Think about it: You really spend only a few minutes a day naked. And as a result, being au naturel doesn't feel, well, all that natural. This might explain why so few women claim to be proud of their bare bodies. In a survey I conducted for Women's Health, a measly 8 percent of 3,500 women claimed to be proud of their bodies. But I also discovered through talking with body-image experts that feeling more confident in the buff can be as easy as spending a little more time in that state (don't worry-no streaking necessary). Start with these four sensual suggestions.
1. Take a Bath
If you're like most people, you don't spend much more than 10 minutes in the shower. Bathing in the tub will help you to slow down your ablutions and give you the perfect opportunity to become better acquainted with your body all over again.
2. Snooze in the Nude
More than half of the women who responded to my Look Better Naked survey reported that they never sleep naked. But for the purposes of getting used to spending time au naturel, leaving your pj's in the drawer for a night is a worthy experience. You'll be in your own home and no one will see you (except your partner, if you have one, and he won't mind a bit... trust me). But to get the most out of your naked eight hours, don't just climb into bed, strip down under the covers, and go straight to sleep. Spend some time experiencing the sensation of being sans nightie before you doze off. If you like the way your sheets make you feel, splurge on a new set that has a higher thread count than you're used to and make sleeping in the nude a regular thing.
3. Go for a Massage
This step is a way to "practice" being nude by spending time in an environment where it's OK. It's also an effective way of becoming more closely acquainted with your body so that you can grow to like and appreciate it more. How you approach this particular "exercise," and what you glean from it, however, will depend in part on how much massage experience you already have. If you've never had a professional massage (and especially if the reason is that you feel uncomfortable having a stranger see and touch your body), getting one may feel like jumping into the deep end. But that, of course, is the point: I want you to go ahead and get naked, and I promise that this will be one of the most enjoyable ways to do that. The most important thing to remember if you're squeamish is this: The therapist will not be judging you in any way. "I've had people apologize for not shaving their legs," says MK Brennan, past president of the American Massage Therapy Association. "Believe me, the massage therapist will be focused only on what's going on underneath your skin: the musculature and any tense areas that might need extra attention."
4. Get Fitted for Sexy Lingerie
Like a massage therapist, a professional lingerie fitter will take an objective view of your body. Unlike a massage therapist, she'll tell you what she sees as she measures you and evaluates the items you try on. Pay attention to what she says: She sees dozens of nearly nude bodies every day, and her reactions to yours will underscore just how normal it is-and, more important, what its best assets are.Style inspiration for your undergarment shopping.
The workout, the eating plan, and the secrets to get you there, all in one book. Buy Look Better Naked.
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