25 Easy Ways To Practice Body Positivity Right Now

Every year as summer approaches, I hear the toxic talks of dieting, “summer bodies,” weight loss, fat, and cleanses. As someone who practices radical body positivity and fat acceptance, this kind of talk makes me want to snap. Instead of grabbing a fat shamer by the throat, I’m writing this article.

I fight the war against the diet industry and fat-shaming culture by utterly accepting my body as it is, especially when it doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter norm society expects of me. You can join me (if you haven’t already); let’s fight toxic diet culture together and learn to love ourselves without exception. I can’t promise that everyone will accept you or that this journey will be easy, but I can promise that practicing body positivity is worth it and it will help your self-love increase by leaps and bounds.

Here are 25 easy ways you can practice body positivity right now:

  1. Know that you never have to earn your worth–it’s innate and unwavering. You are lovable right here and now. This can never be taken from you. Your unwavering worth lies deep within you and it can’t be touched by diet culture or societal expectations. It is not dependent on a number on a scale or how you’re perceived by others. You’re always lovable and worthy. Never let your negative self-talk tell you otherwise. 
  2. Drop all expectations of how your body “should” be. Your body shouldn’t be one way or another. It just is. One of the things to note about spending years restricting and depriving your body is that your set point changes. A set-point is the general weight range your body is meant to be at without manipulation. After dieting, our set point becomes a higher weight. It’s impossible to pin down exactly what this number is, anyways, so it’s best to just let go of expectations. 
  3. Eat using Health At Every Size and Fuck-It Diet principles. Our bodies are not meant to be restricted from having certain things or controlled. Rather, they’re meant to be listened to and trusted. When you start to realize that there are absolutely no rules, a huge amount of freedom comes into play. Just as anti-diet dietician Julie Duffy Dillon says in her podcast Love, Food: food, morality, and willpower are not meant to mix. There aren’t good and bad and should and shouldn’t. Check out the HAES and Fuck-It Diet movements to find step-by-step instructions on how to eat in a way where you’ll be free from the chains of judgment.
  4. Know that clothes are supposed to fit you, not the other way around. Diet culture feeds us the lie that we are supposed to be a certain size in order to fit into the clothes we are supposed to wear. If clothes don’t fit you, that’s not your fault. Instead of blaming your body, blame the clothes. Do yourself a huge favor and flip the understanding that you’re too fat for clothes. Instead, think of those clothes as just not right for you, and find the ones that are.
  5. Toss out old clothes that haven’t fit you in years.If there are old clothes that are taunting you, throw them in the trash! Or, better yet, donate them. I know it’s hard to get rid of clothes, especially when part of you hopes to be the same size again or you’re used to weight fluctuation. Well, the good news about eating on the HAES or Fuck It Diet is that eventually you stop losing and gaining weight and your body adjusts to how it’s supposed to be. If you’re still in the process of finding this set point, it’s okay to hold onto some items, but for the most part, consider getting rid of any clothes that don’t fit. 
  6. Make a gratitude list of all your body parts you’re glad to have.There’s a laundry list of psychological benefits that come from practicing gratitude like improved well-being, increased self-esteem, improved self-care, and expanded capacity for forgiveness. You can make the tremendous practice of gratitude into a body positivity activity by writing out body parts you’re grateful for and why. For example, I’m grateful for my stomach because it digests delicious food, I’m grateful for my powerful thighs because they carry me wherever I need to go, and I’m grateful for my arms because they give amazing hugs. 
  7. Refrain from comparing yourself to others or your old self. It’s really easy to see another person and feel less-than. It’s even easier to look at pictures of your old (thinner) self and feel less-than. None of these people are who you are today. You are so much more than your body weight. You are all your lessons learned, the experiences you’ve been through, and the people you’ve met. No comparison tells the whole truth, anyway. You’re comparing your insides to others outsides, without knowing the whole story. You’re an amazing human right here and now, no matter what your size or body weight. 
  8. Throw ridiculous fashion rules in the trash. Diet culture tells people with body fat that they can’t wear clothing that is too revealing including but not limited to: shorts, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, crop tops, bikinis, or short dresses. Oh and apparently you also shouldn’t wear animal print, horizontal stripes, or tight clothes. These rules are total garbage, so they belong in the trash. Once you’ve thrown them away in your mind, start breaking them. Get leopard short-shorts with a fun crop top. Who cares? The only approval you need is your own. 
  9. Know that you’re fighting an industry that profits from you hating yourself. There’s an entire industry that is banking on you to hate yourself as much as humanly possible. Self-hate= cha-ching cha-ching. Statistics show that Americans spend 60 billion dollars on weight loss every year. That’s billion with a B. The diet industry pushes campaigns about how you need to change in order to be good enough. They tell you that if you just lose the next X pounds, THEN you’ll finally be lovable. It’s total bullshit.
  10. Have go-to body positive mantras for when negative self-talk hits. You’re living in a world that’s pouring thin ideals down your throat. Diet culture tells you to restrict, make yourself smaller, and change change change so that you’re good enough. Even the strongest body positive warrior sometimes struggles to fight off these messages. Inevitably, you’re going to break down and feel like total crap. When this happens, you should have some strong bopo mantras to combat the negative self-talk. For example, you can tell yourself “I am enough, I’m perfect just the way I am, my weight does not determine my worth, my body is deserving of love, care, and respect, I’m allowed to take up space.”
  11. Do a diet culture language cleanse. Especially early on in the body positivity journey, you don’t realize how much diet culture is still controlling the way that you talk. You may say things like “ugh, I shouldn’t be eating this, I’m having a fat day, or she’s lost so much weight.” When doing a diet culture language cleanse, you want to make sure you’re refraining from making judgment calls on food or bodies. There's no good or bad, should or shouldn’t. It’s also helpful to refrain from commenting on other people’s bodies at all. Getting into these habits will help you shift your thoughts away from toxic diet-think. 
