We all have body image issues for many reasons. We all have to find ways to accept and love our bodies no matter what shape they are in. Here are some suggestions that might help you to get in touch with your body and become more self-accepting of your body as it is now.
Steps to accepting your body:
- Start small. Look and find one thing, no matter how small, you like and appreciate about your body.
- Appreciate your body and all it can do. Appreciate the changes as you age and change. Base your self-image and self-esteem to match current strengths not those of days gone past.
- Remind yourself what “true” beauty is it is more than how you look!
- Look at yourself as a whole person.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Shut down your negative thoughts and inaccurate thinking! Give yourself positive affirmations! Work to change thought patterns. (self-put-downs, mistaking feelings for facts, jumping to negative conclusions, changing a positive into a negative, all or nothing thinking, seeing and dwelling on only the negatives)
- Dress nicely. Wear clothes that make you feel good about your body.
- View social and media messages through critical eyes. Write letters of protest to the advertiser. Reframe your thinking about what media communicates to you. “Basically, you have the power to override what you see in the media and create your own image of what’s beautiful. “Focus on health and fitness rather than aesthetics.” Adam Farrah, certified trainer and cofounder of the “Strong is the New Skinny” social-media campaign.
- Do something good for yourself. Reward yourself when you succeed.
- Channel extra time and energy into helping others. Reaching out to others can help you feel better about yourself and help create positive change in the world. Take time to compliment other people.
- Dance and Movement Therapy help one to develop a greater appreciate and trust of one’s body.
- Practice good personal hygiene.
- Practice good posture.
- Work out regularly.
- Sit in the front row.
- Speak up.
- Walk faster.
- Set aside perfection and grab a hold of accomplishments and Mistakes. Learn from your failures and face your fears. Forgive yourself.
- Explore yourself. Take a self-esteem inventory. List 10 strengths on one side of a paper and 10 weaknesses on the other. Push and find all ten Strengths! Make a list of the top ten things you like about yourself that is not related to weight or physical appearance.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Become a better version of yourself. You are unique! Cherish your body’s uniqueness. Others lives might look greener but the reality can be totally different. “Only 2% of all the women in the world fall into the supermodel category. That leaves a lot of room for the rest of us!” Denise Martz, a clinical health psychologist. “Seventy-eight percent of women survey said they wished they could wear a smaller size—even the ones who were already a size 8.” Denise Martz The Average fashion model is 5 feet 8 inches and measures 34-24-34 (women) and men are 6 feet or taller with a 40 inch chest and chiseled body. 99% of us we cannot obtain those measurements. “Celebrity life is not real life.” Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, Psychologist and Physical Therapist.
- Culture can have a negative effect on a woman’s self-esteem. Women are doted on because of their looks as children whereas boys are touted for being smart and strong.
Test your body image from SparkPeople: HERE
How Healthy Is Your Body Image?
When you’re on good terms with your body, it shows. Here are some signs you’re on the right track: (I wish I could find where I found these!)
- When someone compliments you on your appearance or fitness, you’re gracious and accept the compliment as authentic.
- You prefer to wear clothes that highlight your form rather than hide it.
- It is not hard to find an outfit in which you feel comfortable and attractive.
- You rarely compare yourself with others. You recognize that you are unique.
- You can admire another person’s physique without silently criticizing or judging your own.
- When you pass by a mirror or storefront window, you don’t stop and nitpick your appearance; you might even give yourself an approving nod.
- You can name several parts of your body that you genuinely like and appreciate.
- If you put on (or lose) a little weight, you can note it matter-of-factly, without undue anxiety or stubborn denial.
- You are more focused on optimizing your health, fitness and confidence than on achieving a particular weight or “look.”
- You are not comparing yourself with others.