How to be the Boss of Your Body Image

 

 

In a world where social media constantly ingrains the idea that you are not enough, it’s easy to lose sight of reality. It can be so easy to have a distorted view of your own body because society encourages comparison. Theodore Roosevelt famously said ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ and I think this can be true in terms of body image.

 When I think of all the time I’ve spent thinking about my body and how I can change it, I think of what I could have accomplished if I had used that headspace and time productively.

Let’s face it: constantly thinking negative thoughts about yourself, and punishing yourself when you can’t live up to your rules is a form of self-harm.

Women are bombarded with the idea that life is about appearance. Reality check: it’s not. Instead of listening to Truth Hurts by Lizzo on repeat and feigning self-confidence, let’s make a pact to improve our body image – for the long term.

The first step is changing the way we view food and exercise. 

Going to the gym comes with the idea of self-improvement – but this attaches a negative label to something positive. In thinking to yourself you’re going to the gym to look better, you ingrain the idea that you aren’t good enough at the moment. We need to ingrain the idea that we are going to the gym because we care about our bodies and our health – exercise is good for everyone, and it doesn’t need to come pre-packaged with negativity. Follow meowmeix on Instagram for a healthy lifestyle framed with a positive mindset.

The same goe with eating – we assign negative and positive values to food because the idea is ingrained in us that food has a moral value. It doesn’t! If you can teach yourself that you are eating healthily because it is good for your body, not because you want to change your body, you can slowly foster a growing sense of self-love.

In the end, a healthy lifestyle is about self-love and nurture, not about changing our already unique and worthy selves.

 

Some quick tips to avoid negative body image:

 

1.      Read less magazines! Magazines make their money from advertisements, and companies sell their products by convincing you that you’ll be better with it. If you’re feeling fragile, this can lead to insecurities you didn’t even know you had.

2.      Avoid friends who constantly discuss dieting – this further ingrains constant focus on body image. Change the subject, or be honest and tell them that their conversation isn’t good for your mental health.

3.      Try not to count your calories – this leads to guilt, which you do not need to feel as a normal human being with an appetite.

4.      Some of the best advice I’ve ever been given – don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend. Your body is your friend.

5.      Don’t seek gratification from social media – your likes don’t determine your worth!

6.      Unfollow anyone on social media who makes you feel inadequate.

7.      Always listen to Lizzo!

 

If you or someone you know needs help regarding an eating disorder, please don’t hesitate to call the National Eating Disorder Helpline at (800) 931-2237 or use the Click-to-Chat helpline on the NEDA website at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.