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Embracing Body Positivity: A Guide to Overcoming Body Image Challenges

body image

Many of us struggle with feeling good about our bodies, especially during winter vacations or the summer when we wear shorts and swimsuits. It can be tough to feel confident and positive about our appearance when we’re bombarded with images of “perfect” bodies in the media. But there are ways to work towards a healthier and happier body image. How can we learn to love and appreciate our bodies more?

Identifying the Roots of Body Image Issues

The roots of poor body image often stem from pervasive shame-based messages received from various sources – friends, family, television, and social media alike. The resounding theme is that your body should conform to certain standards, instigating a corrosive effect on self-esteem. These persistent messages create a belief that one is “not good enough” as they are, fostering a habit of self-criticism and judgment.

Transforming Body Talk

While the ideal goal may be to eliminate negative thoughts about our bodies entirely, breaking old habits can be challenging. A positive starting point involves refraining from negative body comments, such as:

“I could never wear that.”

“I will never fit in those pants again.”

“I wish I could be size xyz.”

“I am never wearing a swimsuit in public.”

“I look so bloated.”

Instead, shift the narrative to focus on what your body does for you, acknowledging gratitude:

“I’m thankful for my legs; they help me walk.”

“I’m thankful for my arms; they let me hold a loved one.”

“I’m thankful for my stomach; it turns food into energy.”

Cultivating a Positive Food Relationship

Reframe your perspective on food, viewing it as a means to nourish and energize rather than fixating on its impact on the scale. Food is meant to be nourishing, energizing, and enjoyable. Avoid discussions centered on overeating, restriction, or dieting, and instead focus on the positive aspects of food:

Remember – there isn’t good and bad food – only food that gives you energy and food that doesn’t.

Parents can play a crucial role in modeling a healthy relationship with food for their children, encouraging balanced meals, and discussing what fuels and energizes the body.

If you’re struggling with how you feel about your body, know that there’s help available. You can talk to a therapist or a nutrition counselor who can teach you how to treat your body with kindness and care. If you want to schedule an appointment, give us a call today.

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