Philly, Farmer's Market

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!

Gratitude is a powerful practice for building a more positive body image.

But if you’re just starting to dig yourself out of the rubble of body hatred, the idea of thanking your body for anything can seem overwhelming, maybe even impossible.

The solution?

Start slow. Real slow. Start with just a part of your body.

Thank your right or left hand for helping you journal your thoughts or cut up fresh vegetables for the meal that’ll nourish your family.

Thank your legs for running up the stairs or walking around the block.

Thank your arms for hugging your little one at night and conveying warmth and safety. Thank your lips for kissing your spouse and conveying love.

Thank your ears for listening to your favorite classical music, which always puts a smile on your face.

Thank your nose for helping you smell the calming scent of lavender or your taste buds for helping you savor a sweet bite of homemade carrot cake.

Thank your vocal chords for communicating the great ideas to your boss. Thank your heart for beating.

I know this will probably feel strange or silly at first. But keep at it. Experiment with it. Maybe try it for a week straight or even a month.

Write your gratitude in a journal. Or say it to yourself — or aloud — as you’re falling asleep.

Keep thanking the same or a different part every day. Then, over time, you’ll start to feel some true appreciation, maybe even compassion, for your body, maybe even your entire body.

Building a positive body image is all about taking small steps. Take a small step forward, and you just might be surprised how far you go.

Which body part would you like to thank today?