goals when it comes to how you look. Body positivity is really difficult to maintain if you say you want to be a certain size or measurements by ‘x’ date. If you don’t get there, it’s incredibly difficult to get out of a lull on how you feel.
I felt guilty about eating things that are ‘good fats’ on Slimming World. Foods being deemed ‘bad’ is so unhealthy for a positive mentality. Everything is fine in moderation. I couldn’t eat avocado, use coconut oil or eat nuts without them taking a lot of syns from my day. Avocado with eggs on toast is one of my favourite breakfasts for the weekend and I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about it.
I hope this helps even just one person to start the steps to becoming more body positive. It takes a while to get into a swing of things and can be a bumpy journey. I’ve found not looking at the scales has helped me the most in becoming more body positive. As long as I feel healthy, I feel more positively. If I eat rubbish or don’t work out, I’m trying not to feel guilty, we’re only human and the number on the scales or our clothes is just that; a number.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still strive towards refining my fitness and setting myself little goals that aren’t looks or weight related. The journey to body positivity is about accepting and being comfortable in the skin you’re in. Besides, I love working out and eating well helps me to feel good on the inside and energised.