2015 was the year for body-positivity. Between celebrities taking a stance against body-shamers, athletes inspiring confidence, plus-size models scoring major deals, and everyday people using social media to share their stories, so many women spoke up for body love.
And now, it’s your turn.
With 2016 just a few days away, you’re probably thinking about your New Year’s resolution. While we’re all for making a plan to slim down, get fit, or eat better, we hope you’ll remember to cultivate love and respect for your body along the way.
We spoke with Ben Michaelis, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Your Next Big Thing: 10 Small Steps to Get Moving and Get Happy ($13; amazon.com) and Marisa Moore, RDN, an Atlanta-based nutritionist, for tips on how to make 2016 the year you stop hating your body. Here, the body-love resolutions you should make.
Practice positive self-talk
Resolve to speak nicely not only about your body but also about your self-worth. We can be overly critical of ourselves, which only emphasizes small failures. It takes practice, but you can turn negative emotions into positive ones.
“Focus on specific qualities you have that are unique and that help set you apart,”
When you find yourself letting negative thoughts about your body enter your mind, turn instead to your recent accomplishments. Did you just run your fastest mile? Did you give a successful presentation at work?
“These types of specific reminders can help you counter the global negative self-statements,”
Exercise because you love and want to take care of your body, not because you hate it
If your only exercise goal is to lose weight, it might be hard to follow a routine. Instead, recognize that working out is good for your entire well-being—from your mental health to your physical state—and losing weight will just become a positive side effect.
Additionally, finding a workout that you love is key. You’re more likely to stick to an exercise regimen if it’s something that you actually enjoy, and if you view it as a time to better yourself rather than using it as a chore. If you like music, attend classes with great songs. Or if you like to be outdoors, try a running plan that allows you to hit the trails. If you are a social person, schedule group exercise classes with friends, says Dr. Michaelis. Your body can do amazing things, regardless of the way it looks, so you need to reward and take care of it.
Get rid of clothes that don’t fit
Empty your closet of clothes that you’ve accumulated throughout the years that no longer fit you and (if you need to) replace them with clothes that fit well. If you keep these constant reminders of a past self, you’re going to feel down on yourself whenever you see them. Instead, wear clothes that give you confidence.
Lose the scale
There are better ways to gauge your health—the number on the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. You might find that at a higher weight, you are stronger, faster, and more lean. Focus instead on the way that you feel and how you’re fueling your body.
“Calories are not the enemy,”
“It’s about being mindful and making the best choices for your body for the long term—not just during bikini season.”
Focus on nutritious, quality foods rather than cutting calories. When thinking about your meals and snacks, opt for foods that that deliver plenty of nutrients to keep your body nourished.
“Do right by your body by eating well to keep it healthy inside, versus employing tricks to get a (often temporary) physical appearance,”