Sign in    |   Join
 
   

Top 5 Steps for Promoting a Positive Body Image

As women, we all have things about ourselves that we'd like to change. While there is nothing wrong with working toward making improvements, being overly harsh or critical of yourself is another story. Your self-image can have a big impact on your happiness, your confidence levels and even your success on your quest for self-improvement. To help foster a more positive body image within yourself, follow these five steps:
 
1. Get real about women's bodies. One of the most important things that you can do to promote a positive body image for yourself and for women around you is to be realistic about women's bodies. The average American woman is 5'4" tall and is a size 12 to 14. Models and actresses are typically taller and usually fit into sizes 0 to 4. Clearly, celebrities are not the "norm" among women. When you find yourself making an unfair comparison, give yourself a reality check and do the same for other women in your life.
 
2. Stop critiquing others. If you want to have a positive body image, you have to learn to stop mentally critiquing others' appearances. When we think about others in a negative way, we often use that same critical voice when we analyze ourselves. It can take time to silence that "mean girl" voice in your mind, but you can fight against her. When you find yourself thinking something less-than-nice about another lady, make yourself follow up the thought with something positive about her. Train yourself to see the beauty in others, and you will then begin to see the beauty within yourself as well.
 
3. Ditch the guilt. Guilty feelings about skipping the gym, eating dessert or having an extra glass of wine can leave you hating what you see in the mirror. Although eating healthy and exercising regularly are important for weight management and leading a healthy lifestyle, the truth is that missing the gym once to sleep in or having an occasional dessert is not going to make you gain weight or change the appearance of your body. When you're a little naughty with what you eat or when you forgo your workout, forgive yourself and move on. Don't let guilt cast a shadow on your body image. Just tell yourself that you will make up for the guilty pleasure another time…and follow through with it. And if you don’t, so what? It’s not going to make or break your long term successes you’ve already achieved.
 
4. Analyze your insecurities. Take a deeper look into what is behind your negative body image. Think about yourself more objectively. Talk to your doctor about your body. Find out if you really are overweight (if for instance, this happens to be the issue you struggle with). If you need to make changes in your lifestyle to get to a healthier weight, then start a sensible plan, but if your doctor doesn't believe that you have extra pounds (or too high percentage of body fat) to shed, then go easier on yourself. Or if he or she does suggest you lose; simply get on a program that you’ll enjoy. You may want to hit the gym to tone or trim a certain area, but be more positive about the process. Think of it as improving, not "fixing." And as they say…it’s a lifestyle change; not a destination.
 
5. Celebrate your beauty. No matter what your weight, no matter what your size, take time to appreciate your beauty. If you're working to lose weight, look at yourself in the mirror and notice how far you've come. If you're starting on a skin care regimen to address wrinkles or lines, celebrate the little improvements you see along the way. Whatever your goals, enjoy the journey and highlight the milestones that you make along the way. Accept that you're a work-in-progress and find your beauty no matter what particular stage you are in within your journey of self-improvement. Lastly, look at yourself as you would look at others…how many times have you heard someone talk about themselves as being unattractive in some way…while you’re thinking that person is absolutely stunning? And most importantly, tell yourself you are beautiful…because you truly are! We become exactly what our minds tell us we are. If we think we are unattractive, we will project that…but conversely, if we truly believe we are gorgeous…that’s exactly what we will both feel and convey.

 
  Searching for a topic?

Feeds

Receive Email Updates