As we are approaching the warmer season, it is important to address a topic that impacts many individuals -- body image!
Here are 6 ways to build a better body image, without dieting:
- Eliminate negative self-talk.
It is understandable that you may not be comfortable with your body currently but learning to describe yourself with neutral, objective phrases can help stop the cycle of poor self-esteem. So, instead of saying to yourself "I have really ugly thighs," think " My thighs could use some work, and they will get there."
- Find and focus on the things you like about your looks.
It's an unhealthy practice to connect our physical features to our self-esteem, but with body image so intimately entwined with self-image, that can be hard to do. The next best thing is to find something about your image you really like. It can be great hair, great nails, terrific teeth. Find the things about yourself you can say something positive about, and every time you look in the mirror, go there first and say something positive and encouraging to yourself.
- Treat yourself with the same kindness and respect you show others.
It is easy to treat others better than we treat ourselves. Would you respect and care about a person who says about you what you are saying about yourself? If the answer is no, then begin treating yourself at least as well as you are treating others in your life.
- Say what you mean.
Sometimes, hating a body part is about wishing it were different, but sometimes negative body thoughts are a way of expressing discontent over other issues in your life. Learn to decode these messages.
- Dress the part.
If you're putting off buying new clothes until you like your body better -- don't. Whether you're bursting at the seams in duds that are too tight or swimming in oversized clothing to hide your body, you are eroding your self-esteem. Buy what fits you and look the very best you can. It sends a powerful message to yourself that you are worth it.
- Recognize that people naturally come in different shapes and sizes and cherish your body's uniqueness.
Beauty looks different on everyone so embrace your image because you are beautiful and unique!!!
Neshe' Conley, MPH, CHES,