Starting a body positive journey is both exciting and a little scary. Most of us start on our own with reading material like blogs and Instagram accounts, often struggling alone with learning new ways to think and unlearning major thought processes that have long been instilled in us. At some point, you need to be able to bring these new tools into practice and use them to assist you in building a body positive home. Making your home environment a body positive safe haven is easier than you think. And it can help you thrive as you learn more about loving yourself and others, all while teaching those around you to do the same.
Bringing your partner, children, friends and family members into the fold can be intimating, but ultimately rewarding as it helps you put into practice all you've been learning. Creating a safe space for everyone to flourish and sharing the load with others close to you will make the task even easier.
I've put together some tips on how to start building a body positive home for yourself and maybe even a little help in how you reply to a little one that just said you have a "big fat bum".
1. Ditch The Scale
This one can be a hard one for many, but ditching the scale is a huge move in accepting yourself as you are. Your worth is not tied to your weight. It's a number that cannot contain how good a person you are, how much you are loved or how your smile can brighten an others day. You'll be surprised by how much happier you are once you are free of it.
2. Ban Body Snark
Old habits die hard and being catty is one habit that took me a while to tame. But banning negative talk about other people and celebrities, especially their bodies, and how they choose to dress their bodies is imperative.
3. Leave Yourself Love Notes
If you find you beat yourself up when looking at yourself in the mirror, try leaving yourself notes about how wonderful you are. Little reminders of how strong you are, how smart and capable you are and how beautiful you are can help when you may be focusing on your flaws too much.
4. Focus On Inside Qualities
When it comes to criticizing or complimenting people avoid commenting on their bodies, and physical attributes or if they have gained or lost weight. You should focus on complimenting a persons personality over their appearance.
Avoid the use of negative words and talking about physical attributes instead focus on adding positive terms in their place. When talking about people or even complimenting, try to focus on qualities that radiate from inside. This is a great exercise for kids, get them to think up nice things to say about people that don't include how they look. Examples could be someone is funny or another person is very smart. Get them thinking about their inside qualities instead of what we see on the outside.
5. Ditch Food Shame
Food can be a polarizing topic in some households, but granting some compassion to each other and their habits can help heaps in feeling more comfortable in your new body positive home. I learned to never say "yuck" to another persons "yum" from Corissa Arlene of fatgirlflow, a body positive blogger. Instead of shaming someone for enjoying something that is not to your taste, let them enjoy it and make sure they return the favour!
6. No More Talking Negatively About Yourself
Your little one is a sponge, they hear and see everything and if they hear you saying something about yourself in a negative light they will think you mean it.
7. Postive Reinforcement
Kids can be blunt. They will say what literally crosses their minds without a second thought to whether is was mean or not. This can give a great opportunity to change their minds on an idea or a word.
My friend shared a story with me about her and her step daughter, her little one had been obsessed with bums as of late and had made the comment "you have a big fat bum" to her. My friend took the opportunity to use this as a chance to have some fun and let her step daughter know a "big fat bum" can be a great thing, especially to dance around and shake. They spent the better part of the next hour shaking their bums as Dad watched on while laughing. It created a fun family memory that will be a long lasting one.