I’ve recently entered the dating pool after divorce and am struggling to look at my body objectively without putting myself down. Below are five things I’m doing to help feel confident about my body NOW.
I’m trying Match.com with equal parts skepticism and optimism. I thought this would be a breeze but writing an online dating profile is monumentally more difficult than writing for hundreds of thousands.
One question that threw me for a loop was body type. I’m not slender, I’m not average, I’m not athletic and toned. But some people perceive curvy as overweight or confuse it with plus sized. I went to my guy friend and he said “curvy”. So I included lots of full length pictures. The curvy body type is experiencing a revolution.
Here’s an article about how the curvy body type of vintage days is making a comeback. Yay for me! I don’t like articles that shame any body type, but it’s nice to see the hourglass shape making a comeback. Now here the five things I’m doing to feel beautiful now. (Especially when a smoking hot guy contacts me and I wonder if he’s out of my league.)
1. Get rid of jealousy
Jealousy breeds on comparison. You can’t learn to love your own looks if you’re constantly comparing yourself to others. There’s a beauty in what God gave us. If you’re not spiritual then think of the miracle of your mother and father combining to make you. Incredible. Beautiful. And worthy of love. If you look at everyone else and long for their looks you’re missing something beautiful in your own. Everyone wants what they can’t have. A happy person wants exactly what they’ve got.
2. Count your blessings
Your body is alive. It’s a masterpiece of science. You can find features to be proud of. Search every day for one new feature to appreciate. If you are so hurt about your body that you can’t find anything, think back to partners and former partners. What did they love? Usually they loved the things you were most critical of. If you hate a part of your body, find a way to be loving towards it. I have the typical c-section tummy. It’s soft and there’s a scar. Every time I see it and ugly thoughts start to invade, I put my hand on it and thank my body for giving birth to my son.
3. Take care of yourself
Watching what you eat and exercising drastically improve your mood. If you drink a lot of caffeine or eat sugar you’re getting a temporary boost that will fade into a crash. My body is super sensitive and I try to avoid them except on special occasions. Beyond the short term effect of knowing you’re treating your body well, the long term effects are weight loss and toning. Make loving decisions towards your body and you’ll feel better just because you know you’re taking care of yourself. This is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
4. Notice and appreciate the beauty in others
One of the ways people stave off depressions of hopelessness is by getting away from their thoughts and getting out to help others. Realizing how little some have inevitably helps you see your blessings. If you’re feeling low about your body, change your focus. Look at your loved ones and compliment them on things you find beautiful. I’m sure they’ll love hearing it and you’ll be looking outside yourself for something positive rather than looking inside for something negative.
5. Get busy doing things you love
The last of the five ways to feel beautiful now is to lean on your friends. Being around friends and loved ones is scientifically proven to pump “happy” hormones through your body. Laughing, sharing and talking all help us feel less alone. Feeling alone is probably the worst feeling I’ve been battling. My marriage was lonely the last few years. The best cure for this is staying busy. Make plans with friends. Offer to help friends with things they need done. Make appointments with yourself to read books or watch movies.
Those were my five ways to feel beautiful now. Is there anything you would add to this list that helps you feel better about your body?
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, ImanWoods[dot]com.
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