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Health

15 Unhealthy Habits You Can Start Changing Right Now

Tell your inner Regina George to STFU.

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1. Keeping your "skinny clothes" around, you know, just in case.

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Why it matters: Chances are that every time you see something you wish you fit into you'll feel pretty bad that you don't.

Why not: Donate stuff that doesn't fit and treat yourself to something that you feel damn good in right now.

2. Pointing out everything that's wrong with you before anyone else can.

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Why it matters: When you point out your flaws, you're reinforcing a negative self-image, and heightening feelings of low self-esteem and insecurity. We already encounter so many things in our day-to-day lives that can make us feel bad, there's no reason that we should do that for ourselves. Your role should be to protect yourself and build yourself up, not break yourself down!

Instead try: When you have to urge to say something negative about yourself, ask yourself if you'd say the same thing to your friend or partner.

3. Weighing yourself all the time.

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Why it matters: You can drive yourself ~crazy~ worrying about the number on the scale, rather than concerning yourself with real markers of health. Plus, weight can vary depending on the time of day you weigh yourself and how much water your retaining. Free yourself from the number! It's not a sign of your self-worth!

Instead try: Either ditch the scale or, if you can't part with semi-regular weigh-ins, write a nice message from you to yourself directly on the scale. And ask yourself other kinds of evaluative questions like, "How strong do I feel today?"

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4. Only being able to see what you don't like about the way you look.

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Why it matters: It's easy to get caught up in a negative feedback loop, where you're only able to focus on your the things you don't like, but it's not like obsessing about that stuff changes anything. More importantly, being hyper-focused on the way you look doesn't take into account all the the fantastic, sparkling qualities of your personality.

Instead try: Taking a break from using photos to evaluate your appearance and instead look at them to remind yourself what made the moment meaningful, fun, and photoworthy.

5. Looking at fitspo for motivation to work out.

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Why it matters: Trying to make your body fit into an unrealistic mold will only end up making you feel unhappy and disappointed. Why let fitspo shame and judge you into exercising when you can learn to love your body for what it is and what it can do, NOT for how it looks?

Instead try: Getting inspiration from body-positive fitspo.

6. Putting more effort into looking good than feeling good.

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Why it matters: Your outside self can only carry you so far. If you don't take care of your insides — your emotional and psychological self — having the most beautiful face or body in the world won't matter.

Instead try: Establish an "inner beauty regime" by taking some time to think about why you're proud of yourself or what beautiful things make you you.

7. Wishing you looked like someone else.

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Why it matters: When you wish you looked like someone else, you fail to acknowledge and appreciate the very things that make you so unique, special and one-of-a-kind. There is NO ONE ELSE on Earth that could ever replace you (duh).

Instead try: Compare yourself to you; spend a minute thinking about something you can do right now that you couldn't do a few years ago.

8. Being 100% sure that you're totally unpresentable without products that camoflauge your flaws.

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Why it matters: Because you're more than your beautiful face and the makeup you put on it.

Instead try: Loving the way you look and feel with your favorite products but finding things you love about yourself even before you've put on your face.

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9. Not acknowledging all of your incredible qualities that have nothing to do with the way you look.

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Why it matters: Because though we're fed so many ideas about our self-worth being driven by the way we look, how attractive we are, or how thin we are, there is actually so much more power, beauty, and depth to us than that. And we owe it to ourselves to share those things with the world.

Instead try: Making an actual list of the things you love about yourself. Refer to it often. Repeat.

10. Talking about your muffin top, cankles, batwings, etc.

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Why it matters: Negative talk about your body just makes you feel bad and has the overall effect of lowering your self-esteem. It also becomes part of the way that women bond — so it has an impact not just on your self-esteem but that of your friends. But that's not all: Often, when we're critical about the way our bodies look, we may actually be avoiding examining the real problems in our lives. Is it your arms that are bothering you, or is it your job? Don't trivialize your own life experiences by turning them into problems with your body.

Instead try: Put a dollar in a jar every time you use one of these euphemisms to describe your body.

11. Rejecting compliments.

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Why it matters: Accepting a compliment is a kindness you give to the person who is giving you the compliment. It's also a kindness you give to yourself. Really hearing and accepting a compliment is a form of practicing self love.

Instead try: Saying "thank you."

12. Using mirror time to grab fat, obsess over blemishes, and catalog flaws.

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Why it matters: There's no shame is wanting to change the way you look or noticing parts of your body you're not thrilled about. But by reacting to the sight of yourself with disappointment and obsession about what you don't like is an act of self-punishment.

Instead try: Before you look in the mirror, promise yourself that you'll find at least one thing you like about the way you look.

13. Downplaying your accomplishments.

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Why it matters: You do others and yourself NO FAVORS by failing to acknowledge your own gifts, accomplishments, and merits. Why shrink from what you've achieved? You've earned it, and you can potentially teach and help others with your knowledge and experience.

Instead try: Acknowledge — to others and yourself — that you take full responsibility for what you did to earn your successes.

14. Ascribing value to the food you eat.

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Why it matters: Food isn't "good" or "bad," and guilt and deprivation can actually have a detrimental impact on your eating habits. Judging yourself for what you're eating can actually trigger all kinds of unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Whether you've "indulged" has nothing to do with how good a person you are.

Instead try: Not ascribing a moral value to what you've eaten. No more saying "I want pizza. Is that gross?" and "I was so bad, I had ice cream every night last week." And if you do, throw a dollar in that jar you're using to charge yourself for saying "muffin top."

15. Worrying about what every single person (besides you) thinks of you.

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Why it matters: You can drive yourself ca-razzzzzzy trying to please everybody else. Literally. Isn't it way more fun focusing on making yourself happy?

Instead try: Reminding yourself that your opinion of yourself is the most important one.

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