The vast majority of women are dissatisfied with their bodies. The exact number of us who don't like what we see when we look in the mirror varies depending on which report you read—but it could be anywhere from 80 percent to 97 percent. Even more troubling, the National Eating Disorders Association reports that 40 to 60 percent of elementary school girls (aged 6 to 12) worry about getting fat.
Research suggests social media—an endless well of #fitspo and celebs in bikinis—is only making women feel even worse about their bodies.
So while millions of people are pledging to join a gym, work out for two hours every day, give up all sugar, and lose all the weight they can't stand in 2015, maybe it's better to consider a more realistic goal: to stop feeling bad about your body!
Treat those negative thoughts like old cookies the dog licked and throw them the hell out. They add nothing positive to your life or anyone else's. Every time these negative thoughts creep into your mind remember, you are a flawless being who deserves only positive emotions about herself at all times.
1. "I hate my butt/thighs/[insert other body part here]."
Guess what: you are the only one who has ever noticed anything so negative about one tiny part of your body. How many people look at another woman's upper arms and think, "Ew! She should be embarrassed!" No one, that's who.
2. "I just need to lose eight pounds! Diet starts tomorrow."
You're not Regina George and your life isn't Mean Girls so who the hell cares? Diets are a one-way train to yo-yoing back to whatever weight you're at now, so find a lifestyle that feels sustainable for you and don't worry about losing an ounce or vanity weight.
3. "I feel so fat."
And tomorrow you might feel like a toothpick! Or you might eat pizza again! Who cares? You're human! Besides, this is the most boring conversation starter known to every couple ever.
4. "I look fat in everything I wear."
No, you look like a freaking goddess in everything you wear. Even if you were stuffing your clothes with balloons, you'd look like a freaking goddess in everything you wear. So wear what makes you feel good and stop worrying about it.
5. "My arm looks like a sausage in that photo! Untag me!"
Unless someone covered your arm in little sausage hors d'oeuvres when you were passed out drunk at a party, it doesn't look like a sausage. Moving on.
6. *pinches stomach* *feels disgusted*
Breaking news: everyone has flesh they can pinch from their stomach. This distinguishes you in no way good or bad from anyone else in the world. Your stomach flesh is beautiful and never pinched you back so leave it be and love it.
7. "My cellulite looks so gross."
Everyone has cellulite! You could probably pinch the legs of a bunch of fashion models and find that they have cellulite also. And even if they don't they're like .0000000000000001 percent of the population who doesn't have it so whatever. You're normal and it's beautiful.
8. "If I just stop eating every carb I can finally look like Gisele!"
Cutting out foods that are delicious is a one-way train to bingeing, which isn't a healthy habit to get into. Everyone has a different body type—there are the Giseles of the world and the Kim Kardashians of the world—so embrace yours and eat Cheetos when you damn well feel like it.
9. "I ate a whole piece of cake and now I can't eat anything but lettuce for the rest of the day."
Well, eat salad if you want to but also eat fried chicken if you want to. Indulging in a whole slice of cake sometimes is just fine! It's not going to change how you look so stop convincing yourself it will!.
10. *weighs self* *feels disgusted*
Weight fluctuates. Muscle weighs more than fat. The scale at your gym might say something different from the scale at your house. There are one MILLION reasons why it might be higher or lower than the last time you weighed yourself. Who cares? Just throw out your scale. Scales are dumb.
11. "If only I were at my high school/college/wedding/[insert other life moment here] weight."
Yeah and if only I were on a beach in Jamaica drinking a wine spritzer instead of sitting in my mom's living room writing this post. But I'm not. And you know what? Life is still great!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.