These 10 Hacks Will Help You Love Your Body More
If someone were to walk up to you right now and ask you to rattle off 10 things that you adore about your body, would you be able to do it? The sad reality is that, for a lot of us, it would be so much easier to talk about all of the things we either hate or wish we could change rather than brag about all of the things we are totally in love with. That's actually why I decided to write this. My hope is that, if you do struggle with body positivity in some way (as most of us do), you won't settle for that any longer. Instead, you will take the steps needed to feel really good about the body that you're in. Not if you were bigger or smaller. Not if you were lighter or darker. Not if you hard more or less breasts, a fuller or less full derriere, or anything else that you could pick apart if given the chance.
Hacks are awesome. And these are 10 that can put you on the path to loving your body—just the way it is, right now, at this very moment.
1. Focus on Your Favorite Body Parts
If every time you look in the mirror, all you see are the things you don't like about your body, if I were you, I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. There is plenty of research out here that points to the fact that our mind is hardwired to be negative. The good thing about that is it can prevent us from being complacent in life. The bad thing is, it can lead to self-loathing. One way to not allow negative thoughts to overtake you is to put forth the concerted effort to think about what you actually love about your body.
I don't care what you look like, I promise you that you've got something—probably more than one thing—that others envy. So, do you and your self-image a favor and jot down five things that you know is bomb about your body. Then post it on the mirror that you look into the most. It's the kind of self-love hack that will help you keep things in perspective. It can help to balance the good with the "bad".
2. Dress According to Your Body Type
According to a particular study that I recently read, a whopping 80 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance and a staggering 10 million women struggle with some sort of eating disorder. Aside from constantly looking at Instagram models and comparing ourselves with others (I'll expound on that in a bit), I'd venture to say that another leading cause is a lot of us do not know what our body type is and how to dress according to that.
When I started growing out my hair, I struggled at first because I didn't know if it was high, normal or low porosity. Now that I do (it's high), I am able to provide my tresses with what they need and my hair is finally beginning to really thrive. Do you see where I am going with this?
Sometimes, we get discouraged in an outfit because it doesn't fit right. In response, we immediately start going ham on our body when the real issue is, we're putting on things that don't necessarily complement our body type. If you're not really sure what yours is, there's no time like the present to figure it out.
Articles like "The Foolproof Way to Find Out Your Real Body Type" can finally put you on the path to purchasing clothing (and accessories) that will make your body look as great as you've always wanted it to.
3. Don’t “Fear” (Body) Foundation
Back in the day, I knew a woman who was around 5'9" and 400 pounds. To this day, she is one of the most gorgeous Godiva chocolate-jet black hair-perfect eyebrows-beautiful smile-regal women that I have ever seen. While it was always pretty obvious that she was a full-figured woman, it wasn't until we got really close that I knew her exact weight. Honestly, I would've never guessed. "Girl, you can hide a lot with the right foundation," she would tell me. "It can create a silhouette that you never even knew you had."
These days, people tend to refer to body foundation as body shapers and owning a few is nothing to be ashamed of. If you go to your favorite search engine and put the words "celebrity" and "Spanx", you might be surprised how many celebs are a fan of body foundation. Cop some. It can be a real game-changer when it comes to giving you confidence in your clothing. (By the way, if you need a little help in this department, check out "A Quick Guide To Choosing The Best Shapewear for Your Body Type".)
4. Rock Your Favorite Color(s)
Personally, I'm a big believer of color psychology. Not just because certain hues send certain messages to others, but because certain colors can also make us feel different ways about ourselves. As a Black woman, something that I adore is we can make pretty much any color pop. You might be a size 2 or a size 20, but I promise you that if you put your favorite color on, it will instantly make you feel good about yourself and radiate that feeling to those around you. So, whether it's a certain color in your outfit, your purse or your lipstick, put it on. Rock it out. Shake things up.
5. Smell Good
If you check out the article, "I Asked 10 Men What Turned Them On. This Is What They Said.", you'll notice that the first thing to top the list has nothing to do with how a woman looks; it was all about how a woman smells. Chalk it up to pheromones, aphrodisiacs and how we like to be closer to people when they smell amazing. Listen, I don't care if it's perfume, essential oils or a scented lotion, don't you walk out of your house without some "smell good" on your body. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten complimented on my signature essential oil blend and how much I enjoy smelling my own damn self. It's a real self-confidence booster.
6. “Feel” Good
A lot of times, when we think about our bodies, it's the size and shape that comes to mind. But our skin is a part of our body too and when it is soft and smooth, it can make us feel absolutely…delicious is the word that immediately comes to mind. Articles on the site like "Everyone's Raving About The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine", "All-Natural Ways To Keep Your Skin Super Soft This Fall & Winter", "These Foods Will Give Your Skin & Hair The Moisture They Crave", "9 All-Natural Ways To Quench Dehydrated Skin" and "The Best Black-Owned Moisturizers To Keep Your Skin Hydrated This Winter" can provide you with tips on how to make your skin feel so good that you can't help but to love your body more. Nurture your skin. It's always time well spent.
7. Put on a Pair of Heels
Heels on a daily basis? Long-term, it's not exactly the best thing for your spine, back, knees or feet. But rocking them, in moderation, is cool. It is also a great hack for building body positivity. The reasons why include the fact that heels can make you appear taller, add some strut to your walk, provide you with a natural butt lift and cause your legs to look a mile long. So, if this is a day when you don't feel all that great about yourself, bust out a pair of pumps, girl! Watch how confident you feel, from the moment that you put them on.
8. Pamper Yourself on a Weekly Basis
Something that I make sure to do, without fail, about every 10 days or so, is I get my nails done. During one of my last appointments, I saw a woman who had some truly beautiful skin. It was like a deep coal Black. I was so mesmerized that I complimented her on it. She shrugged and said, "This ashy mess?" to which I replied, "A little sweet almond oil can fix that immediately."
Ugh, how I hate that there are so many of us who don't make time to nurture our body, let alone pamper ourselves. If you don't love your body all that much, ask yourself if you invest in it by luxuriously indulging it. If the answer is "no" or "rarely", then I'm not surprised. We don't tend to adore what we choose to neglect. #ouch and #amen
9. Always Remember How Phenomenal Your Body Is
Have you ever just sat and pondered what makes women so…miraculous? Our bodies are able to blow men's minds with pleasure; grow, birth and then feed children and, as Black women, age with a grace that makes members of basically every other ethnicity try and imitate us on a daily basis (don't make me name names). How could you not love that about yourself? From head-to-toe, you are a masterpiece. Or, as King David once said, "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." (Psalm 139:14—NKJV) You are a woman. That automatically makes your body dope. Own it.
10. STOP. COMPARING.
There's a quote by Zen Shin that says, "A flower does not think of comparing itself to the flower next to it; it just blooms." Daisies are not lilies, lilies are not roses, roses are not tulips. Yet they all have a signature beauty about them. Same thing goes for us as women.
Not only is comparing ourselves counterproductive and a total waste of precious and valuable time, it also is an insult to our Creator, our parents and even ourselves. It's basically saying that God spent more time on someone other than ourselves. Now read that back and listen to how ridiculous that sounds.
I've got some really beautiful women in my inner circle. But you know what? Rather than wondering why I don't look like them, I choose to be like, "Birds of a feather flock together." (LOL) It's not about who looks better. It's about us all encouraging one another to be our individual best. If you master the hack of no longer comparing yourself to other women, the irony is that mastering most of these other tips will not even be necessary. You'll automatically be focused on you and doing the things required to put your best self forward. You'll love your body, simply because there is none other like it. And that level of self-love and body positivity is unmatched. It really is.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy