Self Love

A Self-Lover's Guide To Finding The Perfect Swimsuit For Your Body

bikini body

 

(Spoiler Alert: it’s way easier than rag mags make it seem.)

Step 1.

First, acknowledge this fact: Your bod is hot.

Regardless of shape, size, dimensions, numbers, pounds, scars, marks, or anything else, your body is the home to your soul and therefore it’s f*cking magical and mad hot.

Step 2.

Know that, because your bod is already perfect in all of its glory, anything you put on it — especially when it comes to swimsuits — is also going to look perfect (and mad hot).

I realize everything I’m saying probably directly contradicts your results of the “dressing for your body type” quiz you took in ninth grade, but can I just offer you this: instead of listening to master marketers of fast fashion, and “style experts” who know absolutely nothing about you, is it such a radical notion to suggest that you simply dress for yourself?

What makes you feel good? Wear it.

What outfit are you most comfortable in? Rock it.

What makes you feel confident? Repeat it.

Step 3.

Apply the above learning to your search for the perfect swimsuit.

Who knows? It might already be in your possession.

 The infamous bikini.

The infamous bikini.

Like, let me provide you with a case and point. I have this bathing suit that I’m absolutely obsessed with. I bought it when I was in London because I was really lonely one day and convinced myself that buying a bikini from Agent Provocateur would make me feel better (and it did, for like 5 minutes, but that’s not the point of this story).

Anyway, after the sales lady convinced me that I couldn’t live without said bikini, I proudly toted my new purch back to my flat where I unwrapped it with gentle care and tried it on again in front of the mirror. The sales lady had been right, I didn’t want to imagine a life without my new bikini.

However, despite my adoration over my new bathing suit, whenever I was given an opportunity to wear it — poolside, or at the beach — I chickened out. Out loud, I told myself I was saving it for a special occasion, but in my head, I was telling myself that I couldn’t actually pull it off in public; that I was too “volumptuous” for such a scandalous two-piece, that others would be offended by my body in my bathing suit.

Because my body didn’t look anything like the body of the women who modeled my new suit in the magazines or on the billboards, it sat in my drawer for an entire season, lonely as I was on the day I purchased it.

I would visit it from time to time — try it on and admire its lines, the way it hugged and flaunted my womanly curves. I would take mirror selfies in my bikini and imagine fantastical scenarios of myself sunning on some golden sand in a far away land where I could wear my two-piece in peace. I longed to slip it on and pull it off, the way all the girls on Instagram did. But I didn’t.

Instead of embracing my shape, I shamed myself. Told myself I’d only wear it when I lost 10 pounds. Promised myself the opportunity to rock it, as if it were a prize for when I got “in shape.” I told myself I needed to earn the right to wear it. 

And then one day, a year and then some after I found my perfect bikini, I pulled it out of its original pink tissue that I had carefully re-wrapped it in, and I put it on. And I went to the beach. And within 5 minutes of being out in the sun, a woman tapped me on the shoulder.

“Can I just say, that bathing suit is stunning and you look lovely in it,” she said.

“Thank you,” I responded. And then I laid back down, closed my eyes and smiled. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I'm not exactly sure what changed in that year, or where my confidence came from that day. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, maybe it’s because I care a lot less than I used to about what others think, maybe it’s because I have a boyfriend who loves my body the way it is (and no matter how much it weighs), OR maybe I'm just learning to love myself a little harder, but I learned a valuable lesson. I can wear anything I want to wear. (And so can you.)

SO. As far as I’m concerned, any bathing suit that you LOVE as much as I love my "London bikini," any bathing suit that makes you feel good, any bathing suit that you have absolutely any desire to wear at all...IS THE PERFECT SWIMSUIT FOR YOUR HOTTIE BODY. 

Trust me. 

(And even if there's nobody there to tap you on the shoulder and tell you how stunning you look, know that I'm virtually tapping you on the shoulder and telling you — you look stunning.)

 

 

THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON LITTLEFOOLBOOK.

The Subtle Alchemy Of Self-Love

In our totally *unbiased* opinions, self-love is the secret ingredient to actually enjoying your life (and your summer!), and high-vibe health.

