All of this body positivity speech is empty nonsense, though, because it’s not associated with encouragement to do the (sometimes) difficult work of truly loving your body.
It’s easy enough to say “I love my body.” It’s much harder to back that statement with actions that actually promote your health and well-being. The body positivity movement wants you to simply accept your physical self — the good, the bad, and the unhealthy. That isn’t positivity, though; that’s lazy acceptance.
Real body positivity involves properly caring for your health — mental and physical.
We think that real body positivity involves properly caring for your health — mental and physical. It involves appreciating and loving the good, but also being aware of and changing the not-so-good. It requires building habits that make you an all-around happier, healthier, more wholesome woman. Here are some practical ways to do just that:
Eat Well, but Ditch Those Fad Diets
There’s plenty of bad advice out there about what constitutes “healthy eating.” In fact, many of the diets that people are now subscribing to can actually be extremely harmful to women. In reality, eating well is pretty simple. Focus on whole foods and avoid too many processed foods. Eat a balanced amount of healthy fats, fiber, and protein at each meal. You don’t need to cut out any food groups entirely, and you certainly don’t need to skip dessert. But you also don’t need to eat to your heart’s content at every meal. It’s all about moderation.
Exercise in Ways That Benefit Your Female Health
Just as there’s plenty of bad advice about diets, there’s plenty of bad advice about exercise. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to put yourself through intense HIIT workouts 6 days a week. You should, however, move your body in a healthy way every day. This might look like a long walk on some days and a spin class on others. Again, balance is key. Be sure that you’re not overdoing it, but don’t altogether avoid exercise.
Get Enough Sleep
This one is so important, but oft-overlooked in our workaholic society. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you consistently get less than that, you’re putting yourself at risk for many bad side effects including depression, weight gain, and aged skin.
Get off the Pill
The evidence is mounting that hormonal birth control is just terrible for your health! So, if you’re on the pill, consider switching to a non-hormonal method like the fertility awareness method. Not only is it better for your body, but it will also empower you. Say farewell to nausea, headaches, weight gain, and an increased risk for infertility, and hello to the clarity that comes with knowing that your body is performing its natural functions (and how exactly it’s doing that).
Birth control is bad for your health.
Add Good Stress into Your Life and Avoid the Bad
Stress affects your mental and physical health in major ways. These effects can be great if your lifestyle welcomes good stress and very unpleasant if you’re suffering under a load of bad stress. Setting challenging goals for yourself (a good stress) will improve your health and outlook on life, while staying in bad relationships and allowing your debt to build up (bad stresses) will have the opposite effect.
Stop Playing the Victim, and Build Resilience
Wallowing in self-pity is one of the worst ways you can go about life. Unfortunately, our culture avidly promotes wallowing by creating narratives of oppression and victimhood. Instead of subjecting yourself to this sad little game, seize all of the opportunities afforded you by a nation founded on individual freedom and start boldly pursuing happiness. Stop letting life knock you down and, instead, stand firm and keep forging ahead with the confidence of women in generations past. I promise, you’ll be much happier this way.
Start boldly pursuing happiness.
Embrace Your Femininity by Practicing Virtue
You’re not just a body, and you don’t want others to objectify you as such. So, don’t reduce yourself to a pretty face. Rather, focus on carrying yourself with beauty and grace in all that you do. Exercise virtue in your daily life, and see how it leads you (and others!) to a deeper understanding of your true worth.
Constantly Strive To Improve Yourself
Don’t let the body positivity movement fool you into becoming complacent. We’re human and will, therefore, never be perfect. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be striving for perfection, though. Seek to constantly better yourself, by challenging yourself physically, mentally, and intellectually. Set a personal record in a 5K, learn confidence in voicing your opinions, dive into great works of classic literature. Whatever you do, don’t settle.
The body positivity movement ignores your potential. It feeds you the lie that “this is as good as it’s gonna get.” Don’t succumb to its deceptions. If you really want to “love your body,” start forming healthy habits so that you can become the best possible version of yourself — mind, body, and soul.
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