Using positive affirmations for body image can be really effective when it comes to improving how you feel about yourself and your body, but what are they exactly?
Positive affirmations for body image are self-affirming statements spoken in the present tense and repeated over and over again until we start to rewire how we think about ourselves and our bodies. As we repeatedly affirm to ourselves how strong and worthy we are, our brains start to believe it. This helps boost confidence and self-esteem, which makes them perfect for bad body image days and improving our body image overall.
With the rise of social media, many people have found themselves comparing their body to others’, dissecting how they look every time they’re anywhere near a reflective surface, and finding themselves entirely dissatisfied with how they look. Over time, this becomes worse and worse as negative thought feeds into more negative thoughts, which branch out and create even more negative thoughts.
Bad body image can lead to:
- Eating disorders
- Body dysmorphia
- Self-destructive behaviour
- Substance/alcohol abuse
- Self harm
- Social anxiety and isolation
- Relationship problems
With a reported 70% of adult women withdrawing from activities due to feeling insecure about their body, it’s highly likely that, if you’re reading this, you struggle with poor body image too.
Affirmations for body image are a great addition to your life if you struggle with your self-esteem, confidence, and/or accepting your body.
Positive affirmations for bad body image days
- I am worthy
- I am enough as I am
- I am a beautiful human being inside and out
- I am confident
- I am strong
- I am a powerful Goddess
- I love who I am
- I love the person I’m becoming
- I embrace change
- I accept my body
- My weight is not my worth
- I am loved and lovable
- I live my life to the fullest
- I choose not to care about a number on a scale
- I choose to nourish my body
- My body is worthy of delicious food
- I am totally and unapologetically myself
- I rock any outfit
- I am desirable
- Tasty food nourishes my soul
- I feel no guilt for nourishing my body and soul
- I move my body in ways that feel good to me
- I am grateful I get to move my body in ways that feel good
- I choose myself
- I choose to love myself every single day
- I choose to respect myself
- I have my own back
- I am amazing
- I am sexy just as I am
- My perceived imperfections make me perfect
- I am human and that’s okay
- I am unique
- I am special
- My body is miraculous; it’s carried me through life
- I choose to love myself throughout my growth
- Bodies change and that’s okay
- I am grateful for my body
- I deserve care and love
- Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business
- I choose to stop trying to change to fit society’s beauty standards
- Beauty standards are BS
- I choose to make peace with my body
- My looks don’t matter to the people who matter
- The human being I am is more important than how I look
- I am grateful that I get to age
- I choose to honour my hunger
- I practise self-care to feel good
- I deserve self-care and to have my needs taken care of
- I choose to no longer obsess over food
- I choose to no longer obsess over my body
- I no longer see myself in a negative light
- I choose to no longer weigh myself
- It’s okay to love myself
- I look like me, no one else, and that’s enough
- I trust my intuition
- I choose to listen to my body
- I choose to be a good person
- I am worthy of recovery
- I choose health, whatever that means to me
- Moving my body feels good
- Loving my body feels good
- Nourishing my body feels good
- I’ve got this
- Progress isn’t linear; I’m doing this at my own pace and that’s okay
- I am not my disorder
- It’s okay to enjoy food that isn’t ‘clean’
- Food is neither good or bad, it’s just food
- I choose to ignore food labels and stigma
- I choose to reject negative influences
- I choose to redirect negative self-talk
- I choose to think positively
- I choose not to compare my body to others’
- I accept the rough with the smooth with love
- People love to be around me
- My smile lights up the room
- I have a positive impact on the world
- It’s okay to not be the best at everything
- I am worthy of energy
- Food is fuel for our bodies and brains
- Food is not the enemy
- I love food!
- I choose health at every and any size
- Losing weight will not complete me; I am already complete just the way I am
- Emotional avoidance doesn’t solve anything
- I choose to no longer engage in self-destructive behaviour
- It’s okay to find comfort in food
- I need food to survive; I choose to survive
- My body is capable of amazing things
- Beauty is subjective; I am always beautiful
- My inner beauty shines out
- I vow to love, respect and care for my body for the rest of my life
- Eating food gives me energy to live my life
- Hating my body is a waste of time
- Hating my body holds me back
- Loving my body helps me grow
- My body is deserving of rest
- My body is my home
- I love what I see in the mirror
- I love the skin I’m in
- I choose kindness for myself and others
- A goal weight is just a number that doesn’t matter
- Weight loss will not make me happy, it never has
- I am successful without looking like society’s idea of perfect
- My body is a gift that I choose to treasure
- I will no longer feel shame for what I look like
- I will no longer feel shame for what I eat
- I no longer have a dream body; I have my dream body because it’s mine
- Fat does not equal bad or ugly
- Fat is simply an adjective
- I choose to ditch the diet and live my life
- Life is too short to waste on hating my body
Can affirmations change your body?
