When we decide to follow a diet, often times we fail for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons though, is because we focus so much on that number on the scale and less on the hard work of healing our relationship with food and our body. This toxic mindset, can create a cycle of fast weight loss followed by weight gain, which is often referred to as yo-yo dieting. This cycle is counterproductive and can lead to disordered eating and other serious diseases. 

Thankfully, positive affirmations, which are simple statements that we can repeat to ourselves, can help us reframe the way we think and influence feelings and behaviors. Affirmations are not “Magic Pills,” but repeating them for a few minutes daily may help redirect negative though patterns and boost motivation and self-confidence. 

Try these 5 positive affirmations to improve your well-being and deepen your connection with your body:

1.I am Healthy and Strong:

Unfortunately, diet culture tells us how our bodies should look and we often lose ourselves trying to achieve the unattainable. We should try our hardest to remember the old saying “Bodies come in all shapes and sizes,” instead of chasing the unrealistic idea of a certain appearance. We need to shift our thinking to focus on function, because after all the ideal body is when our bodies are at its healthiest state. 

Repeating this affirmation can cause our brain to take aspiration as fact and subsequently improve health behaviors. When we prioritize aspirational thinking toward our body’s abilities, we remove the focus on that number on the scale. This helps us align our thoughts with a number that is healthiest for us. 

2. I appreciate what my body can do:

When we stop and focus on the many amazing things that our body is capable of doing, and the amazing things it already does it can help us reframe our relationship with it. Looking at solely our weight, or our BMI can be a problematic was to measure our health. Thinking about the things your body is capable of can help transform the way you consider your body, shifting it toward function rather than numbers. 

Maybe you carried a baby, maybe you hit a new big lift, maybe you beat cancer, or the laughter your body can create despite everything it’s going through. Simply acknowledge all of the amazing things your body has done, big or small. Rather than viewing our body as a thing that needs to continually be fixed, this affirmation focuses on what it already achieves. 

3. I move every day: 

Maybe you really struggle with formal exercise, and that is OK. Reframe the idea of “working out” to mean “movement that feels good.” Maybe going to the gym in your apartment complex feels like a drag, try something different that feels good not only for your body but your mind too. Maybe it’s taking a group fitness class, or walking/running through a scenic trail, or dancing it out in your kitchen to your favorite music. Reframing how you think of exercise may encourage you to get some more movement from day to day which can help improve your health and well-being. 

4. I am capable of difficult things:

This is an important one. This affirmation helps us build our self-efficacy, or perception of how well we might carry our a specific task. High self-efficacy can promote behavior changes. You can say this affirmation as it is, or you can tweak it to say “I am capable of running one mile.” As you set these goals, keep in mind that they should be attainable and build up gradually. Avoid overly ambitious changes that are unlikely for you to accomplish. Remember, you’re aiming for slow, progressive and sustainable goals that eventually will become habit. 

5. I am kind to myself. 

Positive self-talk is essential to explore on your path to wellness. Self talk is your inner monologue you carry, the way you speak to yourself inside your head. Sad enough, the way that we speak to ourselves may be less generous than the way we could ever speak to another person. If you find yourself harshly self-critical, try this affirmation to help foster compassion toward yourself. 

The Bottom Line:

Positive affirmations can be a great start to improving your well-being and relationship with your body. The best affirmations are those that work for YOU. Therefore, make your affirmations specific to your goals and situation. They may work best when repeated daily for a few minutes at a time. While you’re getting ready for work each morning is the perfect example of a time to work on those affirmations. They are not “magic pills” but they can provide a launching point for your path to wellness.