One of the most common problems afflicting modern society today, especially women, is an unhealthy body image.
Because we are very impressionable at that early age this unhealthy body image begins in childhood. When unhealthy actions and unrealistic ideals are communicated to us, we internalize them. Once internalized, we pass these distorted ideals on to others in our circle of influence – children, patients, students and even surrounding communities.
This harmful cycle of unhealthy thinking eventually results in unhealthy, disordered eating habits.
To avoid this cycle of “mental body-image destruction” that serves to promote dangerous eating disorders, it’s vitally important that we encourage and build a happy, healthy relationship with our body; one that supports a healthy self-image, one full of self-love.
It all begins with our attitudes and beliefs – our behaviors towards food and dieting and any prejudices we may carry about body image, weight, physical appearance and exercise.
Reverse Low Self-Esteem –
If you suffer with low self-esteem and a damaged body-image, you can reverse this situation to one of healthy self-esteem and loving body image.
Here’s a few tips to help adjust your current mindset and body image from one of dislike and distain to one of love, respect and honor:
Avoid self-criticism –
Social comparisons about body image are damaging and result in self-criticism. With social media, T.V., and other media sources bombarding us daily with unrealistic body images, it’s important we develop a healthy self/body-image to fall back on.
While it’s true that being obese or even overweight carries health risks, comparing our current weight/body shape with others is an internal/mental damaging practice that will never produce a positive outer outcome – particularly true for those that are currently overweight. Whether conscious or subconscious, being overweight is a sign of a lack of self-love.
Identify any unhealthy attitudes about body dissatisfaction and avoid all social and media comparisons!
Compliment rather than criticize –
Complement yourself and recognize any successes (no matter how insignificant they may seem). This small but extremely affective practice cultivates a sense of gratitude. Gratitude connects you to your body and helps you to understand and realize how your body is constantly working for you. You can multiply these powerful effects by expanding this healthy practice on to your circle of relatives, friends and associates.
Promote and celebrate your body –
The only way to be successful at building health or losing weight and creating a new body image is to build and nurture our self-esteem, for only someone who “loves” and cares about themselves will have the tenacity and “will” to stick to healthy habits, including eating and exercise habits. Overweight and obese conditions (like other damaging conditions we find ourselves in) are a direct result of our lack of love. It may be a subconscious thing, but it still reflects a lack of self-love. We cannot change this negative condition to a positive one by pouring more negative fuel on it!
Positive thoughts breed positive outcomes and negative thoughts breed negative ones. If you plant beans, you reap beans. So, only plant in your “body-image garden” what you want to see, images of beauty, love, and appreciation and avoid all thoughts of negativity and criticism. Those negative, critical thoughts only boost your already negative situation.
Love is the only thing empowered to change your conditions.
Positive thoughts lift you out of your present conditions, while negative ones cement you into your present conditions.
Embrace and Encourage balanced eating –
What does your relationship with food reveal? Do you treat food as a reward or punishment for positive or negative behavior? If so, you are empowering food and creating a dangerous weapon of control. Truth is, there is no body size or diet that leads to permanent happiness and fulfillment and to seek those things in food is the sure “path to discouragement.” Adopt mindful eating practices and tune into your body. Learn to eat intuitively – in response to real hunger (not emotional responses). Strive for moderation and balance and avoid adopting extremes.
Incorporate proper physical activity –
Physical activity offers so many health benefits, and, a healthy mental attitude tops the list. Proper, challenging physical activity activates those wonderous hormones of happiness. So, not only are we building the strong, fit, physical body that we’ve dreamed of, our mental state is profiting as well and the way we feel about ourselves, including body image gets a real boost.
Laugh – a lot –
Laughter is a trait we all share. This activity is so profound and powerful that a new science/research has even been built around it.
According to philosopher Bertrand Russell – “Laughter is the most inexpensive and most effective wonder drug. Laughter is a universal medicine.” And, the best part about it is – it’s free! So, loosen up and laugh with life as much as possible.
Get the proper amount of sleep –
Most people have no idea how important sleep is to the body. This mental and physical downtime gives the body and the mind time to renew and rejuvenate. Not getting enough of this powerful medicine really messes with your mind power and as a result your body image takes a dive.
A strong mind is needed to ward off and avoid giving in to the constant “false” bombardment of media advertising we are subjected to daily.
Life is transparent. How we treat ourselves, mentally and physically is a clear indication of how much love and respect we have for our body.
Remember, what we plant we reap. Plant the seeds of Love, appreciation and acceptance in your personal garden. Respect, honor and value all of yourself including your body (no matter what current situation you are in). After all, if you don’t respect and love your body, how do you expect your body to love and respect you back?
All destructive behaviors can be avoided by cultivating a broader and more realistic sense of beauty and by trusting our own built in perception of beauty rather than the unrealistic images the media throws at us.
When our mind shows respect for and loves the body, the body responds with love and respect and stellar health and longevity are the result. It’s a definite win-win!
It’s about adopting a positive mindset. Without that in place first the journey in life becomes a struggle.
The complete owner’s guide to achieving true balance in life. What’s more, it is also the complete guide to achieving the personal and financial success you have been dreaming about but have not quite figured out to achieve.
For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your health and fitness goals please visit:
Leave A Comment