Building a Healthy Body Image

We’ve all experienced looking at the rail thin models on magazines and wished we looked more like them. We look at ourselves and feel fat in comparison. Having an unhealthy body image is a problem that most women face. Low self-esteem is often the root cause of an unhealthy body image.

The first step in ending the destructive cycle of self hate is in recognizing the problem and addressing the causes. You may have been unceasingly teased about your weight when you were a child but that doesn’t mean that you have to be shackled to this negative self image. You must realize that as an adult you are solely responsible for your own pain. Here are some techniques to help you accept your body and move forward.

Reprogram the movie in your mind. Change your inner beliefs that impose the image of a lean woman as the epitome of all womanhood. Instead of conforming to the ideals of current media, experiment with your own distinct style. If you have a supermodel image in your head that you constantly try to live up to, get rid of it. Who are you comparing yourself to? There are no perfect bodies in reality.

Think positive. Whenever you feel those negative thoughts creeping in, counter them immediately with all of your accomplishments. If you start thinking that you are unattractive because of your weight, think of all your other attributes like a killer smile or a quick wit.

Exercise and eat right. This doesn’t mean that you should starve yourself and run 20 miles to look like a top super model. Exercising can help you lose weight and it can boost your mood naturally. You should set realistic goals when you set out to lose weight. Proper diet and physical activity can raise your self esteem.

Think of your body as a whole. If you are unhappy with your elephantine thighs or your large nose, try to see the sum of the parts. You are a wonderful whole person who is more than one perceived flawed part.

Meditate. Meditation can help clear your mind and make you think more clearly. Take a few deep breaths and you can see yourself in a new light. You’ll recognize that annoying voice in your head for what it really is: your fears and insecurities and it is totally opposite from the reality of your situation.

Be mindful. If you realize the amount of time you spend in front of the mirror, criticizing yourself instead of living fully in the present then you’ll see how petty you have become. Just being more engaged in your life will make your worries about your body image seem inconsequential. Compared to world peace, poverty and racism your worries about how your clothes fit seem almost comical.

Love yourself. Not to the point of becoming an egomaniac but at the very least show how much you are comfortable with your own body. Treat yourself to a day at the spa or go on a shopping trip.