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Body Positivity and All That Jazz

by Amber Janae |

Is there really an easy way to fall in love with your body without being hell of cautious of what you eat, drink and if you workout or not? While working on the fitness issue of my magazine The Core, I got to thinking about the pressures of staying fit and how difficult it can be for a lot of people. Whether we accept it or not, being deeply imperceptibly impacted by our life experiences and the people you surround yourself with, especially your interpersonal relationships play a vital in crafting our sense of self-worth. In most cases, our self-confidence is altered by the very people we love, the media's agenda to push outrageously absurd beauty standards. For me, the first thing that was impacted most when I felt hurt by the people I loved was my confidence. I always assumed that their dislike for me was a result of how I looked. I used to be extremely self-cautious about my body or looks in general.

In grade school, I was very skinny. The cute, older boys never let me forget I was sticks and bones. So, when I finally gained a little weight, I was always told to watch what I eat and workout constantly because one day it would all catch up to me. I haven't always been the most body posi chick but even till this day, there are just some things about staying fit or in shape that do not interest me. I am sure you've heard me say it before, but me and working out just do not get along. I have always had an intense dislike toward gyms, yuck! With this vast rise in the wellness/fitness craze, I still don't feel pressured to have a membership. One of the ways I kept myself fit in my earlier years was Jazz Dance. I danced all throughout middle school and high school. After graduation, I struggled with finding different fitness options to keep myself active and in shape. Due to this, I gave up on it all completely. 

I tried the gym, that failed. I considered dancing again, but dance just didn't seem right without my favorite teacher. I have always eaten well; I only drink water, smoothies or other nutritional drinks. I have always lived for taking good care of myself but do I really need all of that to feel confident about my appearance? Are these the things that will be successful in making me feel body positive? I feel like someone being my "fitness goals" would keep me running in a continuous race to achieve something I would never be. In reality, it merely took me to see the value of having unconditional love for the skin that I am in. Eventually, I stopped feeling the pressures of feeling like I had to live a certain way to feel good about the way that I look. I always felt pressured to maintain, but now I just feel comfortable no matter what.  

I've come to realize that the state of our health is entirely what we make of it. The way we feel about our bodies whether we have an extensive workout routine or not is entirely up to us as well. Being active on a consistent basis can be extremely hard while having a full-time job, owning a magazine, maintaining a blog, freelancing, as well as attempting to have somewhat of a social life. I am trying to get better at being more active these days. Soul Cycle has been my friend a few times. I am planning to incorporate more classes into my evening schedule eventually. My day job also just rolled out a bike sharing program. (*Packs Ivy Park attire in my work bag.*) But I am doing these things on my terms, how I want, when I want. If I don't feel called to do it daily I won't.

I am learning that no matter what acts of fitness I incorporate into my life, what I drink or how well I eat on a daily, my body positivity mindset begins within. A lot of people tend to assume that those of who are naturally petite don't question or feel uncomfortable about our bodies. That's a myth. Before I committed to anything physical, I worked on the mental and emotional aspects of this body positive journey. These daily routines started with and still consist of: 

Self-Affirming Reminders

Every day I remind myself of my beauty, my glow and perfect imperfections. The sweet reminders are my fuel to embrace the skin that I am in. There is nothing more reassuring than me reminding myself of my beauty, not waiting for the world to affirm it. I often write down the things I love about myself most and read them aloud when the list is complete. Loving me as Kanye loves Kanye is a life #mood. 

Treating My Body Like I Treat My Lover

We love our partners. We cherish them while showering them with an abundance of love. We can often even neglect our most significant responsibilities for the one we love. If I treat my body as I treat my lover than all day long, it's receiving the unconditional love it requires. Treating my body like my lover means I listen to it, handle it well, nourish and nurture it. 

Endless Self-Care Treatments 

I am the queen of treating myself to the nail or day spa. I believe investing my money in self-care treatments that help to boost my confidence. Every two weeks I get a manicure, pedicure and take healing baths. I frequent the brow bar when needed. I make sure my hair is done. I invest in make for the days I want to be glammed up. I invest in vegan, non-toxic skin care products to ensure I look beautiful without enhancements. This list goes on forever. Seeing to it that I treat myself to these treatments often, definitely helps me to keep it solid body positive attitude.

What are some of your body positive secrets? Do share! 


Header Image Photo Cred: The Coveteur

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