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We all have those days, weeks or even months where we lack confidence and feel unhappy with the way we look.
Our clothes feel tighter, we don’t like the way our hair looks, or we notice more stretch marks and loose skin.
These are the days when we just can’t seem to shake the negative body image thoughts, no matter how hard we try.
But what if there was a way to reduce the number of bad body image days you have?
What if there was a way to not let the negative thoughts take over so easily?
I’ve spent my entire life working towards a place of body respect.
And poor body image has caused me to miss out on a lot of great things in my life.
That is why I am so passionate about helping others develop better relationships with their bodies.
In this blog post, I want to share with you how using body-positive affirmations helped me come to a better place with my body and how they can help you too.
The first step is define the following terms:
- body image
- body positivity
Then we’ll dive into how you can start using affirmations to improve your relationship with your body.
Let’s dive in!
Disclosure: Although I am a certified prenatal/postnatal exercise specialist and personal trainer, I am not YOUR trainer. The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute of the information and advice you receive from a healthcare professional.
Personal Experience With Body Image
“So Brooke, why should I listen to you about body image?”
Loving my body is not something that has come easily and it is still a work in progress.
I suffered from anorexia in High School which required many months of hospitalization and several more months in a treatment facility.
The most misunderstood thing about eating disorders is that they usually are not directly related to our appearance but rather how we feel about ourselves on the inside.
For example, no matter how much weight I lost, or how lean I became, I was never happy or satisfied with my body.
And this was because I was very unhappy with who I was on the inside.
After many years of therapy, I learned to take control of the negative thoughts in my head.
By replacing negative thinking with positive statements, I was able to see myself as a whole person, not just a physical body.
It wasn’t until I had my first baby in my mid 30’s that I started to truly love my body.
How could I hate a body that had blessed me with four beautiful children?
My focus gradually shifted from appearance to function and I slowly started to appreciate how strong and capable my body was.
But even now, there are still days when negative body image thoughts creep in and I have to work hard to push them out.
This is where affirmations come in.
What is Body Image?
Body image is how you perceive your physical appearance and the thoughts and feelings you have about it, both negative and positive.
It is influenced by both internal (character/personality) and external (social/environmental) factors.
There are four aspects of body image:
- Perceptual- The way you see yourself
- Affective- The way you feel about yourself
- Cognitive- The thoughts and beliefs you have about your body
- Behavioral- The things we do as it relates to how we look
This is important to know because all four of these aspects can influence each other.
For example, if you have a negative thought about your body, it can affect the way you see and feel about yourself, which then might lead to unhealthy behaviors such as crash dieting or excessive exercise.
Why is Body Image Important?
People who feel more positive and confident with their body image generally take better care of themselves, both physically and mentally.
When we love our bodies, we treat them better.
We choose to exercise because we want to, not because we think we have to.
And we choose a variety of healthy foods that make us feel good, not because we think they will make us look good.
When we take care of our bodies, they take care of us.
What Is Body Positivity?
The body positivity movement began from the recognition that harsh, negative messages about our bodies and appearance were physically, emotionally and psychologically harmful to our wellbeing.
Body positivity is the belief that all people should have respect, appreciation and acceptance of their bodies regardless of their size, shape, or weight.
The goal of this movement is to encourage people to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin, regardless of their size, shape or appearance.
However, body positivity is more than just accepting how your body looks.
It’s about learning to love and appreciate your body for everything it does for you and treating it with kindness and respect.
What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are a powerful tool that uses positive statements to overcome negative self-talk that can cause anxiety and low self-esteem.
Think of them as a tool to help strengthen your mind the way that physical exercise strengthens your body.
Affirmations can help to change the way we think and feel about ourselves by countering negative thoughts with positive ones.
They can be used to improve any area of our lives, including our body image.
How Do Affirmations Work?
Affirmations work through a process called “neuroplasticity“.
The brain creates neural pathways when we do or say things in specific ways, such as affirmations.
Think of this as your brain’s ability to change and adapt in response to your thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
The idea is that the more you repeat these positive affirmations, the more they will become ingrained in your subconscious mind, and eventually, you will start believing in yourself.
The more we replace negative thinking with positive thoughts, the easier it becomes for our brains to use that pathway to turn our thoughts into reality.
How Affirmations Can Improve Body Image
Have you ever noticed that when you feel good about yourself or your life, you tend to take better care of yourself? You might even be more social and outgoing?
However, if you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or unhappy, you might not take as good of care of yourself.
You might even become more critical of how you look.
This is because how we feel about our bodies is closely linked to how we feel about our lives.
Using affirmations to remove the focus on appearance and redirecting it towards health, we can move away from thoughts like, “I need to lose weight because I don’t like the way I look” to “I want to be healthier so that I can feel better and have more energy.”
