A healthy body equals a healthy body image. Because, if you have an unhealthy body image, which is when you are constantly criticizing your body, this self-sabotaging act will keep you from improving your overall health. Honestly, why would you even want to give a body that you can't stand to look at anything good? Having a negative body image can limit you from intentionally choosing to do all the good things that will make your health thrive. It can reduce your "get healthy" motivation levels. And worse of it all, this way of thinking also impels you to hold onto that self-sabotaging perfect body standard such as, “I won’t be satisfied until my body looks a certain way." What way? Does that “perfect” body even exist? Please let me know, because, I have yet to come across a body that is 100% without flaws.
What is body image? (As defined by The National Eating Disorder Association)
- Body image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind.
- It encompasses: What you believe about your own appearance (including your memories, assumptions, and generalizations).
- How you feel about your body, including your height, shape, and weight.
- How you sense and control your body as you move.
- How you feel in your body.
When you become dissatisfied with your body, you are inclined to eat unhealthy foods, gain weight, not exercise and take part in unhealthy lifestyle habits. All of which will damage the health of your body.
If you struggle with improving your body image, I applaud you for taking the time to read this article and learn how to see the beauty of you, inside and out. Hooray for you! Improving your body image is a powerful step towards a thriving health.
Here are five tips that will help you fall in love with your body.
- Throw away that darn scale! I do not care what you do with it. Give it away or smash it. Because every time you step on that scale, this worthless piece of junk is encouraging you to feel horrible about your body. This thing gives you a fictional number that cannot define your worth. So please get rid of your weight scale or stop stepping on it.
- Consider how the beauty industry plays a role in your body image. This industry's primary purpose is to convince you of something that is very hard to get, perfect beauty. And worse, when you expose yourself to beauty magazines or commercials, whether you like it or not, you start to compare yourself to the so-called perfect body images and photoshopped flawless faces. Throw out the silly magazines, turn off the TV and surround yourself with marketing materials created by industry's that make you feel good, empowered and worthy.
- Ditch the friends that make you feel bad about your body. Find friends that are encouraging and build you up when you are feeling down. Locate friends that cheer you on when you are striving to be your best. Your dearest friends are your strongest influences.
- Every time you feel bad about your body image, ask yourself these questions. Can I do something to change these feelings? How can I change them? Do you respect your natural body shape? Do you understand that your physical appearance is only one piece of you? These types of questions allow you to become aware of your thinking patterns and hopefully, gives you the opportunity to steer negative body image thinking to a better direction.
- Post messages of positivity all around you. Never underestimate the power of words. Words like, “you are beautiful,” “real beauty is deep within” or “today I love my body” can shift your perception to a better place. Write empowering words on a post-it note and stick them all on your wall or better yet, next to your mirror. Fill your life with words of endless positivity.
Developing a positive body image is a process that leads you to a life of happy, better health and I love my body no matter what!