"If anybody even tries to whisper the word 'diet,' I'm like, 'You can go f*ck yourself.'" -- Jennifer Lawrence
October is like the pre-season to the holidays. Once Halloween is over, holiday season is in full effect.
Usually around this time of year, I'm dreading the upcoming holiday season.
Why, you ask? The holidays equal mass amounts of dinner parties, office parties and celebrations.
What also comes with these events is mass quantities of food.
I have struggled for a long time with my love of anything edible and the love I have for what I see in the mirror.
In the last few years, I have found I have gained 30 pounds. I lost a substantial amount of self-confidence because of it.
However, this year is very different for me. I actually can’t wait to indulge over the holidays.
Why the change of heart?
Simple. I learned to love the person I saw every day in the mirror by taking some steps to make sure I continued to love her without having to give up the other things I loved as well.
As a result, the pounds are slowly falling off, and I’m also a lot happier because I don’t have to give up cheese or wine. (You know, the necessities.)
The journey toward this new way of thinking has been no easy feat. Changing how you view yourself takes a lot of will power and commitment.
In a world where body image is constantly being discussed and beauty is often defined for us in the magazines and social media, it can be terribly difficult to convince yourself you are beautiful as well.
One day, big butts are in. The next day, they’re frowned upon.
Who can really keep up?
The key, is you don’t have to.
You also don’t have to give up on indulging in the things you love in order to grow your self-love.
1. Look in the mirror every day and give yourself a compliment.
The best time to do this is in the morning, before you start your day. Take a moment and look at every inch of your body and marvel at it.
Do you usually frown at the size of your thighs? Or maybe it’s the stretch marks from your last pregnancy?
Whatever you think your problem area is, tell yourself something positive about it and smile while you say it.
For me, there were a few areas.
But each day, I focused on one. By starting your day off with positive self-affirmation, you continue to bring this positive energy with you throughout the day.
2. Don’t use the word "diet."
The word "diet" alone can make us feel depressed. It also implies we are putting restrictions on ourselves, and restrictions can make us crazy.
So, just take this word out of your vocabulary completely.
No, really. It’s the devil, so just stop.
If you want to switch up your eating habits, don’t call it a diet.
Call it a lifestyle change.
Lifestyle change not only sounds more positive, it implies more permanence as well.
3. Find a balance.
If you are unhappy with how you look or weigh and want to change, don’t do anything drastic.
It’s good to take action, but going from zero to 100 (in my Drake voice) will just lead you to quit once your first craving for an extra cheese pizza seems too unbearable to deny.
The key is balance and finding what makes you comfortable. Not a balance the newest issue of Cosmo suggests, but a balance that works for your lifestyle and needs.
Only you can know what exactly that looks like.
So, if you don’t work out at all, don’t jump into trying to work out five days a week. Figure out what type of schedule you can realistically -- right now -- commit to.
It might only be two days, and that’s okay.
Figuring out what changes you want to make and how to make them work for your lifestyle will give you a sense of control over your mind and body that will make you feel sexy as hell.
Plus, if you want that next glass of wine or those nachos are calling your name, you shouldn’t have to restrict yourself.
Eat it, enjoy it and move the f*ck on.
4. Stay away from those who bring negative energy.
This one is simple, but it can also be the hardest. Often times when we are negative, we also tend to latch on to other negative people.
These same people will not understand why you have decided to be more positive and self-loving.
You might start your day with positive views regarding your body and exude newfound, badass self-confidence.
But then, a friend may start complaining about her body image and boom! It can bring back to your mind the negative image you hold of yourself.
Do yourself a favor.
Create some distance between you and the negative Nancys of the world. You will find that self-love becomes a lot easier.
I can’t promise that following these suggestions will instantly give you self-love and less guilt when indulging, but they are steps in the right direction.
Self-love is a daily commitment we must make.
So, enjoy the upcoming holiday season with no guilt.
Know and be strengthened by the fact that no matter what, your body is pretty damn beautiful.