Body image is the way you think or feel about your body—not necessarily how you look, but how you feel about the way you look or move in your body and it can be positive or negative. Everyone has one. It’s developed over time by many influences such as cultural beauty standards, life experiences, comments, media pressures and so on. If you struggle with maintaining a healthy body image, here are some practical ways to help:
- Understand the difference between health and size. Health is not necessary about a number on a scale. Some people with a “normal” BMI are, in fact, unhealthy whereas others with an “overweight” BMI can be healthy. Health and appearance are two difference things
- Recognize true beauty, which is timeless. Health and confidence radiates beauty
- Keep a list of your positive qualities that have nothing to do with your appearance. Perhaps you are kind, perhaps you are assertive, perhaps you have strong legs. Start a list and keep adding to that list
- Get moving. Find creative ways to move your body in a way that makes you feel good
- Always treat your body with respect and kindness. Always
- Understand that your worth is not measured by the size of your waist or the number on the scale. If you are human, you are worthy and entitled to love
- Honor your body for what it does
- Talk through your issues with a trusted friend, a professional counselor or therapist
- Commit to making positive health choices that will improve your self-confidence and feelings of empowerment
- Understand that you are unique, with unique abilities, talents and a unique shape
Unfortunately, many individuals have struggled with a negative body image for so long that it’s hard to even know where to start. You may find it helpful to think back to a time in your youth when you were fearless and moved with ease, long before you had suffered any blows to your developing self-esteem. Find ways to support this vision of the new, “old” you. Regardless of how you feel, the real you is strong, healthy, beautiful and talented. Connect with that and let it sink in deep.
At Nutrition Solutions, we believe in long-term support and comprehensive approaches. If you’d like help with improving your body image and self-esteem, reach out and we’d love to connect you with a licensed professional counselor.