To put it bluntly: repeating affirmations for body image will not directly change how your body physically looks.
However, if you have a distorted, warped vision of how you look in the mirror and affirmations help put you see yourself for who you really are (a normal, awesome human being), it may appear as if your body has changed.
What’s more, if your body image has had an affect on your exercise schedule and eating habits, once you start repeating positive affirmations and potentially stop engaging in these behaviours, your body might also change.
Saying this, if you want to start repeating affirmations to change your body, this isn’t the right blog post for you.
I invite you to focus on who you are within and practise self-acceptance, rather than constantly strive to change who you are. In my experience, true self-love comes from accepting your body in all its forms and learning your worthiness within, not changing how you look on the outside.
I implore you to work on loving you for who you are, no matter what you look like, and giving yourself total permission to live life to the fullest, regardless of a number on the scale.
How do you write an affirmation for positive body image?
If you didn’t find an affirmation for body image that resonated with you above, here are a few steps you can follow to write your own.
- Think about what do you want to change about yourself. What do you not like about your body? What are your main pain-points?
- Narrow this list down to no more than three things. It can get a bit overwhelming if you’re trying to repeat 10 affirmations every day, so I invite you to pick no more than three and focus on these first. You can move on to other affirmations in the future, if you feel you need to.
- Now flip the negative statements about yourself so that they go from negative to neutral or even positive. For example, if you believe your body is unworthy of love, flip this on its head by writing the affirmation, ‘my body is worthy of love, just the way it is.’
- Write these affirmations down on a piece of paper or in your journal. Write them in the present tense and in your own voice, as if you were telling them to a friend. Don’t be too shy to throw in a swear word or two if this helps you harness your inner power (I find this helps them resonate on a deeper level as I feel like I’m really hyping myself up.)
I personally write down two affirmations that I’m working on in my journal every morning and then repeat them three times in my head.
I also repeat them if I catch myself engaging in negative self-talk.
Should I use affirmations for body neutrality or body positivity?
Affirmations for body image are a really effective way to help improve confidence, self-esteem, and how we see ourselves overall. However, what if you want to delve a bit deeper into the world of body positivity, self love or body neutrality?
As someone who has overcome eating disorders, poor self-esteem, and self-destructive behaviours, and still struggles with bad body image days and needs to repeat affirmations for body image regularly, I personally preach pursuing body neutrality first.
I recommend this for a few reasons:
- Feeling neutral towards your body is often ‘easier’ than feeling positively towards it, particularly if you regularly engage in negative self-talk. It feels much more achievable. Oftentimes, we don’t even bother attempting to love ourselves because the word ‘love’ is too heavy and feels too impossible to reach. If we only aim for ‘accept’ rather than ‘love’, it makes the mountain seem like more of a hill, which is much more manageable.
- Our bodies change. It’s part of life. If we become too attached or focused on loving an aspect of our looks that could – and likely will – change in the future, we risk shattering any progress we’ve made and having to start from square one. If we’re neutral towards how external looks, it won’t matter nearly as much. For example, if you don’t like your hip dips and then spend years working on loving them, only for your hips to change shape again as you get older, you now have to start loving your new hips all over again. If you’re just neutral towards your hips, no matter what shape or size they are, then change won’t affect you as negatively.
- Being neutral with our own bodies helps us remain neutral towards other peoples’ bodies. Part of self love, in my opinion, is to not only stop being cruel to ourselves, but to others as well. It might be a tough pill to swallow, but repeatedly judging our own bodies so harshly often leads to us judging others’ bodies in the same way, either consciously or unconsciously. If we start being accepting of ALL bodies – Fat bodies, Trans bodies, Disabled bodies, BIPOC bodies – we can also start being more accepting of our own. So, be self-aware, hold yourself accountable, and when you catch yourself judging someone else for the way they look, have a word with yourself, consider why you feel this way, and work on it.
It’s obviously totally up to you. However, I found it really liberating to pursue feeling neutral towards my body over plunging into body positivity.
You can still love your body and practise self love, but this love comes from deeper within.
It comes from feeling inherently worthy and enough, regardless of what your outer shell looks like.
It comes from a knowing that you’re amazing and good person, no matter how much you weigh, and acknowledging that our dress size does not reflect our worthiness as human beings.