“My arms are too flabby. I can’t wear sleeveless shirts!”
” My legs have cellulite and are too pasty white to wear shorts”
“My stomach is so fat and disgusting. I could NEVER wear a bathing suit in public!”
Do you ever catch yourself saying these things, to yourself or out loud?
Men and women both focus so heavily on their outer image and appearance — in some cultures, women more than men. It has often ruled how we feel about ourselves and our self-worth. It has changed how we behave around others and in our relationships. When said too often, it changes us and our physical health completely — allowing others to see what we perceive.
How you present yourself to the world makes a statement. It helps dictate how you feel about yourself, how you act, how professional you come across, how people interact with you, how much internal energy you are creating, and how you are expressing yourself and your values. But, presenting yourself one way and creating an inner dialogue that states another can be damaging — causing a disconnect in your authenticity and your true belief in yourself (and the trust of others around you).
What your inner dialogue is saying and what you verbally express out loud is part of your body image. If your body image is weak, you are more likely going to be prone to mood swings, depression, anger, fatigue, jealousy, self-hate — which can lead to not exercising enough, eating the right foods, taking care of your stress levels, and comparing yourself to unachievable ideals, just to name a few.
So, is your body image healthy or does it need some tuning up? Take the assessment below.
Do I have a healthy body image?
_____ _____ 1. I see my body as something that I need to fix.
_____ _____ 2. My goals for my body are controlling my life.
_____ _____ 3. I aspire to look like someone else.
_____ _____ 4. I berate myself if I backslide.
_____ _____ 5. I worry about how I appear to others.
_____ _____ 6. I define success in terms of appearance.
_____ _____ 7. I am a slave to the scale and the mirror.
_____ _____ 8. I deprive myself of pleasurable activity because of my appearance.
_____ _____ 9. I look at my body reproachfully rather than appreciatively.
_____ _____ 10. I frequently indulge in negative self-talk about my body.
If you answered mostly “yes” or you have an alarmingly high amount of “yes,” check out the tips below to help you boost your body image today!
10 Tips To Boost Your Body Image
- Try new activities to loosen up your inhibitions, such as Zumba, African dancing, hula hooping, or belly dancing. Try competitive sports or rock climbing or skiing. Get involved in a competition that pushes your limits and gets your out of your comfort zone.
- Use your body to do something, such as build a shed, score a field goal, carry an elderly neighbor’s groceries, instead of treating it as an object to be looked at. You are an incredible physical being with capability beyond your imagination. Get to using it!
- Indulge in your sensual side. Get massages, use exotic perfumes, wear sexy lingerie (even at work). Only you will know how you are indulging in your sensual side.
- Wear clothes that allow you to move freely, such as comfortable shoes, flowing skirts, stretchy fabrics. And don’t worry about labeled sizes, only about how they fit and how your clothes make you feel. Sizes vary from brand to brand and are often purposefully lowered to entice.
- Learn about the wonders of the body. Read book and magazines that are positive influences towards the body. Learn how the body works, why it is such an incredible vessel, and read uplifting exerts that create an appreciation for the skin you live in. This is most freeing and empowering!
- Try yoga or mediation. They are two good practices that teach you how to be in your body in a way that isn’t critical or analytical.
- Practice good posture. It is an instant shot of body confidence! Standing up tall, squeezing your shoulder blades back, and looking eye level at others creates so much confidence. You can also try the power pose for a burst of confidence building testosterone. Try it out!
- Quit believing that people are looking at you and sizing you up! We as humans are very egocentric creatures. Most of the time, we are focused on ourselves and the thoughts in our head. We have no clue what you are doing. And, if others are judging you, it is most likely because they are insecure themselves.
- Live your life in a non-judgement zone. Praise others and their accomplishments and their awesomeness instead of beating them down. Live in a gab-free, gossip-free, non-judgement zone and, instead, learn to support those around you. Good energy bounces back good energy.
- Hire a professional to help teach and support you. If you truly have no idea of where to start or you just need some guidance to help you become successful, hire a professional. To achieve anything great in life, being mentored and coached by someone who has walked in your shoes can be a sigh of relief and exactly what you need to finally make the progress you deserve. And, having someone to cheer you along your journey is a huge boost to the self-image!
Your life deserves to sparkle!
We have one chance to truly experience life without constraints and with full freedom.
We have one chance at living this life with pure engagement and happiness.
Judgment creates negativity and negativity feeds bad body images. Don’t let yourself succumb to such smallness and miss out on life’s wonders, my beautiful friend.
Feel the summer sun on your bare arms and let your body move and dance when the moment inspires you. Embrace your life so that you can look back at any moment and say, “Wow, life is amazing!”
Are you tired of feeling stressed out and overwhelmed as soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning?
Do you like what you read?
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