How to Eliminate Your Fears And Doubts About Your Body?

I have lived majority of my life clouded with perfect body image. Instead of accepting my body, I have been in pursuit of a perfect body. Even after losing weight I was never happy with my body until the day I realised how unreasonable my quest for my body was. Ofcourse, I will look different. Real bodies have flaws, warts, acne, cellulite, loose skin, strech marks, body rolls, side fat and everything that we look like.

What is body image?

Body image is the perception that a person has of their physical self, but more importantly the thoughts and feelings
the person experiences as a result of that perception.
It is important to understand that these feelings can be positive, negative or a combination of both and are influenced by
individual and environmental factors.

The four aspects of body image:

  1. The way you see yourself (Perceptual) : The way you see your body is not always a correct representation of what you actually look like. For example, a person may perceive themselves to be fat when in reality they are underweight.
  2. How a person sees themselves is their perceptual body image : The way you feel about the way you look (Affective). There are things a person may like or dislike about the way they look. Your feelings about your body, especially the amount of satisfaction or dissatisfaction you experience in relation to your appearance, weight, shape and body parts is your affective body image.
  3. The thoughts and beliefs you feel about your body (Cognitive) : Some people believe that they will feel better about themselves if they are thinner. Others believe they will look better if they develop more muscle. The way you think about your body is your cognitive body image.
  4. The things you do in relation to the way you look (Behavioural) : When a person is dissatisfied with the way they look, they may employ destructive behaviours such as excessive exercising or disordered eating as a means to change appearance. Some people may isolate themselves because they feel bad about the way they look. Behaviours in which you engage as a result of your body image encompasses your behavioural body image.

Why is positive body image important?

  • Self esteem levels : Self esteem dictates how a person feels about themselves and this can infiltrate every aspect of that person’s life. The higher your self esteem, the easier you will find it to stay on top of daily life, the more sociable you will be, leading to higher levels of happiness and wellbeing.
  • Self-acceptance : The more positive a person’s body image, the more likely that person is to feel comfortable and happy with the way they look. A person with positive body image is less likely to feel impacted by unrealistic images in the media and societal pressures to look a certain way.
  • Healthy outlook and behaviours : When you are in tune with, and respond to the needs of your body, your physical and psychological wellbeing improves. A positive body image will lead to a balanced lifestyle with healthier attitudes and practices with food and exercise.

How can you improve your body image?

  • Focus on your positive qualities, skills and talents – this can help you learn to accept and appreciate your whole self. A person is much more than just a
    physical being
  • Do positive self talk every day – when you say something often enough you start to believe it
  • Avoid self talk that is berating or negative
  • Focus on what your body can do and has done – the body is amazing;
    appreciating and respecting all the things it can do will help you to feel more
    positively about it
  • Set positive, health related focused goals rather than weight loss related ones –
    engaging in practices with food and exercise that promote health over weight
    loss/management is more positive for your overall wellbeing.
  • Remember many people who are normal or underweight are unfit and many physically fit people
    (think about rugby players) are higher than average in body weight
  • Avoid making body comparisons to others – everyone is unique and differences
    are what makes a person special.
  • Admiring the beauty in others can be positive for your own body confidence but it is important that you appreciate the beauty and accept yourself as a whole in order to feel more comfortable in your skin
  • Make a conscious decision about what to read and look at – remember that the
    majority of images presented in the media are unrealistic and represent a
    minority of the population. Many of the images in magazines have been digitally altered and do not represent what real people look like.

Beauty is a lot more than just the outer appearance…

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a you being unapologetically yourself; be comfortable in your imperfection..

People who love themselves are rare and beautiful..

Be happy with yourself first and then work on a better version of yourself

Apurva

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