The lovely Madeline Shaw is well known for her amazing recipes on her well being website. She asked me how to inform her readers on how to get a healthy body image. As summer is coming up I wanted to share this one with you before you hit the beach so that you go with the right mindset!
7 LIFE CHANGING TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER BODY IMAGE
Developing a positive body image and a healthy mental attitude is crucial to a woman’s happiness and wellness. Many men and woman have feelings about the way they look and they also have quite stringent ideas and feelings about how other people look too! Sadly we are in a society where we are constantly bombarded with unrealistic images, images that are photo shopped or ‘slimmed down’ and this is unhelpful if your body image isn’t strong and confident. Ultimately if we have a healthy body image, we are eating normally, feeling good and taking care of our health but, if we don’t have a healthy body image we are likely to be eating emotionally or in some form of diet disaster. Struggling with body image is not uncommon and I teach people that this can be changed by the way you think, instead of trying to change your body!
1. CALM DOWN
Stressing out about your body is not helping you. Take a breath and relax. The first thing you need to learn to do is get your head right. If you are constantly judging yourself and being mean to yourself it is going to make everything worse. Remove your judgements. When you judge yourself for your size you are being really mean. Taking away the judgement means you LEARN so much more. Exploring why you think what you think about yourself and asking yourself kind questions speeds up the process of understanding yourself and therefore changing your perspective and your behaviour. Judging yourself means you remain stuck and closed. Quit the judgement and be kind.
2. DEAL WITH EMOTIONAL EATING
If you are eating emotionally i.e. when you are not physically hungry, talk to yourself. I know this sounds weird but I use this with my clients A LOT. The next time you are standing at the fridge with the door open using a teaspoon to get to that last bit of Nutella at the bottom of the jar ask yourself this question ‘ If I didn’t care about this Nutella right now, what else would be going on for me?’ The answers will amaze you……..I hate my job, my boyfriend doesn’t understand me, I’m scared about this upcoming exam etc., etc., Once you have some real answers you can start to look at the real stuff going on. Because, it is never about the Nutella……
3. YOU ARE MORE THAN THE SIZE OR SHAPE OF YOUR BODY.
Today’s society tells women that to be ‘worthy’ you have to be tiny. It’s not true. Quit conforming and start questioning. Question everything – who is telling you to be worth something you have to be a certain size? Who is telling you that to be beautiful you have to be thin? It’s likely to be something you have seen, read or heard. These people might not be right! Remember you are living in a society which body bashes all day long. We live in a culture where people feel it’s ok to comment on your size and shape. It isn’t. Everyone is different and everyone has something about them that is truly unique and beautiful.
4. HEALTHY IS MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN ANY SIZE.
It is not true that one size is more beautiful than another. The truth is in fact that ‘healthy is beautiful’! Start thinking about ‘health’ rather than ‘size’. Remember that reading magazines and looking at six packs on Instagram all day just contributes to the brain washing of your society and culture. It’s important to remember that a lot of pictures are photoshopped and doctored. Most ‘real’ people look real that includes scars, stretch marks and spots! If you are going to obsess over social media and pictures in magazines do it with the right head on! Get cool with being imperfect. I’m not sure about you but the last thing I want to be is perfect. Why? because I know that perfect does not exist so I am not going to aim for something that isn’t real. Instead, focus on getting cool with your perfect imperfections. We are all perfectly imperfect and trust me, in the years of coaching I have done, the thousands of clients I have seen, I am yet to meet a ‘perfect’ one. So if you think you know someone who is perfect, I would suggest stepping out of your imaginary world and looking at the facts.
5. YOU CAN ALWAYS DO A SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX.
I love social media, it’s a huge part of my business but at the same time I know that all the pictures of people on there having a great time and looking like they have fabulous lives doesn’t mean I choose to think my life is any less. Remember that people will only post pictures on social media of them looking great. Think about the terribly sad life of L’wren Scott. Her pictures were all private jets and couture clothes. Behind it she was terribly unhappy. Don’t believe the hype. People have real lives no matter what they post on Social Media. Everyone is dealing with something.
6. STOP PLACING YOURSELF AS ‘LESS THAN’. YOU ARE NOT. YOU ARE EQUAL TO.
There will be some things that you can do and some things that others can do. There will be some things you cannot do that others can. This is called life. If we could all do and look and be exactly the same as each other, what kind of boring world would that be? Step into your uniqueness and own it.
7. LESS COMPARISON
Lastly, if you still feel the need to compare, take a look at where those thoughts stem from. Did you learn somewhere that you were not enough? If so, question the hell out of that thought and teach yourself to turn it around. It isn’t true. We are all given a set of beliefs and we all, as adults, have a choice as to whether we choose to hold onto those beliefs or challenge and change them. My suggestion is any belief you think is keeping you small or holding you back needs to be worked on. Challenge it, look for evidence to prove the opposite is true and then go out into the big wide world with a thought that feels amazing. Because the truth is, YOU ARE