Body image is something that is gaining more awareness. People are becoming more conscious of the effect the media has on our subconscious mind. Now there are many ad campaigns that try to incorporate all body types and reject photoshop. People are learning how to embrace individual beauty in an attempt to move away from these unrealistic ideals projected onto us by society. We are coming to a place where we can fully appreciate that beauty is subjective.
So why do so many people still struggle to love the skin we're in? Well, because the body positive movement is still not as present in our daily lives as stick thin models and clothing companies that design their products for one body type. On top of that, the pressure from society to look a certain way has been around for a very long time. We're just now beginning to really fight associations that have been ingrained in our society for generations. Below are some red flags that demonstrate that you might be struggling with loving your body and tips on how you can overcome that.
I am often preoccupied by my weight, and calories.
People who struggle to love their body can be easily distracted by numbers. Instead of focusing on their overall health and the way they feel, they look to the scale for reassurance.
The key here is to switch the focus and think positive. Rather than think about your ideal weight, think about a health related goal you want to accomplish. (For me, I want to enhance my flexibility so that I can be a better dancer) Someone can reach their ideal weight and still struggle to treat their body with care.
I struggle to accept compliments from other people.
If someone compliments you, and it makes you feel awkward, it's probably because you aren't used to the positive reinforcement. Maybe the important people in your life aren't verbal about your positive traits. Maybe you have a lot of negative thought patterns, and don't appreciate your own positive traits.
The best way to break this habit is to compliment yourself. Note when you do something well. Note when you appreciate something about your body or personality. Keep a gratitude list and include yourself on that list. Be grateful for yourself on a daily basis.
I ask other people how I look.
I know a very beautiful person (as an individual and by societal standards). She is thin, fairly tall, has a pretty face and great hair. Yet, before she leaves the house, she gets validation from her family that she looks good.
If you also find yourself craving the validation of other people in this regard, it's indicative that you are struggling with body image. The tip here is to validate yourself first. Give yourself the gift of making your voice the loudest voice.
Loving your body is only a fraction of what it means to love yourself but it's a very important piece of the puzzle. Loving your body makes all the difference in your health related goals. Appreciating the fact that your body moves and works is a step to improving the way it works.