As women, we’ve all dealt with body-love issues—or if you haven’t, bowing down to your confidence. But from what I’ve experienced by talking to and witnessing girlfriends, moms, grandmas, myself, is that the majority of women struggle with a consistent positive body image.
I think that confidence gets easier with age, but at the same time, there are more things stacked against feeling good with what we’ve got (aka metabolisms slow down, life gets busier). Luckily, having a happy body image can be a result of good habits and a good mindset.
With summer approaching and the urge to sport shorter hemlines and even some bikinis, it’s time to get your body image in check—and to enjoy summer (without worrying about your legs the whole time). Here are 5 steps to feeling your best:
Step 1: Clean up your eating habits. Having a healthy image starts with feeling good—inside and out. Prioritize how you’re treating your body and nourish it with nutritional food (especially all the yummy fruits and veggies in season this time of year), even starting with one meal a day. Not only will this help to detox your system and likely slim down a bit, but your digestion will be better, energy higher, and it’ll be a big boost in motivation.
Step 2: Sweat 3x a week. Don’t worry about working out every single day. The last thing you want to do is burn out or overwhelm your schedule before getting started. Simply commit to 3 days—whether it’s a long walk, a run, a dance class, do something that makes you sweat multiple times a week. Endorphins + stronger muscles = a happy image.
Step 3: Develop gratitude. Make it a habit to write down 3 things you appreciate about your body each morning. The arms that are strong enough to give really good hugs, legs that have taken you across the world, cute feet—whatever! Having self-love is a lot easier when you’re grateful for it.
Step 4: Rely on mantras. For the days where it’s that time of the month or you’re feeling blah, practice positive mantras before negativity fully takes over your mind. One as simple as “I love myself” will go a long way. Go back to that list of what you’re thankful for, too!
Step 5: Pamper yourself. The fun part! Now that you’re eating a little better, moving a little more, and have healthy habits in place, treat your body to a few things to polish it off. Get a mani/pedi, have a massage, dry brush, get a new cut, buy a new suit—do anything that’ll give you another boost of body love and confidence.
I hope these steps help you feel more comfortable in your skin. And remember, “you is kind, you is smart, you is important”—one of my favorite movie quotes ever (from The Help).