Love Your Body Week

This week, The Butterfly Foundation is promoting #LoveYourBodyWeek, where women around Australia are encouraged to take a moment to appreciate the things that they love about their body.

In the world that we live in (and especially the modelling world), we are constantly bombarded with ways to make ourselves more beautiful – whether that be through weight loss, fitness trends, clean eating, clothing, or make up. This, combined with society's ideals of beauty and the importance of being 'beautiful', means that us women tend to find it really uncomfortable to admit that we like what we look like. We spend SO MUCH TIME focusing on this pursuit of beauty that we rarely sit back, look at ourselves in the mirror, and appreciate how AMAZING our bodies really are. When you really start to think about it, our bodies are amazing for so many more reasons than just the way that they look.

For this year's Love Your Body Week, I would like to take a moment to share with you a few ways that you may be able to move towards body love and acceptance – despite any negativity that you currently may feel.

1. Stop defining your own self worth on the way you look in the mirror
Obviously this is much easier said than done. In a world where our appearance is constantly criticised and critiqued, it can be hard to separate the way we look with the way we feel. In the long term, it is important that you realise that the way you look is only such a small part of who you are as a person. To work towards this long term goal, when you start to feel any negativity about yourself arise, I would suggest you try listing out the things that make you happy and grateful (see my post on gratitude lists HERE).

If you are still struggling to move past your own negative self image, always remember as well that every single person in the world has a different idea of what is beautiful. Just because YOU don't think you're beautiful doesn't mean OTHER PEOPLE don't as well. Try to hold onto the people that build up your self worth.

2. Appreciate what your body does for you
Our bodies really are amazing things. Just take a moment to appreciate just how much your body does for you:

- Your body allows you to experience sensations such as TASTE, TOUCH, SMELL, SIGHT, and SOUND! Think about how much you do in your life that has absolutely nothing to do with what you look like. You can feel love, you can laugh, you can watch sunrises, you can taste chocolate, you can hear music.

- Your body allows you to challenge yourself and achieve your goals. Your mind is so powerful that when you focus your time and effort, you are able to make incredible changes in the world – again this is completely separate to how you look.

3. Nourish yourself with GOOD WHOLE food and lots of water
What you feed your body will often dictate how you feel. Eat well and drink lots of water. Spend time to visit a registered dietitian if you have specific goals for your body. Your food is your fuel so invest your time and energy in that and your body will thank you!

4. Dress in clothing that makes you feel confident and amazing
Although you should avoid focusing on how you look too much, a good way to improve the way you feel about your own body is to dress well. Find clothes that make you feel like the best version of yourself and wear them with confidence. If you dress well and look good, you'll FEEL good. Finding clothes that fit your body shape and highlight your assets is a great first step in feeling good about your body.

5. Surround yourself with inspiring women
As women, we often fall into the trap of pulling each other down instead of bringing each other up. This is because often when we don't like what we look like and who we are it's easier to bring others down to our level rather than try to rise up to theirs. When you are surrounded by negativity it is really hard to separate yourself and view yourself in a positive light. The best way to combat this is to remove the people from your life who damage your self worth and surround yourself with women who are positive, confident, and uplifting.

6. Avoid being sucked in by social media marketing
Social media is an incredible resource; however, it is also really dangerous when it comes to self love. Every day we are faced with images of people with nicer skin, smaller waists, fitter bodies, and longer hair. When you think about it, it's a miracle there is anyone left who DO like themselves! Detox your social media profiles (especially Instagram) from people who are making money from your insecurities. Fill it up with things that inspire you to love yourself and better yourself – not to hate yourself until you reach an unobtainable ideal of perfection.

7. Challenge your body and take up a sport that excites you
Research indicates that participation in a sport has a positive influence on self esteem. As such, if you are struggling with your self love, then it might be a good idea for you to take up a new sport that excites you. Think about it, sport is all about WHAT your body can do not what it LOOKS like. It's also important that you start a sport that you love (otherwise you probably won't stick with it). Think about a sport that you have always admired or wished you could do. Then, go out and do it! Your self love will thank you.

Find out how Country Girl Management can help you LOVE your body more here.

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