Body image. It’s a complicated thing. We love ourselves and then, because of comparison or something else, we decide we aren’t good enough. Wait… what? How is that okay? Well, it’s not, but we do it anyway. So, how do we stop? I’ve laid out for you 5 steps you can take to having a more positive body image below.
1| Look at things from a different point of view
It’s really easy to to find things about yourself that you don’t like. Everyone has something they don’t particularly love about their body. For me, I have a love-hate relationship with my thighs and I’d love it if my arms were more muscular, but you know what? Saying stuff like that doesn’t really make me feel any better, if anything I feel disappointed that after all of this hard work I still don’t have exactly what I want.
However, that’s not fair to myself; it’s not fair to constantly put yourself down because of a few things you dislike about your body because guess what. The person next to you is probably dying to have what you don’t think is good enough! It’s crazy to think about how many people would love to have the arms I already have when I’m here saying how much I wish they’d be better. Just think about that for a second - it kind of makes you laugh! So, instead of paying attention to how negative something is, look at it in a different light and think of how far you’ve come or think about how amazing it’ll be after a few weeks of exercise. Build yourself up - don’t tear yourself down.
2| Stop comparing yourself to others
I know, I know. I say this in almost every post haha. I feel like an old grandmother nagging on her grandchildren (although, I hope I’m not as annoying as that haha!) I say it over and over for a reason though. Comparing yourself to someone else is not fair to you or them. How isn’t it fair? Let’s look at it. You start a workout program and you’re on week 6. You’re looking amazing, but then you look at this other girl who looks incredible. What do you automatically do? You compare yourself to her. “Her abs are more defined than mine”, “Why can’t I do ploy-pushups like her?” etc. What you don’t know is that the girl you’re comparing yourself to has been doing this for over a year and she was once where you are now. She’s had her ups and downs and she overcame them, but it took time. How is comparing your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 10 okay? It’s not.
It’s easier said than done, I know. Heck, even I catch myself from time to time comparing myself to someone else. When that happens you have to shut it off and realize you’re not playing a game you can win if you compare yourself. You’ll just be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, compare yourself to where you were a month ago and you’ll find yourself winning.
3| Surround yourself with positive people
This is a big one, bigger than you may think. Surrounding yourself with positive people who lift you up and want you to succeed is key to having a better body image. I’ve had friends who’s friends and family gave them rude comments about their body and that’s not okay. Some people may not understand that comments like, “your arms are looking too muscular” or “you don’t need to workout, you’re already skinny” are harmful and actually make someone feel bad about their body. I’m not saying to cut these people from your lives, but making sure you have a group of friends who get it and get what you’re doing is vital to having a positive body image.
4| Cut yourself some slack
They say you are your own worst critic and I couldn’t agree more. This goes along with #1, but it deserves its own number as well. We can get caught up in how much we need to improve and what needs to be fixed, but how healthy is that? I do believe there is such a thing as going to the extreme side of wanting to be healthy and becoming too caught up in it. Give yourself a break (of a kit-lat bar if you’d like ;) ) and relax for a day or two. There is no competition, so make sure you don’t get yourself into one.
5| Make sure you’re educated
This is very important and something I think most people forget or don’t even think about. Making sure you’re educated is another vital step in having a positive body image. For example, if you want a six pack, but aren’t educated in what it takes to get one or what exercises to do other than crunches to get that kind of definition, you would be setting yourself up for a negative body image.
I know I would love a six pack, but I also know what I’d have to do and what it really takes for me to get a six pack; to me it’s not worth it especially since those muscles don’t come very easily for my body. Also, knowing that everyone’s body is different is also apart of educating yourself. Some people put on muscle very easily, others do not. Some people lose weight fast, others do not. It doesn’t matter which is your body type - all that matters is that you keep on going. Actually, scratch that, all that matters is to be happy with where you are while working on where you want to be.