It’s also kind of like alchemy.

The Alchemy Of Self-Love

It’s not linear or a straightforward point A to point B type of trajectory. It’s more like an ongoing, expansive, alchemy-esque process. It’s a journey that takes time, practice, and patience. It can be messy, and hard, and frustrating at times. (What kind of transformation isn’t?) And when you’re in it, it can feel nearly impossible, but when you’re on the other side, it feels a whole lot like magic.

 Pic via  instagram

Pic via instagram

Here’s how it works:

Self-love starts with doing ‘the work’ meaning, the uncomfortable inner work we usually run away from til you’re walking the self-love walk and talking the self-love talk. Then you begin to feel a shift. Like an actual, sometimes visceral, often physical shift. Your perspective expands, you begin to glow (from the inside out), your confidence skyrockets, and if you keep going, you may even begin to fancy the reflection you see in the mirror. YOU, yes the same you that once believed you had nothing important to say and your nose was three times too large for your face finally realize, that you and your words DO in fact matter, and you DO actually have important things to say, and while your nose may not be the smallest nose in the world, it’s the perfect nose for your face.

This of course is absolutely amazing and the goal of this self-love journey, but this is also where things can get tricky. Because if you’re anything like us, you suddenly want to tell everyone everything. And if you’re anything like us a few years ago, you might have a sliiiiight inadvertent tendency to lovingly push things onto people. Which, speaking from experience, never plays out well.

We know you want to tweet, insta, Facebook, snapchat, iMessage, email, and shout from the high heavens that THIS is what you’re doing and THIS is what your sister, bf, bff, __ [insert your person here], *should* be doing, too, but the thing with self-love (and almost everything else in life) is that you can’t force it onto others. They have to be ready and willing to make the changes themselves. It’s kind of a hard pill to swallow if you mechanically slip into the caregiver role, but everyone is on their own beautiful, unique journey and maybe they’ll hop on the self-love train, maybe they won’t. It’s not up to you to decide when or how they will, or if they ever do. That’s for them to choose. So even though it will be difficult (we know you mean well and want your loved ones to feels just as free, liberated, and powerful as you feel), save the sage advice, self-love mantras, and unsolicited inspirational pep talks until you’re asked about why you’re so glowy. You will be asked. (A side effect of loving yourself is irresistibility.) For now, the best thing you can do to help others get through their sh*t is to lead by example and to send love from afar. When you exude the high vibe positive energy you’ve gained from truly loving yourself, your whole self, the people around you can feel it and will pick up on that. Eventually, if they’re interested, and most importantly, ready, they’ll approach you about it or explore it on their own. You’re already making a big difference in the world simply by being YOU.

Thoughts? Things to say? Share with us below! This space is as much yours as it is ours, and we love to hear your words!


THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON URBAN ALCHEMY.

How to Actually Enjoy Your July Long Weekend Self-Love Style

Whether you’re Canadian (like me!) or American (like my boyfriend), you’ve got a beautiful long weekend coming up and if possible, you should plan to spend it doing exactly what you want.

You’re probably like, duh. But hear me out. 

I’ve long been the girl who goes with the flow. If my friends or family asked me what I felt like doing during the long weekend (or anytime at all, ever), in the past, I probably would have answered with something like, “Oh, I’m easy! Whatever you guys want to do is great.” Which is precisely how I’ve wound up, tired and alone in an Uber delivering me from one place I didn’t want to be, to another. And it’s also the reason that I got so drunk that one time (who am I kidding? — plenty of times) at that party where I didn’t know anybody because it was awkward AF, and why were we there again? Oh right, because “I’m easy!” And it’s definitely the reason I’ve woken up to angry texts from my BFF for making a Houdini exit at “the club” well before the night was deemed over. All because I conceded to other people’s plans, priorities and ideas of fun without actually consulting myself for an opinion. Being the “chill” girl, the “up for anything,” and the “I don’t mind” girl is exhausting.

While it’s one thing to be agreeable, it’s another thing altogether to sacrifice your own well-being for someone else’s idea of a “good time.” We live in a YESculture. It’s totally normal to want to be a people pleaser amongst your people. But sometimes constantly saying YES to your friends, your S.O., your family, your boss, your co-workers, means a default NO on your end — a NO to yourpriorities, your to-do lists, and your idea of a good time.

