With the rise of social media and kids/teens/adults spending excessive amount of time attached to TV, their cell phones, and computers, we have come to accept a new normal for what men and women are “supposed” to look like. After a personal battle, to be fully exposed one day on this blog, I feel the need to point out a few ways that we can change our way of thinking right now. Eating disorders, suicides, and cyber bullying are real issues that have increased over the past 10 years with many resulting directly from poor body image as a deep rooted issue.
So, what can we do? Check out these tips that I have implemented to celebrate who I am and improve my body image after a very long, tiring battle of self-acceptance.
- Point out strong, healthy, fit, intelligent, successful women. This one specifically applies to mothers with young girls. Compliment women that are strong and inspire you. Leave their face and body out of your comments.
- Speak positively over yourself. Do not say negative things about yourself and your body. Speak power and beauty over your body. Look in the mirror and compliment your strong legs that have carried you miles in this lifetime. Compliment your hair, your eyes. Realize that you have been given this body as a temple and should treat it as such. How have you treated it? Be good to it.
- Focus on nutrients, not calories and fat. Encourage foods that are well balanced such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, lean meats, and nuts. Avoid the word “diet,” when speaking of a nutritious and healthy lifestyle. There is a time for “dieting” but that is short lived. Do not emphasize “diet” on a daily basis.
- Set performance goals and not physical appearance goals. The physical results will come with performance based goals. A goal I had last year was ten consecutive chin-ups. Maybe yours is to walk 30 minutes a day for 5 days for 4 weeks, 10 pushups with perfect form, a new PR at the gym, or complete a marathon.
- Exercise to celebrate what your body can do, not simply to lose weight, purge fat and “make-up” for excessive calories consumed.
If you are bold enough to share your body image story, I would love to feature you in my blog! If you have other tips to add, please share in the comments below.