A healthy relationship with your body starts in your mind.
It’s Not Just About Looks
It may seem like body image is a superficial or “vein” thing but it is actually very important for our mental and physical health.
How we feel about our bodies can have a big impact on how confident we feel, which in turn can affect every area of our lives from work and relationships to social activities and even our physical health.
Studies have shown that people with a positive body image are more likely to take care of their bodies and live healthier lifestyles.
Conversely, people with negative body image are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as crash dieting.
By using positive body image affirmations, we can stop the negative emotions that prevent us from caring for ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally.
Can Affirmations Help Me Lose Weight?
So where do we draw the line between learning to accept our bodies for what they are and at the same time, making an effort towards improving our eating habits and exercising to become healthier and stronger?
The answer is, it’s different for everyone.
Finding that balance will depend on your own individual health and goals.
If weight loss is something that will improve your health, then affirmations can be a powerful tool to help reach your goals.
It’s important to do what feels right for you and your body.
Research shows that feeling more positive and accepting of our appearance can improve mental health struggles and improve self-care practices including but not limited to, healthy diet and exercise habits.
However, when you focus on health rather than appearance, you will naturally start to make healthier choices for your body which for some, can help with weight loss.
How To Boost Body Love With Affirmations
There is no one-size-fits all approach to using body positive affirmations and it may take some time to figure out what works best for you.
I suggest writing your own affirmations or elaborating on affirmations that resonate with you to make them feel more personal.
Use these tips to get the most out of affirmations:
- Reflect on why you feel dissatisfied with your appearance.
- Acknowledge your own strengths, accomplishments, and qualities to help shift your focus from appearance to personal strength.
- Repeat affirmations to yourself on a daily basis. You can do this standing in front of the mirror or in a quiet place.
- Be consistent and make them part of your daily routine.
- Make a vision board of self love affirmations and use it as a reminder of the wonderful person you are.
- Ask yourself these questions and journal the answers.
- What does my body allow me to do? How would I feel if I was not healthy enough to do these things?
- What is something I love about my body?
- Does my appearance change anything in my life?
- What does a positive body image mean to me?
My Favorite Positive Body Affirmations
Use these body positivity affirmations as they are or change them to fit your needs.
1- My body is strong and capable of doing amazing things.
2- My body doesn’t deserve to be treated with anything less than love and respect.
3- My goal weight will be determined by my health and not a number on the scale.
4- I am worthy of love and respect, no matter what my dress size is.
5- I accept myself exactly as I am.
6- My relationship with my body is not defined by my clothes size or number on a scale but more importantly, who I am and what I have to offer the world.
7- My inner beauty matters more than my physical appearance.
8- I will not allow my clothing size to dictate how I feel about myself.
11- I am more than just a physical body; I am a unique and special person with so much to offer the world.
12- I will not let other people’s opinions influence how I feel about my body.
13- I choose to focus more on what my body can do rather than what it looks like.
14- My body deserves love because…(you fill in the blank)
15- My body deserves respect because…(you fill in the blank)
16- My goal is not to have a dream body but more importantly, to be healthy, happy and confident.
17- I accept myself for who I am and appreciate my unique qualities.
18- I will take care of my body because it is the only one I have.
19- Size and weight are just a number. I will use these numbers as a guide to help me make healthy choices for my body, not as a way to define my self-worth.
21- I love and appreciate my body for taking care of me every day.
22- I am thankful for my health and the ability to move my body in ways that bring me joy.
25- I am grateful for my physical strengths and the ability to care for myself and others.
26- I will not waste time obsessing over what my body looks like because I have so much more to offer the world.
27- I will not allow my perception of my physical appearance to hold me back from living my best life.
28- I am beautiful because of what I have to offer this world, not because of my appearance.
29- I choose health over skinny because I enjoy feeling good in my own skin.
30- It is okay for me to want to lose weight but I will do it with the intension of improving my health, not my appearance.
31- I love my_______________(body part) because it has done___________(for me)
32- I am a wonderful person and I love my body just the way it is.
33- People see me as a good person, not a number on a scale.
34- I will have a positive attitude towards my body today.
35- It is okay to be different and love my body just the way it is.
36- My sexiest body part is my brain and my favorite thing about my body is ________________.
37- I take care of my body because it is the only one I have and I deserve to feel good in my own skin.
39- Affirmations are helping me to improve my relationship with my body.
40- I will not let imposter syndromes dictate how I feel about my body.
41- I am comfortable in my own skin and love my physical appearance.
44- I will not give up on myself because I am worth the effort.
45- I accept compliments about my appearance but do not let them affect how I feel about myself.
46- I choose progress over perfection.
47- It is possible to love and respect my body and still want to make improvements both mentally and physically.
50- My very existence makes others happy and I bring more to life than just a physical body.