SO. It's time to prioritize your own agenda with these 4 ridiculously simple tips for actually enjoying your July Long Weekend.

1. Ask yourself, how do you honestly want to spend your time?

Chances are, there are a million things going on this long weekend. A beach bash and bonfire at your parent’s cabin. A BBQ at your BFF’s boyfriend’s brother’s house. Your grandma really wants to hit the yard sale scene (it’s always lit on long weekends). That band your bestie’s obsessed with is playing downtown and your BF’s graduating class is having a good ol’ fashioned house party.

You’ve got options, girl. But first, ask yourself — how do you honestly want to spend your time? What’s your idea of a GT? And is it aligned with anything else that’s going on? If YES, great. Hit up that BBQ and crash the house-party late night. But if it’s a NO, then maybe it’s time to stop being a YES woman for other people, and start being a YES woman for yourself. 

(BTW. It’s 100% okay for your BFF to want to spend her July Long booze cruising, and for you to want to spend it at a yoga retreat. Or vice versa. Just acknowledge the difference and make a plan.)

2. Plan accordingly.

Once you’ve given it some thought, start making the plans.

If all your friends are hitting up the free concert in town, but you’re dying for some 1-on-1 time with your BF at the beach, make it happen.

Let your friends know you’ll meet up with them later. Let your BF know what time to be ready, and to pack a bathing suit.

Done.

Believe it or not, while you’re friends will likely miss your presence, they won’t hold your priorities against you. (If they do, they’re not good friends.) And your BF, well, he’s been dying for 1-on-1 time, but didn’t want to seem needy.

OKAY. So. Maybe there’s no free concert in your town, or you don’t have a BF, but you get my point. Once you give yourself the permission to actually have your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions about what you want to do — listen to them. And then plan accordingly. You hold the power, babe. 

3. Recruit your squad.

Now that you know what you want to do, and how you want to spend your July Long Weekend, recruit your squad. Sure, your friends may already have other plans, but they might be YES women, too, so throw out your plan as an option and give them the opportunity to choose it, if they want.

Or, maybe you’re planning to finally spend some long overdue time with yourself. In which case, your squad is YOU. And that’s perfect.

Whatever you do, don’t peer pressure or bully anyone into your weekend schedule. Because then you’re right back where you started, except the one making the sacrifice is your BFF. And she doesn’t deserve that. 

4. Do you & enjoy.

Congratulations! You’ve just resisted the status quo, prioritized number one (that's you!), and learned a valuable lesson in self-care. All that’s left to do now is enjoy the weekend you’ve planned for yourself, knowing that you’re spending it exactly how you want to spend it.

While you’re busy doing you, try to remember and understand that other people’s priorities are not a reflection of you. And vice versa. We’re all just trying to have a good time, the best way we know how. Just because your bestie opted out of your plan, doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you.

PS. These tips are easily transferable beyond the long weekend and can totally be applied to your everyday life.


THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON LITTLEFOOLBOOK.

Self-Love 101: Have You Loved You, Lately?

No, seriously. Think about it. Have you loved you, lately?

Here’s the deal. I spent a lot of time thinking I knew all about self-love because I’d spoil myself with money I didn’t have on products I didn’t need from Sephora. I spent a lot of time thinking loving myself meant splurging on a pair of $200 jeans (even though they were two sizes too small for me, and I’d have to lose a bunch of weight and bone density to fit into them.) I spent a lot of time believing that self-love could be bought — ordered online from a swanky retailer in AUS, costing me a leg and an arm in shipping, but hey, that’s (self)love baby! It wasn’t. What it actually was is lingerie that sat in my drawer because I never felt like any occasion was the right occasion to wear it. (True self-love would have been wearing it anyway, just for me, because it made me feel good.)

From the outside looking in, things probably looked gravy, baby. Like, I was going on lots of dates, always wearing new clothes, my liquid eyeliner was always on point (even if it took me 37 minutes in front of a mirror just to paint two single lines), and I did whatever I wanted, on my own terms (like eating pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), because I was the boss of my own life.

