Here are some tips for improving your body image:
- Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry and rest when you are tired.
- Change the messages you are giving yourself. Identify the negative ways that you speak to yourself and make a decision to replace that self-talk with more realistic, loving, and positive statements.
- Throw out the bathroom scale. You are much more than a number on a scale. Instead focus on the most important things about yourself like your unique talents, qualities, skills, and characteristics.
- Think of your body as an instrument instead of as an ornament. Be thankful every day for all of the wonderful things you can do in your body such as dance, play, run, enjoy good food, and give hugs!
- Exercise to feel good and be healthy, not to lose weight or punish your body. Find fun ways to add more physical activity in your life, such as going for a walk with a friend.
- Move with your head held high. If you act like someone with a healthy body image and good self-confidence, the “act” will eventually become reality.
- Wear comfortable clothes that fit. Clothes that are too large or too small tend to create physical discomfort and may make you feel even worse about your body. Clothes that fit you well are designed to complement your figure. Ignore the size tags if possible because you are not a number.
- Question ads that perpetuate unrealistic standards for our bodies. Instead of saying, "What’s wrong with me," say, "What’s wrong with this ad?" Write the company. Set your own standards instead of letting the media set them for you.
- Surround yourself with people who are supportive of you and your body, not critical.
- Every day tell yourself, “I am beautiful!”
Judy Lightstone, RD. “Improving Body Image” http://www.edreferral.com/body_image.htm
Minnesota State University-Mankato, Counseling Center http://www.mnsu.edu/counseling/students/bimage.html