The image of our body, the way that we see ourselves and how we feel about how others see us, has to do with our present body. Studies suggest that many women of normal weight often see themselves as heavier than what they really are, while many men of normal weight see themselves as thinner than what they really are.
Clearly, the image that is portrayed by the media of what the ideal or model body looks like may cause many feelings of insecurity. A negative image of the body can result in low self-esteem, negative social experiences, and even sexual dysfunction. This can cause women to fluctuate dramatically in their weight, whereas men may exercise compulsively or turn to steroids in an effort to work their bodies into the ideal shape. In an extreme case, a negative image of the body can lead to an eating disorder or some form of nutritional deficiency.
To be happier with your body, or at least to have a positive image of it, we have some advice:
- Have some perspective
The same way that fashion changes in clothes, your body changes as well.
Throughout history and in several cultures, the idea of a perfect body has changed and has shown very different ideals of what it should be.
A voluptuous body was once desirable in women and a sturdy body was once desirable in men.
- Accept your genetic condition
Your weight, height, and skeletal structure are directly related to your genes.
An individual who is very tall but has a thicker bone structure should realize that, even with strict dieting and strenuous exercise, they will not be able achieve a fragile runway model’s body due to their body composition.
Maintaining a healthy body should be your goal because healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.
- Find well-being in the exercise.
Several studies have demonstrated that exercise plays a fundamental role in feeling happy with your body.
Partake in activities which you like and enjoy. Work towards a healthy body.
- Confront your internal critic
Analyze situations in which you are criticizing your own body. For example, when you are about to try on a pair of pants or a blouse, you may criticize yourself about your breasts, hips, butt, calves, etc.
Ask yourself if you would allow another person to critique you in the same manner. The answer is probably not.
Learn to identify your internal voice and make it demonstrate solidarity towards you, accepting for example that although your legs are not perfect, you are much more than a pair of legs.
- Practice gratitude
“Your body is a miracle.” Your heart knows how to palpitate, and your lungs know how to breathe.
Learn to appreciate all the wonderful things that your body does and be thankful for it.
- Look for the pleasure
Take the time to allow your body to enjoy activities.
Enjoy the pleasure of a good massage, having a facial, relaxing in the bath, dancing, singing, or exercising.
- Stop waiting to live
Make a list of the things that you want to do once your body changes. For example, going on a date, going to the swimming pool, or showing your body at the beach. Realize that life is very short and allow yourself to do those activities in the shape that you are in now.
- Move with knowledge. Appreciate and experiment with your body in less subjective forms or without judgment. Practice activities like yoga, tai chi, qigong, or forms of subtle movements, which will help you to be comfortable with your body and provide you with a greater knowledge of it.
- Do not pay attention to the media
Many publications make people feel insecure because they try to make you think that there is something wrong with you in an attempt to get you to purchase a product. Ask yourself, while looking at the advertisement, how they are trying to handle your feelings.
Also remember that the models appear the way they do after extensive make-up, hair styling, and very often plastic surgery… and of course Photoshop!
- If you must change your body, do it with love
If your weight is interfering with your health or your lifestyle, you should consider some type of diet or exercise routine.
If you push your body to exhaustion through sessions of exercise or drastic diets, you will be fighting against yourself.
A healthy and balanced diet combined with exercise expresses love toward your body and will help you to reach a healthy and real weight.