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Building Body Image Resilience

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Building Body Image Resilience
How do you feel about your body? If your immediate answer isn’t, “I love it!” -- don’t worry, you’re not the only one! It breaks my heart that it’s so common for women to feel bad about their bodies and to be constantly bombarded with images of a specific body type. I’m here to tell you that you are nothing short of beautiful! I see you as a woman who is confident, bold, and ready to conquer fear! One of my main hopes with Kortni Jeane is to help women be comfortable in their own skin. Not only do I try to do that with swimmers I design, but I also want to offer this guide for building body image resiliency. Your potential is limitless and if you don’t believe that, read on so I can convince you! 
Body Image + Resiliency
Resilience. It’s a pretty fancy word but the meaning is pretty simple: that you’re able to tolerate stress, in any way, shape, or form it takes. So body image resilience means being able to tolerate the body image stress and shame that we all experience. This doesn’t mean avoiding insecurities or thinking your body is perfect. When you have body image resilience, you are able to accept, appreciate, and respect your body. 
How do we get there? First, it’s important to think about the unhelpful body-related assumptions you have made about yourself. Those assumptions could be coming from one of these four areas: 
  1. How you see your body
  2. How you feel about your body
  3. How you think about your body
  4. The way you behave as a result of what you see, feel, and think 
Take a moment, right now, to think about these four areas and where you are personally with each of them. Do you see yourself as beautiful? Do you feel like you can take on the world with your body? Do you think you are good enough in this body? Do you behave a certain way because of what you see, feel, and think about your body? Only you can know the answers. Only you can know where you’re at. 
If you don’t love your perception of your own body, you’re not alone! In fact, there are more women in this world than you can possibly know that experience the same self-doubt, insecurities, and shame. What we want to do is help you take control of that perception. We want you to build your body image resilience! Here are some small habits that can make the biggest difference: 
Building Body Image Resilience
Specific Activities You Can Do
1. Focus on your positive qualities, skills, and talents
You are more than just your looks. You are an  individual with your unique qualities, skills, and talents. Focus on the things that make you stand out from all the rest. Are you a peacemaker? Are you crazy good at decorating for parties? Are you extremely talented at music? Whatever your thing is, focus on that to remind yourself how cool you really are. 
2. Keep a “10 Things I Like About Me” list
We can’t guarantee that people will compliment you 10 times every day - but you can compliment yourself! Keeping a list of affirmations is a great way to remember what makes you so awesome! Take a moment to really think about why you like you! Then write those 10 things down where you will see them often. Doing so will increase your confidence & help you feel good! 
3. Focus on appreciating & respecting what your body can do
It’s common for people to complain about what their body isn’t or can’t do. But like we would for children, we need to talk to ourselves about what our bodies can do. And we’re not talking about crazy facts, like how our blood has the same amount of salt as the ocean does {still blows our minds}. No no, we’re talking about the daily things that make our bodies so incredible. Walking, breathing, being able to hug those we love -- whatever you think of, remember that your body is amazing, no matter what it looks like! 
 4. Set positive, health-focused goals
Notice that these are not weight loss-focused goals. Focusing primarily on losing weight can be discouraging since it doesn’t happen instantly. But health-focused goals can be rewarding immediately. Eat a healthy lunch every day for a week and you’ll feel awesome! Exercise three times a week and sleep better! Whatever your goals, set some positive ones that will help you focus on feeling better - not just looking better.
5. Admire the beauty of others without comparing yourself to them
You’ve heard that Pinterest quote: real queens fix each other’s crowns. We believe that every woman should be the inspiration to another and that we should raise each other up. If you’re feeling bad about yourself, look at the women that you love and admire, then celebrate why you admire them! Not comparing yourself to them is easier said than done, but we believe in you! It is totally possible to admire the beauty and talents of others without being self-destructive. Let your admiration of others be more powerful than self-doubt. 
Building Body Image Resilience
6. Surround yourself with positive uplifting people
One of the most beneficial things you can do when you are feeling bad about yourself is to spend time with those who will compliment you, push you, and encourage you to become the best version of yourself. With favorable people, good times are easier to have. Ideally, those with positive outlooks on life will be a great support system, will be drama free, have your best interests at heart, and be influential in helping you become a ray of sunshine!
7. Wear clothes that are comfortable + make you feel good
We’ve all worn that outfit that was too tight because we thought it made us look bomb. But feeling restricted and miserable isn’t the way to make yourself love your body more. Comfortable outfits will help you feel self-assured. If you show up to life in something that feels good to wear, you’ll be more able to focus on things that matter most! When people are comfortable, they’re more confident - which makes them nicer and happier. Dress to fit and accentuate your body type & you’ll love your body more than ever before! Read more on "5 Steps to Creating a Body Positive Wardrobe".
8. Remember that media images are unrealistic 
We love filters. Honestly, sometimes the right filter just adds that pop of color that you fall in love with. But while using Lightroom & photoshop, don’t lose sight of this fact: media images are unrealistic. We all know that social media influences the way we see ourselves, so why not remember that it’s not all real life? We’re not seeing the big picture - we’re just seeing the filtered highlights. Yes, it’s fun to post that glamorized shot of our recent vacation, home reno, or latest bake! But don’t let it get you down. Celebrate their cute post and remember that you are just as cute and amazing as they are! 
9. Use time + energy spent worrying to do something to help others
Some of us spend so much time and energy worrying about our weight and the way we look - so why not channel that energy towards helping others?! Maybe every time you start feeling bad in front of a mirror, you start the habit of texting someone and telling them you love them. Heck, maybe donate that mirror to someone in need! Whatever works for you, fill that time and energy you used to spend talking badly to yourself and use it to lift someone else up. You may find that you feel uplifted in the process!
10. Do something nice for yourself
If you’re anything like Demi Lovato, you’re a black belt when beating up on yourself, but an expert at giving love to somebody else. But here’s the thing, you deserve “you time.” You deserve to love you! So at the times where you don’t, do something nice for yourself - it’s the best way to show you that you love you! You get to decide what that looks like! Maybe you take time to write in your journal, listen to your favorite song, or treat yourself to a KJ swimmer. Whatever you do, make you a priority so you can love yourself wholly and completely.   
11. Say it and say it again - "I am worthy of love no matter what my body is going through"
For so many of us, we are going through constant changes with our body. Womanhood is full of these changes and it can be hard to stay positive. Many of us are struggling with difficult health issues, feeling the exhaustion of pregnancy and postpartum, dealing with grief from miscarriages, and battling everyday stress. Through these stages of life, know that you are not alone in your body struggles. Women all over the world want to cheer you on! In all, each of us want to strive to be at our best healthy self, which is a very worthy goal. But the simple truth is that we cannot always be in that "perfect" destination. The most important takeaway you can learn from this is that you are worthy here and now! It is possible to have a healthy body image at EVERY size. Here at Kortni Jeane we believe that there is no one way to be beautiful. Beauty is in every stage, so let's embrace it!
 
Ultimately, becoming body image resilient is a life-long and life-changing process. We’re not all going to become resilient overnight. Keep trying your best and remember that you are beautiful, sexy, and cool no matter what size you wear. Never forget that looks have nothing to do with your worth! 
xoxo,
Kortni Jeane + Team
 

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