A plus-size woman in a white sports bra with a tape measure

In this age of Insta-perfection, it’s not easy to maintain a positive body image. Being constantly fed with photographs of perfect bodies and poreless beauties takes its toll. Then, with the accessibility of filters and good old Photoshop, we can achieve the same level of perfection, only to feel less confident about our real, unedited bodies each time. How can we improve our self-esteem and achieve a healthy body image? Here are some ideas you can consider for yourself.

Stop Pining for Your Old Self

Looking back at old photos of yourself is nice, but do it too often, or you might end up noticing how different you look now. Maybe you have wider hips or look more muscular in general. Learning to look at these old photos and say, “I looked good then, I still look good now,” will help you embrace your new body and beauty.

Wear Clothes that Fit and Flatter

Find the right fit for you!

Ever kept a pair of jeans that don’t fit you, hoping that one day it will? For some people, this can be a powerful motivation. For others, it’s just a sad reminder of what may be an unrealistic goal and the failure to achieve it. Be kind to yourself and choose which path is best for you. If you can’t bear to part with your Just-In-Case Jeans, wear clothes that fit and flatter you in the meantime and know that you can feel and look good as you are now.

Focus on What Your Body Can Do

Focusing on what your body looks like and nitpicking over what you may perceive as flaws can sometimes make us forget the amazing things that our bodies can do.

A study on “The Relationship of Body Image and Exercise Type” conducted at the Tennesse State University points out that sometimes a negative body image can get in the way of exercise because then we exercise only to achieve certain beauty standards. According to the study, the problem arises when one gets their self-worth with appearance. When you focus on building strength, endurance, or flexibility, you are working towards measurable and realistic goals that will keep you motivated. Rock-hard abs are just a bonus. 

Pamper Your Body and Mind

Keep calm and take a bath.

Harvard Health mentions in their studies that self-care nourishes both the body and mind, promoting physical and mental health. Self-care habits are simple but highly beneficial, such as eating well and staying away from processed foods, engaging in activities that calm the mind like painting or knitting, getting a good amount of sleep, and pampering oneself.

To get a good night’s sleep, have a calming bath with Dove Bar Relaxing Lavender Wash, which washes bacteria while nourishing skin with ¼ moisturizing cream. After a bath, moisturize with Vaseline Intensive Care Deep Restore Body Lotion, which repairs skin from deep within and makes it noticeably healthier.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

As Theodore Roosevelt said, the comparison is the thief of joy. Putting yourself against others robs you of happiness by keeping you focused on what you don’t and can’t have. Instead of endlessly scrolling through social media and looking at perfectly airbrushed bodies, look at yourself in the mirror and think about three things you’re grateful for the day. This exercise will help you appreciate everything you have now — including your body and health. Plus, the list can help lift your self-esteem when you’re feeling down.

Embrace your beauty and improve your body image by practicing the methods above. You’ll not only be physically healthier; you’ll also be more mentally prepared to push back when insecurities strike.