In a society that has glamorized a very specific standard of beauty for generations, the body positivity movement has become the valorous group of challengers to put an end to this bounded bias. As a full-figured woman, I’ve learned to become more aware of what body positivity is as I navigated through the waves of re-learning to love myself and I want to share my process with women facing these same adversities. Here are 5 ways that have become the fundamental basis of my body positivity blog in becoming an empowered body-positive advocate regardless of shape, shade, or size!

1. Create your body positive affirmation

Woo-hoo, this is the first step on your journey to body positivity! When I initially began my experience, I was a freshman in college where I was surrounded by what I assumed to be conventionally beautiful women. Everything seemed easier for them like making friends, dating, going to the bars & clubs, and being admired by onlookers. I wanted in on the fun, but the mirror was my enemy. I picked away at every curve, dimple, stretchmark, and spot. I rejected the idea that the width of my hips was beautiful, or that my thighs touching was okay. I became exhausted being so self-critical. I knew I had to drag myself out of the storm I became so familiar with and began journaling to sort through the issues that were the root of my sorrow.

affirmation journal and pen

Your affirmation is encouraged to be a self-proclaimed oath with the intention of manifesting the best version of you.

Your affirmation is encouraged to be a self-proclaimed oath with the intention of manifesting the best version of you. Creating an affirmation can be anything from verbal to visual. Take out your phone, a journal or even create a vision board and highlight all of the parts of you that you prefer to work on loving more. Once you’ve created the blueprint to becoming body-positive, it is now time to invest and believe in your set goals. Rather than dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, take a peek at your affirmation and start your day mission-focused. Accountability is critical, and trust me…it takes grit. The magic moment begins when you become invested in the belief of your worth.

2. Figure out your body shape and style it!

They say you look as good as you feel, and they’re not lying! I remember dreading the clothes shopping experience of my teen years where plus-size style felt limited and looked matronly, but times have changed since the early 2000s and curvy fashion is on a new level of fabulous!

plus size woman trying on clothes

Have you looked in the mirror and truly observed that beautiful figure? Take a brief moment to acknowledge your body and begin searching for your shape. Women can carry their weight more or less in specific areas. Whether a fuller top, curvier middle, or voluptuous bottom…it’s time to dress up and accentuate those areas! Whether you’re hourglass, pear, diamond, round, or rectangle there is clothing cut specifically for your shape that will have you feeling incredible. Be bold and play with colors and patterns outside of your comfort zone. Really love that dress in the window, but it’s a size up? No worries, tailoring services can be a minimal extra cost but make you feel like a million bucks! Plenty of department stores and e-commerce sites offer plus-size attire that fit all budgets.

3. Goodbye to diet, hello to a positive lifestyle

The amount of crash diets I’ve tried, and money I’ve spent on the latest trending solution over the years is immeasurable. The term diet is associated with short-term commitment, meaning once you’ve reached your specific goal, the efforts to that change ends. Your newfound body positivity journey will be very much a conscious new lifestyle.

women in workout clothes

Now we all know this initially won’t be easy, but give yourself grace because each small effort will pay off! Our bodies are these wonderful vessels that deserve to be nurtured and strengthened to keep us going. Review your pantry as is and find healthy alternatives with more nutritional value to replace those processed items. Visit your local market and explore the produce aisle, chances are, there is a whole new world of foods you’ve been unaware of waiting for you to try.

Do you work a job that is not physically demanding, or do you find yourself not getting up and moving as often as you should? Small changes can be as easy as taking stairs rather than escalators or elevators, or even getting up and walking a few short laps around the office. Review your current lifestyle schedule and habits and devote small chunks of time to being physically active. Reinforcers to hold yourself accountable are great, like maintaining a fitness journal, wearing a fitness tracker, or having a workout partner like a family member or friend. Working out doesn’t have to be boring, find what activity resonates with you. Plenty of local gyms, community centers, and associations host free or small fee classes on a weekly basis so get in on the fun. Mindfulness workout routines like yoga are a great way to balance your mental and physical health as well.

4. From self-conscious to striking a pose

This is where you breathe life into all of the body positivity efforts you’ve made thus far! Between eating well, staying active, and revamping your closet…it’s time to show off the evolved body-positive version of you. Now this may take some getting used to and many women may feel uncomfortable at first but no worries girl, I’ve got you! In a tech-savvy world where we practically live through a lens, why not put it to good use?

Put on that cute new top, or that dress you wore to a party way back when and start snapping away. Take advantage of your aesthetic surroundings like local parks, museums, buildings, or even the comfort of your home and fill up that photo gallery of yours. Become free-flowing with your poses and try positioning your arms and legs in ways that show range to your frame. Are you still feeling a little awkward? Try playing some feel-good music to shift the mood or add props to your photos to spice up the vibe. You can even encourage your friends to get in on the fun and create a makeshift photo shoot. In due time, you will feel more comfortable in front of the camera rather than dodge the flash or feel the need to critique that unplanned photo op.

woman holding beautiful sign

5. Spread that newfound body-positive love

It is critical to not stop the momentum once you’ve established a new sense of self-love on your body positivity journey. There is a whole community of women just like us willing to share their experience and motivate others to join the cause. Plenty of social media influencers and websites alike have blogs you can register with to stay updated on how you can continue to contribute to your newfound wellness. You can also search local papers and newsletters on what community-oriented organizations are at your fingertips.

Spreading the love in small ways is just as impactful. Try sending a positive message to a family member or friend reminding them of how impactful their presence is in your life, or give a compliment to a fellow queen on their appearance. If you are feeling empowered by all of these changes, become a body-positive advocate yourself and start a body positivity blog or club of your own. You’ve got this girl, go out into the world and show them what every inch of you is made of!

There is a whole community of women just like us willing to share their experience and motivate others to join the cause.

a diverse group of women body shapes