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    Body Positivity in Six Simple Steps
    I wanted to write a blog on body positivity as it seems the wellness world has become a battlefield. There is a lot of flaunting of six packs and ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’ straplines on social media which are coming from people who are promoting a message that isn’t always honest.  I wanted to write this post to keep things in check for you.
    Body positivity refers to an acceptance and love of all body types.  This mean no size, shape or skin you are in, is in any way ‘wrong’ and neither is your neighbors.  In 2018 we are starting to see a lot more body positive awareness and social media and magazines are beginning to feature and include more diverse body shapes and sizes.  This is a great step toward helping people to kick the unrealistic concept of achieving only one ideal body type, to the curb. We  still have a long way to go but at least we are moving in that direction.
    If you are struggling with body image today, I have six valuable steps to further embrace body positivity below.

    1. Stop comparing.
      Comparison is the thief of joy and when we learn to ‘accept’ that we are all different, it becomes a lot easier to focus on your own side of the street. Being unique is something to be celebrated. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and one woman’s pretty doesn’t take away from your own. When we learn to accept ourselves and start to allow ourselves to be happy with ourselves, just as we are, we can then start to find inner joy.  Focussing on your assets, the things you do like about yourself, the wins you have achieved, the goals you have accomplished, all of these things are a great start. Remind yourself that beauty comes in different shapes and sizes; body positivity is inclusive of everyone, and there is absolutely no wrong ‘body’ shape, size or look.
    2. Take a bloody compliment!!
      When I was learning about body positivity I had to learn how to gracefully accept a compliment. My first reaction was ‘you might think that but you must need glasses!’. Looking back I realise how unkind that was. Accepting compliments with grace is a challenge to start with but it is an important practice on your journey of body positivity.  Accepting compliments it’s a learning game and learning to do it differently takes time but practice is key. it’s okay to simply say thank you without providing a justification, an excuse or an explanation. It’s ok to learn to simply say ‘thank you’. Slowly with practice you will start to believe those compliments. You’ll realise its because you are awesome.
    3. Embrace your “flaws.”
      Being body positive is not just about weight. It’s about accepting all aspects of your body. Its about accepting you have a tummy (because you are a woman), its about accepting you have cellulite (because you are human), its about accepting every part of your body, exactly as you are. Body positivity means recognising that all bodies are worthy of acceptance and praise, and that all bodies are of equal value and worth and all bodies are beautiful in their own right. Its about embracing yourself just as you are.
    4. Have a fitness goal that has nothing to do with appearance.
      Being ‘fit’ has a bad wrap right now. All we see on social media is six packs, messages like ‘strong not skinny’ fitness freaks that are working out in the gym for 2 hours a day and not letting a drop of sugar past their lips, all the whilst, pretending to be ‘normal’. Fitness is a great way to feel strong and powerful, but if your focus is only on calories or weight loss, you’re more likely to resent it as an activity and ultimately stop doing it altogether. One of the best ways to transform body hate into body acceptance is to stop yourself from making any exercise you do, solely about your physical appearance. Start looking at exercise as helping you to be healthy, fit, supple and flexible. Start watching your body help you accomplish these incredible movements and see how your body, is always and has always, been on your side, ready and willing to love you back.
    5. Get in control of what you look at
      I am a big believer in being super careful about what I allow into my vision and my thoughts. What we expose ourselves to has a massive impact on how we feel about ourselves. If you feel social media is affecting you start to control what you look at more closely. Delete anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself, delete anyone who is showing you unrealistic body images and start to follow tons of social media accounts that feature body positivity and body diversity. Be really aware about about the magazines you read, the TV you watch the websites you browse. Get conscious and take control.
    6. Embrace
      Being body positive is not just about your size, shape or weight. It is about accepting all aspects of your body. It’s about embracing you, just as you are, naturally. Body positivity means recognizing that all bodies (yours included!) are worthy of acceptance and praise, and that all bodies are of equal value and beautiful in their own right. Embracing your body starts with acceptance and from there you can start to see how magical it is.