Except, during that time, I was also binging and purging in private, picking at my nails til they bled, sleeping in because what was the point of getting up? And fat-shaming myself under the fluorescent light of my bathroom. Self-love? More like self-loathing.  

And while my intentions were good — I was trying to find happy and be happy — they were ill-directed. I was looking for (self)love in all the wrong places — in other people, in products, and in material items. I was looking for self-love in the bottom of a Slim Fast.

The truth is, I spent a lot of time thinking I was loving myself up, but not actually doing the work of loving myself IRL, at all.

So let me ask again. Have you loved you, lately? And I’m not talking about the faux, self-loathing kind of “self-love.” I’m talking about the un-judgemental, the forgiving, patient and optimistic self-love. The real self-love that can’t be bought online, in a store, or from another person.

Self Love 101: In order to feel the results, you must do the work.

What does that mean?

It means changing your mentality. 

Instead of thinking, “Gawd, I hate the way my arms look in this tank,” try, “my arms are perfect exactly as they are, this shirt just isn’t right for me."

It means silencing your inner mean girl.

Instead of listening to that voice in your head that says, “you can’t do that,” or “you’ll never be good enough,” listen to your inner optimist that tells you, “yes you f*&king can.” 

Spoiler Alert: You can literally do anything. And I don't mean that in a cliche, fluffy way. I mean it in the true sense of the sentiment. I would know. I wrote a book despite my bitchy inner mean girl. 

It means disregarding your insecurities, rewriting the story in your head and acknowledging all that you are — right here, and right now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Self-love is all about appreciating your own unique brand of beauty, recognizing your myriad gifts, and honoring yourself. This can be hard to do when you’re not sure where to start, or when you’re blinded by society’s definition of worthy.

So, start at square one. Put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and write down everything you love about yourself. Save the modesty.

Pro tip: be mindful of what you focus on. Self-love isn’t just about body image, or what’s on the outside. It’s also about taking notice of what’s on the inside, what your unique talents are, and the irreplaceable space you take up in this world.

Read your newly penned love list anytime you need a boost, and add to it often.

Need help? Phone a friend. Ask your BFF what she loves about you and use her answers as a jumping off point for realizing just how incredible you truly are. (I do this all the time with my brothers — mostly, I’m just fishing for compliments but calling it self-love.)


THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON LITTLEFOOLBOOK.

The Summer of Self-Love: Hot Tips For The Best Summer Ever

summer of self love

In theory, this whole “Self-Love” thing sounds like a simple concept. It sounds like giving yourself a hug, treating yourself to a mani/pedi combo at the mall, and maybe even a little somethin’ somethin’ from that boutique you pass by every day on your way home from work. What it usually doesn’t sound like is work. Except that’s where you’d be wrong. 

Self-Love means exactly what you think it means — loving yourself wholly, fully, truly, madly deeply. And then some. Self-Love means believing in yourself when nobody else does. It means recognizing your own unique brand of beauty (and knowing that someone else’s unique brand of beauty is certainly not the absence of your own). Self-Love means honoring your self-worth, learning to say “No,” and challenging the status quo. (Remember: we currently live in a society that profits off our insecurities.) Self-Love is an infinite journey, and it ain’t always an easy one.

Especially in the summer time.

With all the bikini pics on Instagram, the juice cleanses, and the incessant heat that can drive a girl to madness (or ice cream), it can be hard NOT to get caught up in the comparison game, or talked into the latest liquid diet because you feel like you take up too much space in your bikini, or to feel guilty about the double scoop of rocky road you devoured in the hot summer sun. (Spoiler Alert: one should never feel guilty about ice cream.)

SO. Want to never feel guilty about an ice cream cone again? Thought so. Join me for The Summer of Self-Love. Every week, this summer I’ll be spilling my tips, secrets, rituals, practices, and pointers to love yourself hardcore all summa long.

