Every Monday features a tip, exercise, inspiring quote or other tidbit to help boost your body image. For many of us, Mondays are tough. We may feel anxious and stressed out, anticipating an arduous week, especially if we didn’t get much rest and relaxation during the weekend.

These kinds of feelings don’t create the best environment for improving one’s body image. In fact, you might be harder on yourself and easily frustrated. You might even feel like you’re walking on egg shells – with yourself! With these posts, I hope you’ll have a healthier and happier body image day, that’ll last throughout the week.

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at [email protected], and I’ll be happy to feature it. It can be anything you do that’s healthy and helps boost your body image. I’d love to hear from you!

“As my body was changing and becoming healthy, I wanted to find something to aid me in the ever-so-difficult feat of accepting my new vehicle. I wanted something positive to say each time I saw myself in a negative light or if I was having a bad body image day. So I decided to come up with a body mantra. I figured that saying (or should I say singing) this mantra over and over would help to convert the negative thoughts to positive ones. So I sat down armed with paper and pen and got to work.”

That’s an excerpt from Cheryl Kerrigan‘s recently published bookTelling ED NO! And Other Practical Tools to Conquer Your Eating Disorder and Find Freedom. (Stay tuned for an interview with Cheryl in the coming weeks.) Cheryl struggled with an eating disorder for over 22 years and finally recovered. Here’s her mantra:

I love my body, oh yes, I do

I love my body, and it is true

B-O-D-Y, body, body you rock the sky

“B” eautiful

“O” utsanding

“D” edicated

“Y” ou

Go body, go body, go body

I love this body mantra. Talk about an uplifting reminder! Plus, you can’t help but smile while you’re singing it (Really, try it. I bet you can’t!).

You might be thinking that a body mantra is silly, but it actually helped Cheryl obsess less and get through rough times. She also writes, “[The body mantra] states a truth, a truth I need to keep hearing: My body is beautiful, and so am I.”

We all are. So this week consider creating a body mantra of your own. Even if it’s just a few sentences or a simple “I am beautiful.”

My mantra isn’t fancy but I like it: I am strong. I am beautiful. I am enough.

My mantra gets at the things that I struggle with, such as perfectionism, also known as never-good-enoughitis. Your mantra can do the same: It can address the very things that you have a tough time with.

Maybe you don’t think you can go to the gym. I am strong and I deserve to exercise just like everyone else. Maybe you think you have to lose 10 pounds to look good. I am stunning at any size. Maybe you think you have too-thick thighs. My thighs take me anywhere I want to go. Their thickness is my strength – and they’re hot, too!

A Reader’s Tip

I wanted to share a tip I got from a Weightless reader (keep them coming!). Mary Bowie sent in this creative body image tip. She writes:

“My husband is a shrinker. He does our laundry and I am happy to give up this task to him. I have a couple long dresses I found at a thrift store which I love – great quality fabric and made well. One black dress has slits on both sides. After washing in cold water then drying on HOT, the dress is too short and the slits quite high. So I wear my thin thermals underneath; the sleeves are now 3/4, my flower-patterned thermal top is long-sleeved. My husband says I look cute…I feel comfy and warm.”

She also has a summery, strapless, short dress that she says “makes a lovely apron over my tee shirt and yoga pants.”

What a great way to repurpose clothes so you feel comfortable and pretty in them.

Thanks, Mary, for a great tip!

Update: A Reader’s Email

I just received this email from Alexis Katchuk, which I thought was really inspiring. She wrote:

A long time ago, one of my yoga teachers taught me “Om Namah Shivayah” which is roughly translated as “I acknowledge the divinity within me.”  I would use it during my yoga practice at home.  Acknowledging the divine part of me gave me permission to accept myself as a whole and, more importantly, to honor that person–physically and spiritually.  When I finally recovered from my eating disorder and could honestly and truly believe in the mantra 100%, I had it tattooed in sanskrit on the inside of my left wrist.

What’s your body image tip? What will be your body mantra?