Mindset and Body Image: Embracing Self-Love and Redefining Beauty Standards

Man and woman doing yoga in park. Image: Pexels - Gustavo Fring

If you could turn back the clock and have a conversation with your 10-year-old self, what is it that you would say? Would you say, “you are ugly, you are fat, you need to lose weight, you need Botox, you need to go on a diet?” The answer is a profound ABSOLUTELY NOT!

What you would likely say is, “you are amazing, you are strong, you are beautiful, cute, you are handsome, your body helps you do all the things you love to do, you are learning and doing incredible things, you are funny, kind, smart and I love you.”

The world of images we live in has made it very difficult to embrace the uniqueness of who we are and our own inner and outer beauty. We are always striving for a different body than acknowledging, appreciating, embracing, and loving the one we inhabit.

The following are some recommendations and action steps you can practice that will help you change your mindset and embrace body love and self-love.

1. Detoxify your social media feed

a. Who and what are you looking at? Do you feel inspired, body-positive, educated, and happy after you scroll? Whatever you look at that checks those boxes, keep. Or, 

b. Do you feel anxious, depressed, sad, stuck in comparison, jealous, like you are not enough or not doing enough? Whatever checks those boxes, delete.

The overconsumption of images and messages is toxic and in the majority of cases leaves you feeling that way too. An important question to ask yourself is this, “is being on social media in the way or on the way of me embracing self-love and body love?”

Scrolling social media

2. Look for new role models

Look for new role models and inspiring figures that are similar to you! Don’t try to be a body you are not designed for.

a. Is there an athlete you admire that has a similar body shape as you? If so, look at those images, how that person dresses, carries themselves, and more importantly what they do that makes them so inspiring to you (not how they look!)

b. Is there a political figure or actor that has a body shape like yours? Look at those images and what is it about them that inspires you?

c. Is there an influencer that inspires you? If so, what is it that they do that inspires you? What are they actually influencing in your life that supports self-love and healthy body image?

“Comparison breeds contempt.”

Don’t try to be a body that is so far off from what yours is and don’t forget that what you are looking at in photos, magazines, on screen, is most often a fallacy anyway. Body doubles, contouring, air brushing, photo editing, plastic surgery, etc. What you are really looking at is often a lie. Look for truth and authenticity.

3. Write powerful affirmation statements

Write powerful affirmation statements or a mantra that you repeat to yourself many times of day. Place sticky notes of these on your mirrors, laptop, fridge, and bedside table. Start every affirmation or mantra with “I am…”

What you say is what you are. Replace your mean and self-deprecating messages with kind and powerful ones. Your body hears and feels EVERYTHING you say to it. Be mindful of your words. Choose them wisely. Just as author and pseudo-psychiatrist, Masaru Omoto, demonstrated how you can change the molecular structure of water with environment, thoughts, and emotions, you can also change the health and well-being of your body with your thoughts and emotions. Practice and embrace messages of kindness and self-love.

4. Do the Love List exercise

Make a list of all the body parts (internal and external), traits, gifts, and characteristics that you love about yourself (minimum of 25 things). From head to toe, write them all down, no matter how big or small. Focus on those. Put them up on your mirror and read them daily and add to the list regularly.

Looking in mirror positive affirmations

We are experts at focusing on the things we dislike. There will always be things you want to change or improve, but if that is all you think about and obsess about, that is all you will ever see. Think about how much valuable time that is taking up in your mind and energy field. What if you spent more time focusing on the things you like and admire about yourself? How would that change your energy, your mood and how other people see you and the kind of vibe you put out into the world? Shift your focus!

5. Everything you dislike about your body has a purpose.

It is here to help you to grow, learn and fulfill what is important to you. For example,

a. If you do not like the weight on your body, is it guiding you in a direction to find movement you love or a great nutrition coach to work with? Is it helping you to learn how to cook more inspiring and vibrant meals? Is it pushing you in the direction of living a healthier lifestyle? Is it pushing you to explore the deeper unresolved emotional issues in your life that need transformation? How does this challenge with weight serve you?

b. If you struggle with your skin, is it putting you on a path to find the best skin care products, to explore the root causes of your skin challenges, to educate yourself, to eat better, drink more water, find amazing aestheticians to help you nourish your skin? Is it inspiring to help others with similar issues? How is this challenge serving you?

c. If there are things you dislike about your body you can not change due to genetics (eg, if every woman in your family has larger thicker thighs) then don’t fight it, embrace it. How is this challenge teaching you to surrender and accept what is? Is this a lesson you are also meant to learn in other areas of your life?

You can choose how you see your challenges. Are they opportunities for growth or self-sabotage? When you look at the things you dislike about your body, ask different questions and see if that helps the way you treat yourself and approach your desire to change things in a more uplifting, self-serving way vs a punishing and self-loathing way.

Most importantly remember, you get one body in this lifetime. How do you want to treat it? How do you want to take care of it? How do you want to nourish it? How do you want to love it? If your 10-year-old self can have a conversation with you right now, what do you think it would say to you?

If you are seeking more guidance in this area and would love to shift your mindset and transform your relationship with your body, contact Amy, amy@amybondar.com

Amy Bondar, Nutritional Therapist, Certified Eating Psychology Coach, Speaker, and Author brings 2 decades of experience in the field of nutrition and mind-body coaching and believes that nourishing our body with the power of food, resolving stresses that are influencing our eating behaviors and living a life with purpose are the essential ingredients to optimizing our health. With an open heart and inquiring mind Amy will accompany you on a journey that will inspire you to transform your relationship with food, body, and self. To learn more and work with Amy, visit, www.amybondar.com or contact Amy, amy@amybondar.com

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