Here’s What You Can Expect:

  • Self-Love 101: Have You Loved You Lately?
  • What NOT to do at the beach
  • 24 Ways To Practice Self-Care This Summer
  • How to ACTUALLY enjoy your July Long Weekend
  • Summer Essentials: How to Prioritize What Matters Most  
  • The Miracle of a Mantra
  • 10 Things to Do Instead of Comparing Yourself to Someone Else
  • A Guide to Follow the Light

 ...And so much more! This #summerofselflove series is packed with love and light and probably more than a few LOL’s.

 

 

This post originally appeared on littlefoolbook.

6 Self-Love Mantras To Boost Your Confidence

Chronic stress is a common theme among well, humans. Especially the mid-twenty-something, creative yet trying to get your sh*t together, almost broke, anxiety-prone, 6 planets in Capricorn (someone please tell me wtf this means…) type like me and my literista BFF, who (I assume) doesn’t have 6 planets in Capricorn but just went to her primary care doctor suspecting a life-threatening iodine deficiency and was prescribed, and I quote, to “chill the f*&k out”.

And then there’s my boyfriend.

The steady, levelheaded, super-chill, alien type that I strive to be more like, and for a minute back in January thought I WAS after successfully stringing together 40ish consecutive days of ‘chill’ during a project launch which in the past has been known to make me um...not-so-chill.

Maybe this had something to do with it?

Anyway, life happened, as it often does, and I am back, non-chill as ever* so I’m taking my own advice, being proactive, and doing all the Spirited Nutrition things to get back there.

Eating nutrient dense, health promoting whole foods is one of them.

Regular acupuncture is another. 

More recently, to shift my mood fast, self-affirming mantras have been a godsend.

mantra.PNG

From the slightly esoteric to the real-time talk we use on the reg, here are our top 6 confidence mantras when you need an immediate, easy, healthy way to chill

Choose what resonates or create your own. The only requirement when it comes to mantras is that you use one that speaks to you and where you’re at.

Repeat it 3 times, 5 times, 200,000 times, or until you start to feel better.

Pro-tip: We find that pairing mantras with movement intensifies their power. We highly suggest the walk and talk, recite and workout, Intensati approach.

Repeat After Me: 6 Self-love Mantras To Shift Your Mood And Boost Your Confidence

1. They don't need your fear, they have their own.

This 9 syllable sentence gets us through speaking gigs, presentations, interviews, networking events, teaching workshops and all other instances that require talking (or performing) in front of a group of people. Use anytime you need a quick confidence boost. Proven to work even when you’re 30 seconds away from throwing up.

2. Great things never came from comfort zones.

The perfect string of words to play on loop when sh*t has hit the proverbial fan, when what you didn’t want to happen, happened, or life is exquisitely uncomfortable.

3. I can do hard things. 

Need we remind you of that time you accomplished that thing that almost made your brain explode? Yup, “I can do hard things” rings true for all, including you. Use whenever you’re having a day, on the verge of giving up, or life throws you a major curveball.

4. No one's ever been you before.

This one, which originated after spending 7+ hours with a former megachurch pastor, is especially helpful when you hit that point in your twenties and begin to question umm, virtually everything. It gives you *permission* to mess up, often – something we could all use a little more of.

5. Peace begins with me. 

From the OG spirit junkie herself, Gabby Bernstein, this nugget of tried and true new age wisdom serves as a lovely reminder that the ball is always in your court, and even though we can’t choose our experiences, we can choose how we react to them.

6. My bones are made of stardust. 

This or something like it plays on repeat whenever we catch our inner critic implying otherwise.

Love this list? We’d love for you to share it AND we’d love to hear from you! Share your current favorite confidence mantra in the comment section below. This space is as much ours as it is yours.

 

 

THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON URBAN ALCHEMY.

15 Ways To Love Your Body RIGHT NOW

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the midst of a self-love awakening. Or, at least I am. I’m not sure if it’s something that happens once you’re over the hump of your mid-20s — like a rite of passage sort of thing — or if it’s much less profound than that. But at some point, we all just get sick of obsessing over our flaws and decide to try a crazy little thing called self-love instead.

Regardless of catalyst, I’m 26 now, and I’ve reached that point. For a decade and then some, my body weight fluctuated, and so did my self-esteem. I spent entire summers at the beach wearing cover-ups instead of my usual bikinis because my usual bikinis didn’t fit. (In retrospect, I should have just invested in a bathing suit that did fit).

