Body image and self-esteem start in the mind, not in the mirror. They can change the way you understand your value and worth. Body image can also encompass the thoughts and feelings about how it feels to move in that body, perceptions of body shape, and beliefs about appearance. These thoughts about body shape are often tied to a person’s self-esteem and their ability to practice self-love.
The way each person visualizes and behaves towards their body is unique to everyone and manifests in a variety of ways. The reason for this huge variation of how we behave and think about our bodies is that we are different. We all come from different backgrounds and are influenced by society, which includes family, friends, and media, all of which contribute to how we think about ourselves and what is the ideal body.
How can I encourage a healthier body image?
~Treat your body with respect.
~Eat well-balanced meals and exercise because it makes you feel good and strong, not as a way to control your body.
~Notice when you judge yourself or others based on weight, shape, or size. Ask yourself if there are any other qualities you could look for when those thoughts come up.
~Dress in a way that makes you feel good about yourself, in clothes that fit you now.
Be aware of how you talk about your body with family and friends. Do you often seek reassurance or validation from others to feel good about yourself? Do you often focus only on physical appearances?
Having active appreciation for our bodies can lead to important healthy physical changes in our lifestyle. Positive body image is linked to being more physically active, less smoking, less alcohol consumption and less negative eating habits.
To summarize, body image goes far beyond simply whether we like our bodies or not. The way we view our body and how we feel towards it, can have significant impacts on our mental health, in both positive and negative ways. Therefore, it is important that we look after ourselves so we can try and live a life that is as healthy and fulfilled as possible.
At New Vitality Centers, our goal is to improve your overall health, confidence, and quality of life. Join the hundreds of individuals that have participated in our Clean Start Weight Loss Program.