51- I respect my body by eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise because I want to be the best version of myself.
52- I will not punish my body for something it cannot control.
53- People will love me for who I am and not what I look like.
54- A healthy body image starts with a healthy mind and I will use affirmations to keep negative thoughts from taking over.
55- I will use positive morning affirmations to start my day with optimism and a clear head.
56- I will no longer make room in my life for insecurities, embarrassment or shame.
57- Affirmations are helping me to improve my relationship with my body and I am feeling better about myself each day.
58- I am grateful for what my,
59- I love my body because it allows me to do the things I love in life such as__________.
60- I am grateful for my body and all that it does for me.
61- Self love starts with respecting your body and taking care of it the best way you can.
62- My relationship with my body is one of self-love and respect.
63- I appreciate my imperfections because these are what make me unique.
64- I have all the power and control when it comes to how I feel about my body.
65- My well being is not determined by my physical appearance but more importantly, by my mental and emotional state.
66- I will not let my physical appearance hold me back from living my best life.
67- I will not allow my insecurities to hold me back from doing things that I love such as_________.
68- I am learning something new about myself every day and I am grateful for the progress I am making.
69- My confidence is not based on my physical appearance but more importantly, on my personality and what I have to offer others.
70- I am not striving for the perfect body but rather, a healthy and happy one.
71- Others’ opinions of my body will not affect my sense of self worth.
72- I am not striving for the perfect body but rather, a healthy and happy one.
73- My self worth is not determined by how others see me but more important
74- Body acceptance does not mean I have to love my body every day but it does mean I need to respect and appreciate it.
75- My body deserves unconditional love.
76- To me, being healthier means ______.
77- My body will do great things for me when I take care of it through nourishment and movement.
78- My body type is unique to me and I will not compare it to others.
79- The only thing that matters is that I am healthy and happy.
80- Depriving myself of foods I love is not helping me build a better relationship with my body.
81- Eating a variety of foods is fueling my body with love and nourishment
82- My body’s appearance has nothing to do with my core values and who I am as a human being.
83- The photos I see online are not realistic and I will not use them as a standard to compare myself
84- Loving my body is not selfish and taking care of it is showing it the love it deserves.
85- I am loved for reasons that have nothing to do with my appearance.
86– Everyone’s body is different and there is no “ideal” body type. We are all unique and beautiful in our own way.
87- I love my body just the way it is.
88- My success is determined by my health and how I feel, not an arbitrary number on a scale or clothing size.
Other Ways To Improve Body Image
Body positive affirmations are a great tool to strengthen you have with your body.
Here 6 ways to help improve how you see yourself:
- Focus more on what your body can do and not what it looks like
- Everyones body is capable of amazing things! Celebrate what your body has done for you and all your strengths and talents.
- Identify negative thoughts
- When you sit down and evaluate your thoughts or what may of caused negative thoughts, you can challenge them and make changes.
- Be honest with yourself
- Evaluate why you may be experiencing negative feelings about yourself. For example, do you really want to lose weight or are you trying to gain some kind of control over your life. Do you really not like the way you style your hair or is it because someone made a negative comment about it? Dig deep and get to the bottom of negative self talk.
- Practice focusing on the positive
- Dwelling on negative aspects is much easier than recognizing the positive. Here are few ways you can practice being positive:
- Journal about the things you like about yourself and your body.
- Practice daily affirmations that resonate with you
- Nourish your body by choosing foods and activities that will help you become healthier and stronger.
- Dwelling on negative aspects is much easier than recognizing the positive. Here are few ways you can practice being positive:
- Take a social media detox
- Social media is filled with unrealistic expectations in every aspect of life, including body image. Consider taking a break from look at other peoples lives or bodies so you can focus more on yours.
- Put in the work
- Putting in the effort to work on self love will give you more will build confidence and help you feel proud of your body.
Final Thoughts On Body Positive Affirmations
Learning to love your body in a world that is not always supportive of cultivating a healthy body can be a difficult journey.
And no one can tell you to love your body or how to love your body.
It has to come from within or else you will never be at peace with yourself.
These affirmations will help you on your path to self-love and acceptance.
And once you start to love and appreciate your body for everything it does for you, that love will radiate outward into every area of your life.
However, if you feel that your struggles with body image are deeper than you can overcome on your own, please reach out for help sooner than later.
The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start living a life of happiness, health and confidence.
FACT CHECKStruggles of a Fit Mom uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within it’s articles. Read my editorial process to learn more about how I fact-check and keep my content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Brooke is a certified Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Specialist with a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. She is also a mom of 3 girls with more than 15 years of experience in health and fitness. Brooke’s goal at Struggles of a Fit Mom is to help motivate, educate and inspire other busy mamas who struggle with finding time, energy and motivation to take care of themselves in the chaos of motherhood.