I insisted on only being photographed from one angle (hand on hip, one leg bent, body turned slightly to the side) because I was convinced that with certain positioning, I could trick the lens into thinking I was Kate Moss skinny. (I’ve never been Kate Moss skinny.) I dyed my mousy hair platinum blonde and wore dramatic makeup with dark eyes, thinking I could disguise my self-perceived flaws in a Barbie-like façade of pink lips and black eyeliner.

I spent so long hating my body that it never occurred to me what might happen if I started loving it. Spoiler alert: It did amazing things. Not only have I managed to lose a little weight, but I’ve come to appreciate my body for the temple it is, and the incredible things it’s capable of.

Most importantly, I’m learning to accept and love my reflection in the mirror (flaws and all). 

love your body

15 Ways to Love Your Body, RN, From Someone Currently Learning to Love Hers:

1. Listen to your body.

I’m no scientist, but I do know our bodies are incredibly intuitive. Your body knows when you need to eat, sleep, take it easy or have the energy to go harder. Simply listening to it can go a long way in helping you achieve your health goals.

2. Nourish your body.

I recently learned that my body is not a garbage disposal, and continuously feeding it pizza is like putting low-grade fuel into your Bugatti. You wouldn’t put low-grade fuel into your Bugatti, right? Your body is a Bugatti.

3. Positive self-talk.

If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, a family member or your puppy, then don’t say it to yourself.

4. Say “no” to images of beauty from magazines.

If you must read them (even I can admit, the latest Vogue can be somewhat of a guilty pleasure), admire the handbags, but don’t be fooled by the Photoshop, the editing, and the false advertising. Take satisfaction in knowing that you are every bit as beautiful as the woman on the cover simply because you are you, and beauty standards are a figment of our imagination.

5. Use a body scrub.

I would start out with my personal favorite, Frank. He will make you feel like a goddess.

6. Sweat often.

As Elle Woods once said, “Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” Also, it’s good for your body, your health and your spirit.

7. Dance (naked) in front of a mirror.

Admire your many curves and angles and all the compositions of your skin and muscles and bones. Appreciate your body’s movement.

8. Buy clothes that fit.

It’s truly amazing what a well-fitting pair of jeans can do for your self-esteem. Stop trying to squeeze into the smallest size because of a beauty industry that praises a size 2. Beauty is not a size.

9. Relax.

Allow yourself the luxury of rest. You and your body deserve it. Set out time for yourself each week to be lazy, read a book, watch a movie or simply spend an afternoon in bed. Do it all guilt-free.

10. Drink green smoothies.

Once you get past the color and the texture, you might find you actually enjoy them and even come to crave them. A handful of spinach, kale and some fresh mango can do your body wonders.

11. Soak.

One of my favorite ways to reward my body for all of its hard work is to take an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts have been known to flush toxins from your body, relax muscles, aid in muscle recovery, relieve stress, improve your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and so on. Pour a cup or two of Epsom salts into a tub of hot water and relax while the salts go to work.

12. Flaunt it.

No matter where you are on your journey to loving your body, be proud of the body you have. It’s the only one you have, and it deserves to dance, run, bask in the sun, stand tall, walk, skip, jump and twirl. Enjoy what you have now while working toward whatever health goals you’ve set out for yourself.

13. Sleep.

Sleep deprivation builds up over time and can have major negative effects on your mental, physical and emotional health. Our bodies need sleep to rest and repair from the day’s activity, and it’s important to make sleep a priority. If you can’t get seven to eight hours a night, try taking a few catnaps throughout the day (just don’t let your boss catch you).

14. Treat yourself.

Life’s too short to not eat the cake or to not buy the jeans that make your ass look better than the cake. Every once and a while, reward yourself and your body for its utter brilliance.

15. Love it.

Write down a list of all the things you love about your body. Read it and add to it often. 

I’m not so naïve as to believe that there won’t be days in my future where the number on the scale will disappoint me. I also don’t think that from here on out, I will live in a blissful bubble not influenced by mass media, the latest diet trends or the lure of Botox, lip-fillers and wrinkle eliminators. But, I’m making peace with my own unique brand of beauty, and you should, too.

