1. It's never going to be an exact science. There is a science to a healthy weight, yes. But perception of one's self varies and is unique to every individual.
2. Comparing yourself to other women is poisonous and we all need to stop doing it.
3. Another thing that needs to stop is that little internal celebration girls have when another girl gains weight. Don't even lie to yourself and say you haven't done it. It's so messed up that seeing our ex's girlfriend has put on some winter weight makes us feel better about ourselves. It really shouldn't and it's a toxic thought process.
4. Positive body image is about having a healthy body and a healthy mind.
5. Becoming obsessed with losing weight is not a portrayal of strong willpower, but rather a weaker state of mind. It isn't control at all.
6. If you allow your mind to be ruled by obsession and fear of inadequacy, you are losing the ability to really control your own happiness.
7. You have to attach your mental motivation to healthiness and not insecurities.
8. Telling a girl she is too skinny and needs to eat a sandwich is no better than being told you're too chunky and need to eat fewer sandwiches. Don't hate on other girls' bodies. Some girls are naturally very thin, and they shouldn't have to be made to feel isolated or guilty about that.
9. Those women who do have problems with eating disorders are suffering from an illness. It isn't something they can just drop. It doesn't make them vain or weak. It's a struggle, and one that requires support from loved ones.
10. Your body is inevitably going to change during different stages of your life.
11. Attempting to condition your body to be the way you believe men want it to be is a useless pursuit. Like any factor in attraction, different guys are drawn to different body types.
12. Some guys gravitate towards more curvy girls and others towards females with smaller frames. For most, it really doesn't matter. It's just an initial influence anyway, and becomes very irrelevant in respect to who you are.
13. Something that does not differ among almost all men is being attracted to confidence.
14. Therefore, the more attractive you feel, the more attractive you are.
15. You and your friends are going to work out together and eat the same foods and still have different bodies. That's how it works.
16. If you're going to try to lose weight, go about it the right way. Be healthy and smart, and avoid thinking there are quick fixes.
17. Forget all of the gimmicks to try to change your body. You'll just waste your time and feel discouraged.
18. For example: weight loss pills. Most will just make you sweaty and jittery, or make you want to vomit. There's a reason just about all of them aren't approved by the FDA. They're ridiculous.
19. Crazy cleanses are as well. Whoever claims it's nutritional to drink only lemon juice or some crap for five days is insane. Yes, you may drop five pounds from borderline starvation. But you'll feel like crap, and gain it all right back.
20. There are some very helpful nutrition plans and workout programs out there to help you become healthy in a reasonable and safe manner. Be smart and know what you're getting into when you alter the way you treat your body.
21. You have to be comfortable with your body when it comes to the man in your life. Your boyfriend or husband does not care about that little “stomach chub” you feel you have. Let him love you and see you for who you are. It will cause your insecurities to fade.
22. There is no perfect body. Even the girls you perceive to be perfect see plenty of their own imperfections.
23. If you love the way you look, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being open about that. If your friends are sitting around, body bashing themselves, you don't have to join in. You can just steer everyone in a different direction.
24. It's not narcissistic to wake up most days and feel like a total rockstar. It's actually the ultimate goal.
25. That being said, it's also completely okay to just honestly not care about how you look. Being a female does not mean you are required to be super concerned about your appearance.
26. You have to be careful about the things you say to others about their bodies. Something that may seem incredibly harmless to you, could mean a lot more to someone else. A lot of people deeply care about the opinions of others.
27. Women who have had problems with eating obsessions often resort to them later in certain ways. It's like an addiction, used to cope with feelings of inadequacy or loss of control in one's life.
28. If you are one of these women, that is normal. You just need to be cognizant of your state of mind and work to remain positive.
29. We all have taken bad pictures.
30. We all feel bloated and yucky on some days.
31. We all have tried on clothing that just does not work on us.
32. Contrary to the way we feel sometimes, we are never alone when it comes to little conflicts with body image. We are perfectly imperfect.
33. You should never allow yourself to be in a situation in which it's okay for someone to attack you for the way you look. It's one thing to have a friend or family member approach you respectfully about your health, and another to endure demeaning comments about your body.
34. There are more factors to healthy body image than just being confident your size. It's about loving all of who you are. You have to be able to see everything from your complexion, to your shoe size as a unique and perfect part of you.
35. This all being said, one of the most important aspects of body image is just understanding that it's only a body. The same body will wither and wrinkle and change a million times in your lifetime. It's merely a shell to the astounding beauty that lies within. As women, we often feel that shell is more important than it really is.
Use it as a tool to be healthy and confident. Use it for big smiles, crazy adventures, warm hugs and countless memories of the moments you spent being completely happy with who you are.
Photo via We Heart It