Deborah is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist #94438 through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
What you think and say about yourself has everything to do with how you see yourself. Have you ever had a day where it seems as if everything in your closet just doesn’t fit quite right, except of course the shapeless tunic way in the back that hasn’t seen the light of day for three years? Ever have a day where you are dragging around and no amount of caffeine puts that spring back in your step? All of us have days like this where we may feel uncomfortable or dissatisfied with our bodies… and this is quite normal. It’s when someone gets stuck in the dissatisfaction with themselves and the body they are born in that body image can become a problem. Learning how to move past these negative feelings about our bodies and accept ourselves completely is the key to positive body image. Easier said than done. How does someone do that?
1.) The first step is to recognize your body is unique, special and amazing. Our bodies can do incredible things and the mere fact that we can breathe without thinking about it is downright miraculous. There are thousands of actions our bodies can do without us even giving it a second thought. Respect that! Honor that! Remind yourself of this daily.
2.) The second step is to accept that fact that we are all born with a natural shape and innate talents that make us individuals. Discover your talents, be a detective and search for what makes you… well YOU! You were born in a body that was perfectly made to utilize those specific talents.
3.) The third step is to mentally challenge any negative thoughts that pop up in our minds about our body. Learn to overpower negative thinking with self-affirming and positive thoughts. Unfortunately most of us pick up on negative thoughts much easier than positive ones so it will take some mental muscle to be aware of these negative thoughts and find ways to challenge them.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), people with negative body image have a much greater chance of developing an eating disorder and are much more likely to suffer from depression, isolation, low self-esteem, and obsessions with weight loss.
These three steps are very simple concepts but very difficult to master. We are inundated through social media with many reasons why we don’t measure up and why we need specific products to make us become "better and more attractive" people. Tailor what you watch and look at so you can be your own positive body image advocate. Accept yourself. Accept your body.
Deborah is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who is passionate about helping people discover their true, authentic self.