Photo cred – WeHeartIt

We have a terrible habit in our culture of criticizing ourselves and believing that our bodies are just not good enough. Worse, this trend of hating our bodies and perpetually being on diets or searching for ways to change ourselves is encouraged. We encourage it. We buy into this idea that we need to be perfect. We buy the magazines where the image of the airbrushed celebrity is accepted as the height of success, we share articles and pictures over social media that further strengthen that notion. We talk constantly about all the things we hate about our body as though this behaviour is normal. It isn’t. And we need to stop it.

It’s time to break the chain. We need to replace our ambition with looking a certain way with the goal of loving ourselves at all costs. This is not to dismiss health or motivation; it’s important that we try to improve ourselves and be inspired to achieve our goals. But first, before we begin any sort of attempt to change how we look, we need to foremost learn to like the way we look right now.

Here are 7 ways to help improve your body image.

Photo cred – TipsTimesAdmin

1. Stop Weighing Yourself

Seriously, just stop. Get rid of your scale. Hide it, or maybe smash it with a hammer. Weighing yourself once in a while to assess your health and BMI is a necessary and important part of overall fitness. But if you’re on the scale once or twice a day you’re cultivating a need to meet some sort of perception of what you should or should not weigh. This is a recipe for self-hate. The scale doesn’t know you. It doesn’t know if you’re putting on muscle, it doesn’t know if for you losing/gaining weight is a slow process, it doesn’t know how hard you are trying every single day. All it knows are numbers. You are not your weight, so stop letting it dictate your life.


2. Have A Better Relationship With Food

Food is life. You should be eating food you love and that helps you stay healthy and energized. Cooking food, looking for new recipes, and enjoying a meal with good company are some of the greatest joys in life. Focusing on restricting yourself or on following a rigid diet is unacceptable. It associates what should be a pleasurable and regular activity with something stressful and negative. Sure, if the food you eat makes you tired and is causing health problems then you should probably re-think it. But not because of how your body looks, but because of how it feels. You are going to eat, and you are going to do it often. So do it right and feel good.


3. Wear Clothes That Fit

Be comfortable and feel good. Whatever size you are is the size you are. If you want to change it you can and you will. But it’s not happening today. Buy clothes that fit your body how it is right now, and love them. Don’t punish yourself by wearing clothes that are uncomfortable and remind you all day of what you want to change with yourself.


4. Surround Yourself With Amazing People

The people in your life will not only influence you, but they will come to reflect you. Foster relationships in which you feel happy and invigorated after having spent time with them rather than feeling drained and worn-out. Having a network of positive people around you will help you to maintain a positive attitude and to build up your spirits when things aren’t going too well. Be honest with yourself and determine if the people you spend your time with are a blessing or a curse. If it’s the latter then begin to distance yourself from them. You deserve better.


5. Learn To Accept Compliments

Say thank you. When people give you a compliment you need to accept it both internally and verbally. They went out of their way to extend this compliment to you and it’s unfair to deflect the gesture. It’s disparaging to dismiss it and then follow-up with an insult directed at yourself. Maybe you just don’t believe the compliment, or maybe you just don’t love yourself enough yet, but by not giving yourself the benefit of the doubt of being worth this kindness you’re doing yourself an injustice and starting a bad trend of self-depreciating behaviour.


Photo cred - capture.passion

6. Stop Obsessing

If you want to change your body, or you're in the process, then that’s enough for today. Live in the moment and just be with yourself right now. This is you. Stop imagining what you could look like and stop focusing on what other people look like. You will never be the best looking, you will never be the most in shape, you are not the smartest person in the world, or the richest, or the funniest. AND THAT’S FINE. You are who you are. That doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t improve, but for today, let yourself enjoy your own company.


7. Believe That The Grass Isn't Greener

Everyone has their own journey and their own struggles. This is what they're focused on. They’re not thinking about you or judging you. And if they are, well, what people say about you behind your back is not really any of your business. Everyone is center stage in their own play, and we are all just the crew working in the background. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the idea that your problems are what anyone one else is thinking about. So stop stressing about how you measure compared to other people and what they have. Your time can be better spent.

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