Ah the comparison trap.
That sickening feeling you get when you see a beautiful woman with a “perfect body” and a seemingly perfect life.
One of the most important pieces of advice I tell my clients when we talk about comparing ourselves to others is this:
You can never fully know what that person’s life is really like.
For example, I used to be about 10 pounds lighter than I am now. I was at my lowest weight, my smallest dress size, and from the outside it looked like I had it all together.
The reality? I was super uptight and OBSESSED with food.
Sure I weighed less than I do now, but I wouldn’t exactly say I was happy in my super strict vegan, gluten free, 100% organic haze.
The same goes for that gorgeous, super bendy woman in the front row last night at yoga.
Or the boss babe you saw walking down the street on your way to work this morning.
Comparing yourself to someone else is completely unrealistic, and it’s only going to mess with your self esteem – and your sanity.
My top tip to free yourself from the comparison trap? Stop deliberately surrounding yourself with unrealistic images that only serve to make you feel bad about yourself and trigger you into comparison mode.
We all know that beauty magazines are the worst for making us feel unattractive.
So how is that any different from the #fitspo accounts on Instagram? “Fitspo” is short for “fitness inspiration”, but all it ends up doing is enforcing our unrealistic body goals and leaving us feeling like we’re not enough – unless we look like them.
It’s not healthy. And not realistic.
So go ahead, unfollow every last one of those accounts. I give you full permission. #fitspo is not doing any good for your fitness, your body, or your sanity.
Here are 7 body positive Instagram accounts that I absolutely LOVE, and I trust that you will too.
These fierce & fabulous women are doing their thing – and embracing their curves every step of the way.
Proof that you don’t have to be skinny to live a fabulous life that you love:
1. Katie H. Wilcox
Katie is a plus sized model and a self proclaimed female spirit warrior and self love teacher. I just love her, and especially her #notbuyingit campaign to expose magazines and media for pushing their unrealistic body image onto us all.
I love layering necklaces. This gold bar necklace was given to me by my friend Dani at her wedding! It has the coordinates of where we met in the NYC subway 11 years ago! How cute is that? She got one made for each bridesmaid. I think it is little things like this that make you feel special and loved. @danisgram ❤️😘 #katiehwillcox #healthyisthenewskinny #ooft #style #layer #fashion #love #friendship
2. Healthy Is The New Skinny
Created by founder Katie Wilcox (above), this project is summed up perfectly in their IG bio: “Exposing the harmful media messaging and beauty ideal keeping girls small.” YES!
@alisonwoodmusic wrote us and said, “I feel beautiful and stronger than I ever have before! Thank you for your encouragement and I realize now I can spend my time focused on important thing in my life instead of the size of my stomach or hips.” Ok, this is what we are talking about!!!! 💯🙌💪 I don’t k ow about you but we can see the joy and happy spirit in this one and that the goal we can all be successful in achieving! We can love our bodies and be strong but also like our happiness shine out of us like sunbeams! ☀️Join our Girlgang at www.healthyisthenewskinny.com #healthyisthenewskinny #healthybodyimage #selflove #happy #bodylove A photo posted by healthyisthenewskinny™ (@healthyisthenewskinny) on
3. Sarah Jenks
Sarah Jenks is a Body Love pioneer and the founder of Weigh Less, Live More. She has dedicated her life to spread the message that you don’t need to wait on the weight in order to be happy now. She has a beautiful growing family, so if you’re a mom or mom-to-be Sarah’s is a great account to follow.
Motherhood has not been a piece of cake for me (I know I’m far from being alone here). I just thought it would come a little more naturally to me (anyone else feel this way?). Today on the blog I’m admitting something I’ve been bottling up for a long time, and talking about how I got out of a pretty deep hole. The strategy I used can be translated to all parts of our life, so I hope you’ll check it out even if motherhood is a breeze for you, or you aren’t a mother. You can get it here: bit.ly/motherhoodmissionstatement (clickable link in profile) And I can’t believe how much my baby has grown up since this picture was taken back in December by @bessfriday. To growth! #tbt A photo posted by Sarah Jenks (@sarahjenks) on
4. Girl with Curves
This girl is proof that you can be stylish at any size. Need a nudge to stop hiding behind your “fat clothes” until you lose the weight? Tanesha Awasthi here will inspire you to rock your own unique style regardless of your size.
Latest look on #GirlWithCurves.com 🎀 (link in bio) @liketoknow.it www.liketk.it/1CyHB #liketkit #nofilter #psootd #girly #girlwithcurls #curvesandcurls A photo posted by Tanesha Awasthi (@girlwithcurves) on
5. Honor Curves
Fellow Canadian and body love activist, Honorine of Honor Curves is dedicated to helping women embrace their feminine curves, and some of per posts are just plain hilarious.
6 sleeps until my 30th birthday and while I am the biggest I have ever been and weigh the most I have ever weighed– I am more in touch with the healthy mind, body and spirit that I am cultivating. On my way to personal training tonight I realized that very thing– while weight gain has always signified a false sense of failure or chaos in my life, I now realize that this is my body and I love it enough to go take care of it as it is. In the past I would have beaten myself up for being my biggest and that just ain’t right. I have to be kind and nurture this body now, as is. I chose to nurture it with personal training tonight –a place where I am becoming stronger both mentally and physically, thanks to my amazing trainer @b.flaig and my wonderful friend @mopissa who is on this training journey with me. I may be getting older but I am also getting wiser. #honormycurves Love your body now, wherever you are in your life. Just enjoy the day and be present in your body, in a kind way. Kindness is always so hard for us, and yet it’s something we so desperately yearn for under the surface. 💖 A photo posted by I am Honor Curves. (@honorcurves) on
6. Emily Nolan
A client of mine told me about Emily’s work a few months ago, and I’ve been in awe ever since. She’s the founder of TOPLESSbyemily, “a bras on, bellies out self-confidence event for men and women.” Love, love, love.
Paddling into the Grecian sunset. 🌅 Clearing my mind and having fun moving my body. 💪🏼 #mykindoflife #greece #paddleboard #patmos #healthybellyselfie #TOPLESSbyemily #gwjpatmos15 A photo posted by Emily Nolan (@mykindoflife_em) on
7. Swim Suits For All
Ever feel like you can’t wear a bikini until you’re thin enough? Think again. Swimsuitsforall features babes of all shapes and sizes rocking their bathing suits with zero apology or body shame.
I hope you’ve found at least one (if not all seven) new accounts to add some body love back into your life and your IG feed. Also, if we’re not friends yet on Instagram, make sure you head on over to @chelseybenzel and follow me there! Instagram is my favourite social media platform these days and I spend way more time there than on Facebook or Twitter (is that still a thing?)
Did I miss anyone?
If there’s anyone I missed that you love to follow, leave a comment and share their account so we can check them out too!