Body Image and Your Emotional Health

Body image has become a widespread preoccupation among both men and women.  In today’s society, there is increasing pressure to look and act a certain way.  We are bombarded by images of “perfection” and “beauty” on television, in magazines and on the internet.

Many people have had long, ongoing struggles to accept their body as it is and celebrate all their bodies can do.  Challenging the cultural standard of beauty and overcoming body insecurities can be difficult.  Here are some ways you can boost your body image and boost the way you feel about the skin you’re in:

  • Talk back to the media. Media messages are not reflections of reality and you can choose what messages you want to believe.  Talk back when you see an ad or hear a message that makes you feel bad about yourself.
  • De-emphasize numbers. Eating habits, activity patterns and other self care choices are more important than weight and BMI when it comes to health!
  • Limit your time on the scale. Many factors can make your weight fluctuate on a daily basis, so there’s no need to step on the scale every day and the number that appears often dictates your mood.  It’s ok to feel good about yourself- don’t let a machine tell you differently!
  • Stop comparing. Your physiology is unique to you and every body has different needs and abilities.  Embrace what your body can do for you and don’t use someone else’s body as a reference point.
  • Move and enjoy your body— not because you have to, but because it makes you feel strong, energized and peaceful.  Engage in activities that that you enjoy rather than forcing yourself to exercise or workout.
  • Spend time with people who have a healthy relationship with food, activity and their bodies.  Their attitudes can be contagious and make a difference in how you feel about these issues and yourself!



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