6 ways to have a positive body image

Whether you’ve been uttering those three little magic words to your loved ones or not, it’s time you started saying “I love me” more often. Here’s how you can achieve a positive body image.

Love yourself, warts and all: And do so for real. We all have flaws. Flawed habits. Flawed attitudes. Flawed bodies. It’s time to accept all of that, especially the “flawed bodies” bit. We’ve all got (at least) one facial feature and/or body part we’d give a hand and a foot to change. But remember, every skinny woman wishing she was more curvaceous and every gal with bouncy wavy hair yearning for poker straight mane has got a counterpart aspiring to be the exact opposite. Moral of the story: Love your body, unconditionally.

Lose the airbrushed role models: It’s okay to be on a diet. But it’s absolutely not okay to starve yourself or go the anorexic-bulimic way. If you’re the kind that (somewhere deep down) idolises TV and magazine celebrities, remember that they literally torture themselves into acquiring mannequin-like bods. Not to forget computer software that magically makes their bodies super toned, their skin glow worm-like radiant and their hair unbelievably glossy. And yes, they’re pretty unrecognisable in real life without all that war paint that could well make them ambassadors for every (hi-profile) makeup brand ever invented.

Shop according to “you”: Just because the latest trend looked super hot on X celeb, Y colleague or Z gal gal, it doesn’t mean that you’ll look like a million bucks sporting it too. Dress according to your personality. Pick fabrics, silhouettes, cuts, prints and colours that’ll suit you. There’s no point tormenting yourself to stand tall in high-as-hell stilettoes or squeezing your beautiful curves into impossibly tight skinny jeans. If you aren’t comfortable in your second skin (your clothes), it simply shows. Just as it does when you aren’t comfortable in your own skin. And yes, if you habitually buy a size too small hoping to fit into it someday (“soon enough”, as you promise yourself), please STOP!

Don’t forget to exercise: The point of exercise isn’t always weight/fat-loss related. It not just about fitting into that LBD before New Year's Eve, or a stunningly skimpy traditional outfit during the wedding season. Exercise, ideally, should be about (re)connecting with yourself; that’s why you need to pick a form according to your personality (yoga, dance, weights, running, swimming, and/or the good ol’ gym). Instead of getting stressed out about having to exercise, your workout must be your stressbuster. Make it part of your daily routine, and you’ll soon revel in its positive effects on your body and mind.

Don’t forget to indulge: A little bar of chocolate or a tiny bag of chips isn’t going to kill you. Indulge your sweet/salty tooth every once in a while. Depriving yourself of your favourite foods is akin to depriving yourself of your favourite hobbies — be it reading, travelling, painting, watching TV or having sex. Treat yourself every now and then so that you don’t go overboard one day in a fricking fit of frustration.

Have sex with the lights on: If fumbling furtively in the dark for reach other’s privates and going what-bam-no-thank-you-ma’am is your idea of intercourse, please give yourself a break and allow yourself to discover real sex. Leave the lights on; dim them or light some aromatic candles if your inhibitions threaten to get the better of you. Strip (each other) down to your bare essentials and then to your birthday suit and enjoy your bodies. Go painfully slowly deliberately, when you’ve got the time for more than a quickie, that is. Touch each other, and touch yourself too. It’s guaranteed to sexcite your partner all the more.

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