Body Image is one of those subjects that never goes away. Ageless, it is always topical, not surprisingly. I say this because body image is all about how you see yourself physically and mentally, too.
Whether that is your face, your hair, your size, your shape, it is all about you and only you live with yourself each second of the day. No wonder having a healthy body image is crucial to a healthy overall wellbeing.
Admittedly, keeping a healthy outlook about life is hard enough on its own sometimes, what with all the challenges of growing up, let alone keeping positive about body image.
Thus, I want to share a few simple facts about how to embrace your body image right where you are.
First, focus on what you like about your body and not what you don’t like. This is easier said than done, right? Most times the thing we worry about the most, fret about, dominates the mind and can have an eroding effect on self-esteem.
Remember how draining it was the last time you obsessed about what you didn’t like about yourself. Try the opposite. Find something you really like and there will be plenty of choice and focus on it for starters. All the rest will fade into the background. For more tips on how to do this, listen to Your Confidence Inside Out with Cheryl Grace.
Next, accept that there will be bad days, bad moments when nothing looks or feels right inside out. We all have times such as these. You are not alone!
When this happens control what you can and let go of the rest. It will somehow take care of itself. For example, if you don’t like your hairstyle, change it or if you don’t like how an outfit makes you feel, find one that makes feel good. All the rest, let it go! If it is acne, for example, it will go away. If its body shape or something genetic, embrace it! It is yours!
The key is to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
After this, get clued in about what and who influences your perception about yourself. Pay attention to what you watch, what you read, who you long to be like. Let’s face it, you don’t live in a vacuum, but you can exert control over what you take in.
Limit your social media visits and report anything that makes you feel uncomfortable and cut back on television and remember that actresses and social media influencers are paid to look a certain way. That’s their job!
And don’t compare yourself to your friends or foes for that matter. Remember, that people come in different shapes, sizes, heights, colours and so on. There is only one you!
Finally, take on a few healthy habits if you already haven’t and truly make them habits.
For example, eat foods that serve your mind and your body consistently. Cut back on sugar. As sweet as it is, it is behind a multitude of health problems. And do check out Your Body Inside Out podcast with Judit Ressinka, who offers tips on how to reinvent your favourite foods such as pizza.
And don’t forget that exercise is as much about your mental health as it is your physical health. No time for a full work out? Then take a short walk or a run. Judit suggests dancing and other creative ways to get exercising.
One last tip is to talk to someone you trust, a real person, particularly when you are stuck on a dislike or feeling down about something you’ve seen. It’s good to get it out and have a reality check.
In the meantime, take care of you inside out. Check out Your Body Image Inside Out with my personal trainer, Laura Miles, who shares her journey on developing a healthy body image, as well as How To Take Care of Your Body During Tough Times with Hope Virgo. And remember, it is you I owe.
Happy New Year!