You Can’t Hate Yourself Into Loving Your Body.
Feb 22, 2023
Use These Five Tips and Tricks To Appreciate Your Body While You Work to Get Healthy.
If you’re working to set up healthy habits in 2023, it can be tough to stay positive when the motivation of the first week of January wears off. When motivation wanes, you might start to notice that you’re focusing on the aspects of your body that you wish were different.
It’s easier to make lasting changes when you’re improving your health because you love yourself, not because you hate what you’re working with. Loving your body can give you ongoing inspiration to give it the care and attention that it needs.
Here, we’ll take a look at five tips and tricks you can use to help you begin to love yourself–even when you’re a work in progress.
1. Appreciate what your body can do–stop focusing on what it can’t do.
When you begin an exercise routine, it can be easy to focus on all the things that you aren’t able to do yet. You might have a long-term goal of running a 5K, but you’re struggling to make it through a jog around the block.
Instead of focusing on the things you have yet to accomplish, focus on all that your body can do. Taking just a few moments to think about all that your body can accomplish can help you shift your mindset from negativity to appreciation. Your positive thoughts don’t just have to be about what your body accomplished during your workout. Think about how you were able to get down on the ground to play with your kids, or how you were able to wrap your partner in a tight hug at the end of a long day.
When you take the time to love your body, you’ll likely find it easier to continue the behaviors that provide your body with the respect it deserves. When you find yourself focusing on a negative thought about your body, take a moment to pause and counter it with two things that you appreciate about yourself, no matter how small.
2. Think about additions, not subtractions.
When you’re working to establish new habits, you might get stuck in the trap of thinking about things you want to give up, like a second cookie after dinner or your favorite sugary latte. Instead of focusing on the things you want to eliminate from your diet, think about what you’d like to add.
This can mean getting excited for the high-protein breakfast you’ve got prepped in the fridge, or looking forward to enjoying a build-your-own-taco-salad night with your family. When you think about all the great things you’re including in your life, it can be easier to stick to the plan.
This idea doesn’t just apply to food. It can also be helpful to think about the opportunities for connection–both with your own body and with others–that exercise can offer. Instead of focusing on how you won’t get to watch your favorite Netflix show the night it comes out, think about how you’ll get the chance to chat with your kids while you go on a walk together.
3. Check your self-talk.
Metacognition–thinking about your thinking–is key when it comes to loving yourself while you’re working on positive change. Over the course of the next few days, pay attention to the way you talk to yourself when you think about your body and your efforts to improve your health.
If you wouldn’t talk to a friend or your child the way you talk to yourself, it’s time to take some steps toward change. When you speak negatively about yourself in your mind, you make it more likely that you’ll engage in behaviors that aren’t respectful or loving to your body.
Speak to yourself like you love yourself. This is a fake it till you make it situation–even if it feels silly or untrue at first, changing the background noise in your head can be a big step in motivating yourself to move forward with behaviors that make you feel great.
4. Focus on how you feel.
There’s nothing wrong with using tangible methods to track your progress as you embark on a journey of health. The scale, a measuring tape, or your body fat percentage can all provide you with insights that can help you move forward with your health.
That being said, it’s easy to get so caught up in the numbers that you forget to notice the other positive things that are happening as you work on your health. Instead of staying laser-focused on quantitative ways to measure the changes you’re making, pay attention to how you feel as well. Keeping track of your day-to-day moods and energy levels can help you see that the changes you’re making are paying off.
Journaling can be a fantastic way to get into the habit of checking in with the way that your mindset and energy levels are changing as you put in the hard work required to get healthy. Cool bonus: you’ll be able to track patterns when you look back at your journal, learning more about the foods and workouts that give you the energy you want.
5. Discover movement and foods you love.
As mentioned, getting healthy isn’t just about eating less of the foods that don’t make you feel your best–it’s also about focusing on finding the foods and types of movement that make you feel fantastic.
Trying a new food once each week can be a fun way to learn more about the healthy foods you love. Take a stroll through the produce section of the grocery store and check out a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried before, then work with your partner or your kids to find a fun way to prepare it at home.
This is a great time to try out an exercise class you’ve always been curious about, or to ask a friend if you could tag along when they go for their weekend hike. Stay open to the idea that you may not have found your favorite food or activity yet–this can help you stay on high alert for something that might be a great addition to your new lifestyle.
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Fitness Together® studios understand what it takes to develop healthy new habits, and are here to support you every step of the way. Reach out to your local Fitness Together studio today to connect with one of their trainers and get the individual support you need to hit your goals.