 

 

This post originally appeared on littlefoolbook.

Is This One Bad Habit Killing Your Confidence?

No matter what we look like, we hardly ever see our own beauty and perfection in the moment. Instead, we compare ourselves to carefully curated and usually photoshopped media images, caked up celebrities, professionally styled Instagram photos, and convince ourselves that we are somehow inferior. Or; we compare ourselves to our former selves, which is tragically, just as destructive. Today’s body-talk deals with the latter: Why comparing yourself to your former self is neither beneficial nor productive, and more importantly, how to stop yourself from doing it.

you are beautiful.JPG

The Heartbreaking Realism Of Comparing Yourself To Your Former Self

When it comes to body image, we often base how we see our current selves by recounting what we looked like in the past or envisioning what we want to look like in the future. We’re all for self-improvement but there’s a fine line between comparison as a tool for healthy motivation and comparison as an impeding form of self-torment. Comparing yourself to your former self can be beneficial if and when it fosters the cultivation of positive change and progression. However, we often use comparison solely as a means to highlight our current self-perceived flaws and call attention to the many reasons we don’t measure up to our former selves. (Which is severely destructive to our self-worth.)

It’s a vicious cycle. We look at pictures of our “younger”, “skinnier”, “better”, more “perfect” selves, then compare, judge, and criticize what we currently look like, often totally discounting how we actually felt during those times in our lives. (Which, if you’re anything like us, was probably very different than what you actually wanted in the moment).

Here’s the thing: Who you are right now is not a lesser version of who you once were.

Holding onto an image of your former self to guide how you feel about your current body is completely senseless. You’re not the same person as who you once were. You’re not who you were last year, or last week, or yesterday, or even five minutes ago. Therefore, comparing yourself to your former self is actually like comparing apples to oranges or comparing yourself to someone else, which we all know is absolutely disastrous.

Starting today, try to catch when you’re falling down the rabbit hole of self judgement and comparison. Instead of being so hard on yourself, shift your focus to the present moment and begin to work on acknowledging, accepting and embracing who you are right now because who you are right now is exactly who you need to be.

If you need help getting started, join us and thousands of women from across the world for Love Bomb Bootcamp, 30 straight days of radical self-love alchemy (because you deserve it).

 

 

THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON URBAN ALCHEMY.

A 7-Step (And Then Some) Guide to Self Love

Every new year always feels like the right time for new beginnings, fresh starts, re-commitments, and renewing memberships. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I see it at my yoga studio — packed for January, then slowly dwindling back to it’s normal attendance. I see it on Instagram — picture posts of a colorfully staged juice cleanse, or the Clarendon filter over that neon sign from the trendy new barre studio that’s just opened up. And I get it. I do. I’ve re-upped my memberships, committed to brand new extracurriculars (book club, anyone?) and vowed to devote myself to more, more, more.

But what about the things I haven’t quite finished from last years “goal-setting” sesh? What about the book I still have yet to finish? What about last year’s journey — the destination of which I still have (definitely) not arrived at yet?

Here’s what I’ve recently learned: Some journeys take longer than others; some journeys are infinite, and some journeys don’t have endings — there simply is no finish line. So even though a year has passed, and even though you thought you would be “there” by now, it’s 100% okay to still be finding your way.

I was supposed to have finished writing my book by now. (98,000 words later, I’m still working on it.)

I was supposed to be five pounds lighter. (I might be, though today I just don’t feel it.)

And no longer craving wine on weekdays. (I don’t know what version of me envisioned that.)

And have my pizza addiction in check. (It’s been 2 days, 4 hours and 37 seconds since my last slice.)

I was supposed to be head over heels in love with myself by now. (Everything always comes back to love.)

Self-love is the foundation for it all. When I’m doing a good job of it — taking care of myself, being gentle with myself, loving myself — My writing is in flow, I don’t care what the number on the scale says, and pizza loses its efficacy over me.

It sounds so easy. Self-Love. But if the last three years have taught me anything, it’s that self-love is one of those goals where there simply is no finish line. Self-love is an infinite journey.