  12. Run right through your fear of what fat people can and can’t do. Whether or not you’re fat, you likely have fears about what you “should” and “shouldn’t” do. Jes Baker, author of Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls, made a list of these things that fat girls aren’t supposed to do. Some examples include swinging at the park, riding a scooter, eating in public, riding a bike, and rolling down a hill. Instead of being worried about what you can and can’t do because of your body, why don’t you go ahead and just do them anyways? Your fear doesn’t get to decide what you do and don’t do in life, you do. 
  13. Practice radical self-acceptance. Tara Brach wrote a book called Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha. In this book, she said “radical acceptance is the willingness to experience ourselves and our lives as it is.” This practice of acceptance is looking at all of your perceived flaws and giving them a big hug. It’s radically accepting your body as it is in the present moment. Through this practice comes great peace. 
  14. Read body positive books. If you’re someone who loves to read books, body positive books can make great companions. You can hear the stories of other women on this journey and you can learn about some crazy facts and statistics. Here are some of my favorite bopo books: 
    • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker
    • Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon
    • Bawdy Love: 10 Steps to Profoundly Loving Your Body by Lauren Marie Fleming
    • Dietland by Sarai Walker
    • Shrill by Lindy West
    • FAT!SO? : Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size by Marilyn Wann
  15. Think of stretch marks as warrior paint. Being a body positive warrior is a process of disassembling prior ways of thinking about your body and reassembling more loving ways. In terms of stretch marks, look at them as if it was your body doing its natural thing. Those marks are not flaws, my dear. They’re warrior paint. 
  16. Document your bopo journey on a safe social media account.Safe is a key word here. It isn’t going to be useful if your friends or followers are people who don’t understand body positivity. Instead, make a new Instagram account and start to follow other body positive lovelies. Here are some hashtags that you can use: 
    •  #riotsnotdiets , #effyourbeautystandards , #bopowarrior , #bodypositivity , #fatacceptance , #HAES , #honormycurves , #radicalbodyacceptance
  17. Clean up your social media by unfollowing anyone on a weight-loss plan. This is an incredibly hard one and will likely mean unfollowing people you love dearly. Nonetheless, when you’re on a mission to love your body as it is, people who are in the weight loss game will only bring you down. You feel like shit when you look at their social media and it triggers comparison. Let’s just unfollow them instead of going down the comparison rabbit hole. It doesn’t mean you love them any less, just that you’re protecting your bopo sanity. 
  18. Spend less time with toxic body-shamers and perpetual dieters. Similar to unfollowing people you love, you have to minimize your exposure to body-shamers and perpetual dieters. You’re trying to live a life free from food and fat shame, so don’t let these people pollute your attitude. It’s exhausting being around these kind of people. Minimize contact and choose to heal yourself first. 
  19. Listen to body positive podcasts.Listen to bopo podcasts while going about your day. They’re a perfect companion to give you a pick-me-up and to educate you on the ins and outs of the bopo movement. Here are some of my favorite podcasts:
    • Fuck It Diet Radio
    • Bawdy Love
    • Love, Food
    • Food Psych
    • Dieticians Unplugged
    • sizeHUMAN
  20. Practice AMAZING self-care. One of my favorite body positive activists, Lauren Marie Fleming, coined the idea of having a “daily decadence.” It’s the idea that you should do something decadent for yourself every single day. The decadence  could be anything from having a luscious dessert, doing your nails, or buying yourself something nice. It could be extreme or simple! The point is that you should be as kind as possible to yourself everyday through your actions. 
  21. Smash your scale if you haven’t already.  You have no use for a scale on your body positivity journey. Especially if you’re someone who had disordered eating, your scale is only something that will haunt you. It will never help you. As a bopo warrior, your new task is to listen to cues from your body instead of the scale. If possible, go ahead and literally smash the scale. If this isn’t possible, you can always hide it or just get rid of it. This can be hard if you’re living with someone who uses it, but remember that you’re trying to protect your sanity and well-being, and your loved ones should be understanding of that.
  22. Know that the way to get a bikini body is to put a bikini on your body. When beach season starts, you hear talk of “summer bodies” left and right. If you’re on this bopo journey, it can make you sick to your stomach. Give yourself permission to ignore messages that you need a certain body type to wear a bikini. Instead, remind yourself that you already have a bikini body at any shape or size. All you have to do is put a bikini on your body and you’ve achieved a bikini body!
  23. Find a community of body positive warriors. This is a journey that cannot be taken on your own, so please don’t try! Instead, find body positive communities to enmesh yourself in. It’s a good idea to find virtual communities since body positive babes are already so hard to come by. Here are some Facebook groups you can join. If you have trouble, reach out to me and I’ll personally add you!
    • The Fuck It Diet Intro Course
    • Bawdy Love
    • Dare Not To Diet Society
  24. Lean on body positive friends when you’re having a hard day. Make friends in your virtual body positive communities or find bopo friends in your everyday life. Heck, if you can’t find any friends, I’m happy to be a support! Reach out to me or other supports when you’re having a tough day. Know that these tough days are going to happen, but you do not have to make it through them all by yourself. Your body positive friends will be there to remind you that diet culture totally sucks and that you’re lovely just as you are. 
  25. Identify your body positive models and emulate them on hard days. Imagine a day where you feel too big for the world, like you can’t go anywhere. Those kinds of days are normal and everyone experiences them. But instead of suffering through them, think about body positive role models like Tess Holliday, who is a size 22 bombshell. Get inspiration from her unapologetic self-love on days when body positivity feels too hard to maintain on your own.