How many times have you looked at yourself in the mirror and thought about what you’d like to change about your body? Can you count the number of times you’ve looked at celebrities in fashion magazines and wished you looked like them? Or tried to cover up body parts that you’re particularly conscious of? Most women, including celebrities themselves, have done some or all of these at some point in their lives. But what many don’t realise that these things are only perpetuating a negative body image, which in turn kills your self-esteem. Explains life coach Ramona Mordecai, “The question you need to ask yourself is: do you want a body that society thinks you should have, or a body that you are destined to live in and operate your life to the fullest? True body confidence starts with accepting where you are at this very moment. Sometimes you slouch in environments that feel difficult, while other times you carry a big handbag to cover your muffin top. But it’s time to drop all this shame work your way out with joy. This joy will grow into situations that will lead you to more accepting friends, to be more open to speaking about your cravings, and to accept yourself exactly as you are.” Body acceptance comes from within. And only once you accept your body will you be more confident in it. Here are a few tried-and-tested hacks that have worked wonders for women who suffered from body shaming.

Stop Comparisons

Whether it is that drop-dead gorgeous model in your favourite fashion magazine or your super-thin friend who seems to eat all she wants without any consequences, comparing yourself to other women is only going to cause you heartache. It is important to understand that all bodies are made differently and you cannot change your body type or tendency. A better approach would be to make peace with who you are and accept your body’s ‘shortcomings’. Don’t fall into the unrealistic body trap – you are beautiful just as you are.

Look in the Mirror

Many of us shy away from looking at our bodies in the mirror, or with the lights on, because we don’t like what we see. The trick is to make sure you look at your body every day and tell yourself that you are beautiful just as you are. The more you shy away from looking at yourself the more negativity is perpetuated in your mind.

Focus on The Positives

You can’t hate every single part of your body – whether it’s your stomach, thighs, breasts or calves, there is something every woman is proud of. Focus on these positive bits and think of how attractive they make you look. Dress up according to your body type, so that your best features are highlighted. The minute you see yourself dressed up well and looking good, you’ll feel better about yourself.
The question you need to ask yourself is: do you want a body that society thinks you should have, or a body that you are destined to live in and operate your life to the fullest?

- Ramona Mordecai, Life Coach

Work on It

You don’t have to exercise for two hours every day to feel good about yourself. Even simple things like a dance class, walking home from the grocery store, aerobics, yoga or a run can elevate your self-confidence and make you feel good about your body. Not only are you learning something new but the exercise is releasing feel-good hormones that are instant mood elevators.

Avoid ‘Negative’ Friends

Do you hang out with people who keep commenting on your body? Make sure you avoid such people in your life, as it will only add to your negative self-esteem. Instead, make friends with other body positive people who will let you know how beautiful you truly are.

Who Are Your Role Models?

Yes, your role model might be that hot celebrity, but chances are your other role models are your mother, grandmother, teacher or friend. Do all these women have perfect bodies? No. But you still look up to them. Remember that you are much more than your body. Focus on other personality traits that people find endearing about you and forget about those ‘negative’ body parts.

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