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Body Image

Take a moment or two and list a few things that you love.

Your family, house, car, friends, pets or even your new handbag or shoes?  How far did you have to go down that list before you mentioned yourself? If you even thought about yourself at all.

  • 91% of woman are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting
  • 80% of women say that the images of women in the media make them feel insecure
  • According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the medical definition of body image states: a subjective picture of one’s own physical appearance established both by self-observation and by noting reactions of others.

Having a negative body image is a common problem. In a society that promotes unrealistic body ideals, it is challenging not to get caught up in comparing oneself to these unrealistic standards. As a result, many individuals may experience depression, anxiety, anger and self-loathing.  In addition to affecting an individual’s view of themselves, poor body image may also result in avoidance of social situations and may interfere with developing healthy social and romantic relationships.

We have all tried at least some form of diet, exercise routine or even those Pinterest tidbits on how to lose weight in just a few short days, which of course, are all labeled as “the best kept weight loss secret”.  All of these promoted by mainstream media in hopes that this will be the next big thing in helping one lose all those unwanted kilograms.

Having body confidence does not come from trying to achieve the perfect body, it comes from embracing the one you have. When you look in the mirror and all you can focus on are the things that make you unhappy, this can negatively affect how an individual goes about their day and how they interact with other people.  A person with confidence will believe in themselves and pursue activities and interests which would have been inhibited if an individual has low self-esteem.

Confidence is not something that happens overnight, it is something that you constantly have to work on. There are ways to improve a healthy body image.

  • Don’t focus on unrealistic body standards set by society.
  • Focus on the things you like about your appearance.
  • Focus on your accomplishments and your strengths.
  • Understand that the things we see in print or in television have been altered to create an illusion of the ‘perfect body’.
  • Remember that you don’t need validation from other people to feel good about yourself.
  • Embrace the fact that you have flaws and love the things that make you unique.
  • Surround yourself with people who support you and make you feel good about yourself.

The most important factor in being comfortable in your own skin is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This goes a long way to ensure that you have the confidence to tackle the world head on. When your body is functioning optimally, all its systems work in synergy with one another.

  1. Estrogen: External signs of an estrogen shortage can include acne, skin lesions, thinning skin and hair loss. Excess levels can also include constipation and moodiness.
  2. Serotonin: also known as nature’s feel-good chemical. It helps to regulate mood, sleep cycles, appetite, memory, and some muscular functions.

These hormones will help balance out the way you feel about yourself and also how your body’s functioning will contribute to external health. To maintain a healthy balance you need to ensure that you are getting the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that the body requires to function optimally.  When you have the right mindset and the health as support, then you are taking steps in the right direction.

Words have power, and if words projecting negative energy can have a great impact on your life just imagine the strength that positive energy can project.  The key is to not only project that positive energy in your life, but also to be a positive influence to the people around you. Almost everyone struggles with having the confidence to love themselves, so you can be an example and mentor to other individuals.

Remember . . . you are beautiful, just the way you are.