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#LoveYourself - Tips for Building a Positive Body Image

Do you look in the mirror or catch your own reflection in a store window and criticize your looks?

#LoveYourselfBody positivity is a social movement rooted in the belief that all human beings should have a positive body image, and be accepting of their own bodies as well as the bodies of others. Wikipedia

Do you look in the mirror or catch your own reflection in a store window and criticize your looks?

Have you ever tried a fad diet? Do you pinch your waist and talk about being too fat? Do you say things like “I hate myself for eating so much?” Do you assess the size of other people? How do you describe the salesperson, your neighbor, or your professor? Listen to how you describe people in the media and in real life. What about your friends on social media? Let’s look at some ways to love the body you are in.

 

Tips for building a positive body image

Accept You.  People come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The sooner we accept this as fact, the sooner we can stop feeling we need to repackage ourselves to be someone else. 

Work on healthy eating choices and talk about those choices out loud. “I had a light lunch and missed out on eating protein. I was hungry and tired by 2:00pm.” “I’m going to pack a sandwich, some hummus and carrot sticks and an apple for work tomorrow so I don’t make that mistake again, I nearly fell asleep at my desk!”

Watch Your Words. Remember! No body shaming for you or others. Listen carefully to the messages you are sending about yourself or other people’s bodies.  Call attention to his dashing smile that lights up a room, her shiny hair or eyes that sparkle. Skills like playing an instrument, a sport, or cheering up a lonely grandparent are all ways to focus attention on something a person works to achieve, not on how they look.   

Start by appreciating what you have.  Be grateful for how your body looks and works. When you appreciate something, you take better care of it. Now, start feeding it, exercising it, giving it enough sleep and working towards a healthy weight for you! After all it does for you, your body is worth the extra effort. 

Scrutinize the media. Learn about editing photos, airbrushing, and other tricks the industry uses to make us believe that people in magazines and on shows could actually look that way without a lot of help!

It is not just a girl thing. Boys compare their developing bodies to the athletes, actors and super heroes they see on movies and on the field. Males are less likely to talk about their dissatisfaction with their own bodies.

Learn healthy ways to cope with stress. Instead of reaching for the cookie jar, reach for your walking shoes and enjoy the fresh air. Turn on your favorite jam and dance your deadlines away.. Short on time? Just stretch and breathe, stretch and breathe.


By Kim Bushaw, NDSU Extension Family Science Specialist

Adapted from Parents Lead for #adultng.

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