Instead, here are some tips to help you continue working on body acceptance…
- Stop body bashing. Talking negatively about your body will only deepen your body shame. I’m not saying you have to start talking positively about your body because I don’t think that always works. Although if you want to try that, cool. But at least stop bashing your body, because that makes you feel worse and, honestly, your body deserves more respect than that, regardless of what it looks like.
- Clean out your closet. Donate or sell clothes that don’t fit anymore. Consistently seeing old clothes you wish you could fit into is always going to create negative feelings. If you’re not ready to completely let go of those clothes, at least pack them away out of sight.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is toxic, short and simple. Someone else’s beauty or success has no bearing on your own. And anyway… you don’t have to be beautiful or successful to be a worthy, loveable person.
- Focus on other things. It’s ok if you’re not at a place yet where you don’t care what your body looks like. At the same time, you can choose to put your focus and energy into other things. For example, instead of spending 30 minutes changing outfits and picking apart your reflection when you get dressed, commit to putting on only one outfit and then leaving your closet, regardless of how you feel. Remind yourself you have more important things to do and then get distracted in something.
- Get support. This can be a tough journey in a culture that gives us 1,000 reasons a day NOT to feel good about ourselves. I suggest following body acceptance accounts on social media, working with a body image coach or therapist, or finding a program like our Body Image Resilience Program.
The Body Image Resilience Program is 10-week course that will help you develop a powerful sense of purpose and self-worth outside of appearance. It’s about gaining confidence and living life without the constant body monitoring and comparing. The program includes:
- Video courses – Taught by Lexie Kite, PhD and Lindsay Kite, PhD, authors of More Than A Body (text and audio formats are also available)
- Participant workbooks – 52-page booklets that include key points of each unit, challenges, surveys and reflection prompts
- Weekly group sessions – 1-hour virtual meetings with the program leader as well as other program participants to go over that week’s content, ask questions, and to apply the principles on a deeper level. Click here to learn more about the program or click the button below to save your spot!
I know it can be tough to overcome all the body anxiety summer brings up. It can feel like a really vulnerable season since we’re less covered up by clothes. Do your best to tune out all the messages about getting a “bikini body” and losing weight for summer, and remember that you don’t need to have a flawless body to have a fabulous summer.
But you do have to get over the temptation to sit on the sidelines and opt out of all the fun because you’re worried about your appearance.
The good news is, the more you show up, the easier it will get.
I’m Cherie Miller, MS, LPC, founder of Food Freedom Therapy™. I offer counseling for chronic dieting as well eating disorder therapy for Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Orthorexia, ARFID, and other eating disorder issues. Contact me here or follow me on Instagram or Facebook.