8 Ways to Improve Your Body Image
Posted by Casey Nicole on July 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM
Reading and writing about beauty, fashion, and fitness tips is fun and all, but if you’re truly unhappy with yourself, then no amount of makeup, dieting, or designer clothing is going to fix that. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself, and while we are constantly surrounded by media that critiques and bashes women, it seems that every day we are getting harder on ourselves. If you’re struggling with creating or maintaining a positive body image, then read our advice on learning to love yourself, because, after all, you really are awesome.
Ignore the Numbers
The number on a scale doesn’t have as much to do with health as we peg it, and it certainly should have nothing to do with our self-worth. If you’re seriously struggling with weight and health issues, then first you should talk to your doctor, and just use the scale to help track your progress. Otherwise, don’t sweat the scale. Due to water weight, and how women’s bodies fluctuate each month, I’d go crazy if I obsessed over a number. I’ve found that it’s best for me to just focus on how my clothes fit. If my favorite skinny jeans are comfy as ever, I’ll keep my same routine, but if they’re feeling a bit snug I’ll try to watch my snacking for a few weeks.
Ditch the Diets
A diet begins and ultimately ends. If you’re serious about being healthy, then you’ll need to make small lifestyle changes you can really stick to. Fad diets or cleanses aren’t healthy, nor are they actually good for your body. To be healthy is really pretty simple, just exercise regularly, drink tons of water, and eat a balanced diet. But also, focus on things outside of your body, exercise your mind too, by reading good books and laughing over a hilarious YouTube video.
Target the Cause
Figure out what, specifically, causes any negative self-image you might have. Then, discuss this with another person; whether it’s a friend, family member, or professional therapist, it will help, especially once you discover you’re not the only one to feel that way. We can’t stop the constant bombardment of images, commercials, ads, magazine spreads, websites, etc. that try to tell us what is really beautiful, but we can learn to ignore them.
Surround Yourself with Loved Ones
Spend time with people who love you and ditch those who are quick to insult your appearance. Why waste time with a friend who is all too happy critiquing your physique when it’s just going to make you feel worse about yourself. Surround yourself with people who love and accept you just as you are. If you’re not the best at loving yourself, it will become much easier if you’re surrounded by positive people who want to build you up, not bring you down.
Fight the Stereotypes
Women like Angelina Jolie, and Megan Fox are definitely gorgeous, but they’re not the end all be all of good looks. Don’t judge yourself by those stereotypes or anyone else’s standard. Don’t allow your friends to do this either. If you hear a friend critiquing herself based on some magazine stereotype, step in and let her know it’s not okay. Hopefully, she’ll do the same for you sometime.
Ban the Bashing
Sure, it may make you feel good at the moment to criticize another woman’s appearance, but that’s part of what got us in this mess in the first place. Have you heard about the recent Kate Upton bashing?! It’s ridiculous. If a model, who really seems to have a great personality too, isn’t up to par, then we’ve really got some ridiculous standards. So stop putting negativity out there, because if you can hate on someone else’s appearance, then you’ll just as likely hate on your own. Plus, insulting someone else shouldn’t be the way you build yourself up.
Forget Your “Flaws”
We’ve all got a few imperfections we’d rather do without, but short of drastic measures like plastic surgery we’ve just got to deal with them. The best way to do so? Just forget about them. I’m really quite short and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I’ve stopped growing and I definitely can’t totter around on heels every day, so I’ve just accept what I was born with. Don’t beat yourself up every day over something you can’t ever change. Don’t forget that some people would die for what you consider an imperfection, like your eye-catching curly hair or that striking beauty mark.
Focus on the Positive
In addition to forgetting what “flaws” you may have, start focusing on the parts of yourself you already love. Play up the positive of your appearance. If you love your toned legs, show them off in some short shorts. For example, if I’m shopping for a new pair of jeans, it may take me too many tries to count to find a pair that are the perfect fit and length. Instead of getting upset over the 10+ pairs that didn’t work, I focus on the one pair I found that look super fabulous. Remember, you’re only given one body, so stop wasting energy picking it apart. Learn to appreciate and love it.
How do you build your self-confidence? Share in the comments what you love most about yourself!