Throughout my years of weight loss and weight gain, body loving and body hating, I've discovered a few important keys to being truly and honestly comfortable in my skin. When I find myself beginning to have negative thoughts about my body, I ask myself these questions:
Am I eating the right food?
Now, this doesn't mean restricting all sweets and treats and it doesn't mean going on a crazy, absurd diet. It's means that of all the calories I eat in a day, are the majority of them full of vitamins and nutrients? A treat is definitely okay every now and then, but when you eat healthy your body feels so much better and it's easier to love it.
Am I exercising daily?
"Exercise" is a tough word for some people to swallow, but it doesn't have to mean going for a jog or lifting weights. Getting your body to move and grow stronger should be the main goal of every workout. Don't like running? Try a Zumba class. Not the biggest fan of cycling? Yoga can make you sweat just as much. Just get up and get moving! Exercise helps you to realize and appreciate all the amazing things your body can do.
Am I getting enough sleep?
I am a busy, on-the-go, can't-say-no, nonstop, college student with a husband and a lot of bills. My days are packed from the second my alarm goes off to the moment my head hits the pillow. But my body and my mind need the irreplaceable rest that comes from a good night's sleep. When I neglect the sleep that I need, I'm tired and sluggish. I get frustrated with my body for not being able to do more for me, but in order to get the most out of my body it needs to rest. It's easy to love my body when I feel awake and refreshed.
Am I dressing for my body type?
Try as I may I will never be a size zero (and there's nothing wrong that! There is also nothing wrong with those of you who are a size zero). That being said, I need to find clothing cuts and styles and fabrics that best fit my body. There is a difference between cute clothes and flattering clothes. Lots of trends are cute, but they don't flatter my body type. Sticking to clothes that flatter your body type, whatever it may be, will help you feel more comfortable in your own skin.
In the end, when I am taking care of my body, I love and appreciate it more (even if I didn't reach my ideal weight or if I'm not as strong as I'd like to be). There is so much my body can do and I'm so thankful for the one I was blessed with. Taking care of my body helps me feel my best and let's me be the best I can be.