We hear the term “body positivity” all the time; it’s a beautiful concept, but what does it mean?
Body positivity is only an idea until we put it into action. If we break down the terms, “body” means your physical being, and “positivity” means the state or character of being positive. Here, we have two nouns that we can treat like verbs.
But where does someone start with treating their body positively? It starts with intention. Below are five ways you can begin to infuse positive intention into your day.
Rather than focusing on what you don’t like about your body, can you focus on what your body is creating instead? With every rep, can you mentally say words of positive affirmation? Can you focus on the strength you’re building? Can you use this time to connect your mind and body to encourage yourself to keep moving forward, one rep at a time?
Can you give yourself a massage, especially in the areas you have difficulty accepting? Can you use this as an opportunity to connect your fingers to places that have brought you shame and show them some TLC through touch?
We must eat because our body requires raw materials such as amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, etc., and most of these nutrients our body cannot make. We ideally get them from food or other sources. Eating a meal that nourishes your body down to the cellular level is a form of positively fueling your body to work correctly.
Rarely today do we ever get a break from stimulation. We have social media, Slack, email, meetings, traffic, advertising, events and internet rabbit holes, and it never stops. Your brain is receiving so many messages at once. One of the best forms of love you can give to your brain is quiet time, oxygen and peace. Even one deep breath is enough to positively impact the brain and nervous system.
This affirmation can look different to every person. It can be in the form of an “I am” statement: “I am powerful, beautiful, strong, sexy, confident.” This can be a form of gratitude: “I love and appreciate all parts of myself.” This may feel a little cheesy at first, but the goal is to choose an affirmation that feels genuine to you. Only choose ones you can feel rather than say.
The idea is to infuse positive intention into any action you take to benefit your body. Even something as insignificant as wearing a retainer at night, you can say, “I love my straight teeth. They help me digest food, smile and brighten other people’s day.” You can infuse this into drinking water with every sip and think, “My body loves water. It allows me to think clearly, eliminate toxins and stay alive!”
You can do this even in ways you may not expect, like by saying no. Saying no to intense exercise if you know you shouldn’t push your limits is a form of doing something positive for your body. Creating boundaries around work or people is a way to show your body love, especially if you’re stressed.
You can bring positive intention into almost any action you do for your body that makes a positive impact on your life. Any vote toward health is a form of body positivity. Remember, our body’s job is to keep us alive. Our body wants to be healthy and fights for us daily to remain at homeostasis. Every time you do something positive toward health, you engage in body positivity.
How are you taking care of your permanent residence? I’m not talking about your house but your living, breathing body!
About the Author
Krista Large is a nutritionist, habit coach and online fitness trainer. Her passion in life is teaching others to dream big and live large, which starts with health. Large is an Ole Miss Rebel and runs her own brand and business based here in Austin. You can learn more about her at livinglargewellness.com.