5 Ways Moms Can Feel Better in Their Bodies This Holiday Season
The Christmas presents aren’t even unwrapped, and the pressure is building in anticipation of a New Year. All the weight loss resolutions seem to come out in full force during this time of year, just waiting for the calendar to officially flip over to January 1st to start that new diet.
Maybe all that diet chatter around this holiday season is suffocating you. Or maybe, it’s the overwhelming amount of holiday foods that makes you feel like you do need to change something about your body. Does hearing someone else talk about their weight loss or the latest diet they’ve tried make you cringe in your own skin? If so, you are definitely not alone.
Building a Positive Body Image During the Holidays
Staying positive about your body this time of year can definitely be a challenge, especially if you have already struggled with body image issues. The holidays can amplify body image worries, and the overemphasis on food and weight can put a spotlight on those concerns.
Before you jump on that dieting bandwagon or find yourself lost in downward spiral of negative mental chatter, take a step back and look at the issue for what it is: Your body is not the problem, mama.
Drown out the noise and set yourself up for a New Year that is truly fulfilling and satisfying, not one that is defined by time lost to body image worries. After all, the time to start living is now - not when you’ve reached a certain weight or finally fit into that goal jean size.
If you’re ready to turn off the lies that tell you your body is not good enough and enjoy the moments that really matter, then these tips are for you. After all, this Holiday season (and beyond), what your kids need is a mom who:
Feels confident in her own skin
Has mental energy to be PRESENT
Enjoys food without feeling guilt or ashamed for eating
Isn’t on a dieting rollercoaster
Celebrates body diversity
Is FREE to live in her body
Here are some practical tips to help you become this mother for your kiddos, starting this Holiday season:
Give Up the Dieting Mentality
Did you know that women who diet are more likely to feel bad about their bodies? Why is that? The truth is that diets don't work. The crazy food rules on any diet are set up to make you fail, and the majority of women who do lose weight on a diet end up regaining it, plus some. The vicious dieting cycle only creates more guilt around eating and shame about your body.
Don't chain yourself to an arbitrary set of rules of what you should and shouldn't eat. That's not living. If you want to start feeling better about the body you're in now you have to say goodbye to dieting. Give yourself permission to ditch the diets for good.
2. Ditch the Scale
How many times have your weighed yourself, only to have your whole day (or week) sabotaged by the number you see on the scale? The truth is, health is defined by so much more than weight, and the stress and anxiety that is created by weighing yourself and constantly monitoring your weight is far worse for your health than any food you could possibly eat. If you're ready to improve how you feel in your body NOW, then it's time to throw that scale out the window. Scales are for the fishes, not you, mama.
3. Take an Audit of Your Social Media
How do you feel about yourself and your body after scrolling through your social media accounts? If the people and accounts you’re following you don’t inspire you to embrace your body or leave you feeling empowered to love yourself, than there’s a good chance that something needs to change. Research has found a strong connection between social media use, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating.
Be aware of how you feel in your body after spending any time on social media. Take an honest look at the accounts you follow. Choose to fill your feeds with accounts that are going to support your journey toward body acceptance or take a break from social media altogether. You don’t need to compare the body you’re living in to the highlight reels or others.
4. Dress in Clothes That Fit the Body You Have Now
So many women continue to wear clothes that don’t fit their bodies well because of fear of buying different clothing or larger sizes. Others use smaller clothing as a reminder of what they need to fit back into. Do you find yourself wearing clothes that are too tight? If your pants don’t button properly, tops or dresses are snug, or your clothing is pinching you in ways that don’t feel good, you’re more likely to feel more frustration toward your body.
The truth is that our bodies change through different seasons of motherhood. You deserve to dress in clothes that fit the body you have NOW, not the body that was. Consider doing a closet edit to curate a wardrobe that supports body acceptance.
5. Live as Though You Already Feel Good About Your Body
How is your weight holding you back from living? What would you do differently in your life right now if weight or body size wasn’t a factor? These are the things you must do - because the doing, the act of faith even when the feelings aren’t there, is exactly what will begin to free you to live.
This is what is is needed to move the needle forward from body negativity to neutrality or even positivity. It means acting on the belief that you deserve to live your best life, even if you can’t embrace what you see in the mirror or when you feel about your body. Can you recognize where your heart wants to go but how your body is holding you back? Now, take a step of faith and go there.
If you want to teach your brain a different story about your body, you must live your life now as if you were in love with your body. As you do, you’ll start to fall in love with your life. Because if you’re waiting to be intimate with your spouse or bake cookies with your kids or go dancing or wear a sexy black dress until you’ve reached that goal weight you have set in your mind, that you will be missing out on the moments that make your life rich.
Learning to accept your body through the changes and seasons of motherhood is a scary thing. Within you is the courage and strength to do those hard things. Because these are the things that have the power to break generational cycles of body hatred and will teach your kids how to love their bodies, too. On the days you feel like the task is impossible, remember your worth; you deserve to feel good in your one body that has been home to you and your babies. On the hardest days, you’ve got this, mama. Happy holidays to you and yours. May you give yourself the gift of being free in who you are now.