1. Self-Care is Always (Always) The First Step.

There simply is no self-love without self-care.

We’re so conditioned to give love to those around us that we often forget to take care of ourselves.

Avoid the inevitable burnout by taking care of number one — that’s you. What do you need to do to feel the way you want to feel, every single day?

This can seem like a daunting question at first. But knowing the answers allows you to plan for love.

2. Set (or adjust) your priorities.

Refer to Step 1. How do you want to feel every single day? What do you need to do to feel that way?

Adjust your priorities accordingly.

3. Change your mentality.

Whenever I’m feeling down and out, my boyfriend forces me to tell him “whats up.”

“I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“I’m broke.”

“My eyelashes aren’t long enough.”

Are some of my common complaints. To which he usually responds with:

“You’re writing a book. You’ve never written a book before. Of course, you don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re doing a damn good job of figuring it out as you go.”

And:

“You’re not broke. You are your own boss, running your own business and you have a roof over your head (Thanks, Hayl!) and food in the fridge, and pretty stylish clothes to wear for someone who claims to be broke.”

And:

“Your eyelashes are exactly long enough for exactly your eyes, but if you really want them to be longer, lucky for you, you have a BFF who can make all your dreams come true.”

The point is when you put your complaint down, flip it and reverse it (Yes, that was fully a GIRLS via Missy Elliot reference), you can actively change your mentality from negative to positive.

You don’t even need an S.O. to do it for you. (Though it can help hearing it from someone else’s perspective — go ahead, lay it on your bestie.)

4. Remember that comparison is the thief of all joy

And joy is like, a super crucial ingredient in the self-love recipe book.

Quit comparing yourself to strangers on the internet.

Quit comparing your accomplishments to your BFF’s.

Quit comparing your downward dog to the chick on the yoga mat next to yours.

Quit comparing your journey to anyone else’s in the entire world. Your journey is just that — yours. It’s time to take joy in it.

5. Be gentle with yourself

Always, always, always be gentle with yourself. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to catch your inner mean girl talking shit about you. You’re totally going to cave and order the pizza on a non “cheat” day. You’re going to forget to put yourself first.

It’s all okay. Allow me to remind you: this whole self-love thing, it’s an infinite journey and detours are 100% bound to happen. Be gentle with yourself when they do.

6. Know your worth.

I struggle with this one more than I care to admit.

I attach my worth to inanimate objects. I attach my worth to my creative output. I attach my worth to my resume and professional accomplishments. I attach my worth to the size of my jeans and the number of “likes” I get on an Instagram photo. I attach my worth to things that have nothing to do with my worth.

Like I said, I’m working on it.

But here’s the truth: My self-worth cannot be negotiated. My self-worth is not dependent on any variables or factors. My self-worth comes solely from within me.

Knowing your worth can save your life.

7. Invest in yourself.

Because, back to that thing I was saying about some journey’s being infinite. Self-love is one of those journeys.

If...

You're ready to be the main source of love in your life.

You're sick and tired of questioning your own self-worth.

You want to be the happiest person you know.

You're exhausted from constantly putting other people (and their priorities) ahead of your own.

You're seeking self-love and self-acceptance.

You're ready to say "no" to guilt.

You're craving comfort in your own skin.

Then, you might want to click the button below. Like, immediately. 

 

 

This post originally appeared on littlefoolbook.

Love Notes, From Our Hearts To Yours, Welcome To Our Blog!

Hey, gorgeous!

Your regular Tuesday/Thursday reading list just got so much better. Introducing Love Notes, From Our Hearts To Yours. Our brand new, twice-a-week, self-love centered blog series.

Join us each week for honest advice, heartfelt insights, and real words from real women, just like you.

Expect sexy and spirited self-love soul stuff, body-talk, exclusive interviews, radical self-care, and a handful of other random writes including a dissertation on how to find good jeans (oh yes)… you know ALL the things growing up girl. We’ll try our best to make you laugh along the way, but be warned babe, the journey to loving yourself is not always smooth.

Got something you want us to talk about? Please weigh in in the comments! After all, this space is for you

Same time Thursday?

Perfect.

Good things coming really (really) soon.