When we don’t feel good about our bodies, we treat them in ways that perpetuate our weight and eating struggles. We diet…and binge. We binge…and hate ourselves and our bodies.
We over-exercise to compensate…and then we injure ourselves. We do it all…and burn out. Self care is not part of this equation.
It’s odd that starting to feel better about ourselves can have such an impact in helping us start to feel better in our bodies and take better care of them. The mind-body connection is indeed a powerful thing.
A Better Body Image in Four Steps
Improving body image is about starting to talk nicely to ourselves. It’s about relinquishing negative thoughts and actions that interfere with taking care of ourselves, perpetuate the idea that we are what we weigh, and ultimately drive dieting behaviors that fuel, not fumigate, struggles with weight.
Undoing a negative body image that has lived in our heads for so long can be difficult, but there are several steps you can take to start to turn things around. Focus on one step at a time, taking one a day. In a week, you may find yourself in a better place.
Undoing A Negative Body Image – A Step at a Time
1. Aim for neutrality. Once you become more aware of the ways you talk to yourself about your body, practice thinking differently to plant and water the seeds that can grow into a new body image.
Take small steps if large ones seem unrealistic. For example, try just being neutral about your body, not negative or positive. When you stand before a mirror, refrain from making any judgment about your body. You’ll lay the groundwork for moving further when you’re ready.
2. Be realistic. If telling yourself “I am beautiful” doesn’t feel believable yet, come up with a list of affirmations that sound and feel authentic to you: “I am more than my reflection” or “I appreciate my body for what it does for me.”
Give up fat talk, such as “I’m so fat” or “Does this make me look fat?”
3. Make self-worth the priority. Focus on your self-worth rather than your self-image.
Acknowledge what you do well rather than spending time thinking about how you look or or think you should look. Ask yourself where those ideals even came from?
4. Surround yourself with images and art that represent women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Toss those magazines that feature air-brushed women who don’t really look like they appear on the magazine.
Remember, even super models don’t look like super models before airbrushing, hair stylists and makeup artists! Check out these blogs about fashion and beauty for full-figured women for some inspiration.