Who would have thought that at any point in our future, more than half of our population (here in the US) would be overweight? Further, at what point did it become “OK” to mention people’s weight issues to them?
Weight Issues: Then And Now
I remember that when I was younger, weight was only spoken about in hushed whispers in the girls’ bathroom.
The only time that weight was a public issue was when the school counselor called you to the office to give you pamphlets on teenage pregnancy and your options — when not only were you not pregnant but you had never had sex either (true story).
Who would have thought that it would become common to make people feel bad about the way they look in a public space?
Who would have thought that open judgment of others would have become so pervasive that not only is everyone allowed to have their own opinions but we are all supposed to care about those opinions — and discount our own.
What’s even more fascinating to me is that it’s so common that we thought we needed a special word for it. Let me say it again — we felt that we needed a word for making people feel bad about their bodies.
Positive Body Consciousness Is A Must
Whether you are fat-shaming yourself or others are doing it to you, a positive body image is one we should all strive for. Positive body consciousness is very important. But what is it?
It is when:
- You know yourself and who you are.
- You acknowledge your size, shape, and weight.
- You see yourself as you are in the present.
- You accept yourself, even though you may be overweight.
- You believe in yourself and love yourself while still striving for something better.
- You spend no time obsessing about food, weight, calories, exercise, etc.
- You are proud of who you are and feel comfortable in your own body.
Many people who suffer from emotional eating issues and disorders do not have positive body images. Instead, they have very distorted images of how they see themselves.
6 Tips For A Positive Body Image
1. List People You Admire
Write down why you admire each person. As you are writing the characteristics you like, take notice of what you are writing.
For example, let’s say that you think highly of Oprah. Your list about her might include her generosity toward people, her willingness to support what she believes in, and her strong character that went for success no matter what background she came from.
You do not admire Oprah because of her looks — even though she is pretty; you respect her for the difference that she has made in the world and her contribution to society. You admire her for how she has touched and changed so many lives.
2. Remember A Time When You Loved Yourself
Remember a time in your life when you felt great about yourself and were happy with your body — maybe, at high school or college.
Whatever the time, just close your eyes and remember how you felt. Really sink into it. Make the memories bigger, bolder, and brighter.
See what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Let these good feelings radiate within you.
3. List What You Like About Yourself Now
Take out a piece of paper and write down everything that you like about yourself: your legs, your eyebrows, your smile, your hair, whatever it is.
The key here is to focus on the likes of yourself instead of the many dislikes. Start appreciating what you do like about yourself.
When you start loving the parts of yourself that you do like, it will become easier to like and eventually love the areas of your body you’re not super pleased with right now.
4. Notice How You Walk
Do you walk with your head down looking at the ground? Do you slump your shoulders?
How would you walk if you were more confident? Practice it. Start doing it today.
Start walking and making eye contact with people. Hold your head up high. Walk with your shoulders held back. Adopt a superhero stance and see how your confidence and body image change.
5. Start Exercising
If you haven’t exercised in a while, start off slow. Go for a walk outside on a nice day.
If you are used to exercising, keep it up and change your routine so that you don’t get bored.
When you exercise, you begin to feel good about yourself, even if it is for 15 minutes.
Start off slow and work your way up.
6. Hang Out With Positive People
Take a look at the people closest to you. Are they positive or negative people?
Chances are, if they are negative, this attitude will reflect on you and your attitude. Try to limit your time with any negativity as this will only make you feel bad about yourself. You will focus on the things that you do not like about yourself.
Start feeling good about yourself and learn to accept yourself.
Little by little, you will notice the changes that have occurred. Learn to be on your side instead of always being against yourself.
Focus on all that you are instead of on what you’re not. Love the person you are and the person that you are becoming.