creative joy retreat, 2012, hearts

Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts your week on a positive note!

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

When we feel bad about our bodies, it can be tough to take care of ourselves and savor life to its fullest. We might wait ’til we lose X amount of pounds.

We might wait ’til our body image is perfectly positive. We might wait ’til we finally look like what we’ve imagined all these years. Or ’til we genuinely feel OK in our own skin.

But why wait?

Instead of waiting ’til you feel better about your body to treat yourself well and to enjoy life, what if you just fake it?

What if you just go straight to the good stuff today?

So here’s a challenge for this week: Pretend like your body image is positive. Pretend like you accept and appreciate your body.

You do feel comfortable in your own skin. You do love your body, unconditionally.

And you don’t let negative thoughts stop you from taking kind care of yourself or doing anything else enjoyable and wonderful that you desire.

Then think about what you’d do.

If you had the utmost appreciation, respect and love for your body, how would you spend your days?

For instance, you might go to the beach or the lake and actually enjoy yourself. You might eat foods you actually like.

You might buy a new outfit. You might try a new class at the gym. Or work out less than you do right now. Or view movement in a completely different way (less punitive and more joyful).

You might dance and laugh more. You might set certain boundaries, or connect with certain people. You might pamper yourself. You might pursue certain dreams.

Write down the actions you’d take and the activities you’d try, if you loved your body. And do them.

Journal your thoughts and feelings along the way. How does it feel to try these activities? How does it feel to take good care of yourself? What activities do you really enjoy?

Or journal after you’re done. Do what feels most enjoyable and comfortable for you.

If negative thoughts pop into your mind — such as “This is a waste of time” or “Remember you actually hate your body” — keep going anyway. Acknowledge them, but don’t let them drive your actions.

Think of this as an experiment. Be curious. Try different things. Give yourself permission to enjoy yourself.

If you loved your body, unconditionally, what would you do? What activities will you try this week? What actions will you take?