Do you love what you see when you look in the mirror?
In this modern world it seems we are bombarded by media and messages that are constantly reminding us we need to be thin, sexy and confident. We need to model these attributes at all times in order to be valued and loved… Have you ever felt this type of pressure? How has it played out in your life?
There can be serious costs related to absorbing some of these inevitable pressures including unrealistic perceptions of one’s own health and body image. It can lead to self-esteem issues and problems with eating disorders and other mental health challenges. These pressures ultimately lead to negative consequences and it’s important to develop strategies to work against these pressures. The more we equip ourselves with knowledge and self love, the less likely these pressures will enter our temple, our bodies and our minds.
What can we do to manage all of the confronting messages and really learn to love these bodies that we are in??
The first step is to learn to love our bodies. Easier said than done right? Here is a short list of ways to love your body… what can you do differently to increase your healthy body image?
20 WAYS TO LOVE YOUR BODY!
1. Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Fuel it.
2. Create a list of all the things you body lets you do. Read it and add to it often.
3. Become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.
4. Create a list of people you admire. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
5. Walk with your head held high, supported by pride and confidence in yourself as a person.
6. Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities you enjoy.
7. Wear comfortable clothes that you like, that express your personal style, and that feel good to your body.
8. Count your blessings, not your blemishes
9. Think about all the things you could accomplish with the time and energy you current spend worrying about your body and appearance. Try one!
10. Be your body’s friend and supporter, not enemy.
11. Consider this: your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, your skeleton every three months, your body is EXTRAORDINARY – begin to respect and appreciate it.
12. Every morning when you wake up, thank your body for resting and rejuvenating itself so you can enjoy the day.
13. Every evening when you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.
14. Exercise for the three F’s: Fun, Fitness, and Friendship. Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly.
15. Think back to a time in your life when you felt good about your body, tell yourself you can feel like that again, even in this body at this age.
16. Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself – without mentioning your appearance
17. Put a sign on each of your mirrors saying, “I’m beautiful inside and out”
18. Choose to find the beauty in the world and in yourself.
19. Start saying to yourself, “life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way.”
20. Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired. Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty.
What else can we do to support ourselves in creating a healthy body image ??
1. Chat with your friends about it. Discuss with friends you feel safe with what body image is and what it feels like for you! Ask for a listening ear when you feel like your weight or health is bothering you. Look out for your friends if you find they may be struggling with an eating disorder, provide support and ask questions!!
2. Participate in healthy school activities !! We recently hosted a Eat and Art Collage Project –
find out what is happening on your campus and get involved!
Get together with friends and make vision boards and collages that represent a healthy you and healthy life!
3. Chat with a counsellor – simply write an email or call and set up and appointment. The counsellors are equip with knowledge and strategies to be able to give you the resources and support you need to enhance your positive body image.
4. Connect with the local eating disorder clinics, for information or treatment. These trained specialists can help get your nutrition, health and mental wellness back on track if things seem to have gone a bit too far. Sometimes we are unable to assess how far things may have gone, but if you or someone else you know is restricting their eating, there are options available.
Sometimes our minds can distort what we see. Learn to love your body and develop a strong positive self image so that you or any person you know can live a strong and healthy life…
Would love to hear your comments below!! Any other suggestions on how to battle this issue, how to support women and defend ourselves against the media?!