How Do I Improve My Body Image?
Sadly, a negative body image is a huge issue for most women. I don’t know a single woman who feels good about her body all the time. There is so much pressure in the media to look a certain way. There are an endless number of fad diets that tell us we aren’t good enough as we are, but if we lost weight, we might be. Every new client I see thinks that they will feel better about themselves if they lose weight. It rarely works this way. Sure, in the beginning, you feel more confident and comfortable, but the shiny newness of this wears off quickly and no matter how much weight you lose, it never feels like enough. They often think that shaming their body serves as motivation to make changes. I always ask if that has worked and the answer is always a resounding no. Shaming our bodies does nothing more than push us further and further into a downward spiral. Instead, try these tips to reduce body shame. That will free up emotional energy to allow you to actually make changes. We are much more likely to nurture something we love than something we hate.
- Focus on your body as a whole. Instead of picking out all of the details you hate about your body, try looking at your body as a whole. This diffuses negative energy around the body parts you tend to shame.
- Use neutral language. How we talk to and about ourselves can be very inflammatory. The negative chatter going on in the background only serves to drive us further into a downward spiral due to shame. Just like we learned in kindergarten, if you don’t have anything nice (or neutral) to say, don’t say anything at all.
- Accept your body in this moment. I can’t force anyone to love their body, but I do encourage acceptance. Acceptance does not mean you can’t make changes. It simply means that you don’t shame yourself for being any different in this moment because you can’t change where you are in this moment. The shame will only have a negative impact on what you do from here.
- Focus on function. We spend so much energy on what our bodies look like and very little on what they do for us. Our bodies are amazing! Instead of verbally berating how it looks, appreciate what it does for you on a daily basis.
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