How do you achieve a positive body image?
Perhaps it is important to start this blog by reminding you that body image is about much more than how you look. You need to see yourself as a whole person, how you act, how you think, and how you feel. Everyone tends to think of themselves as ‘not being good enough’, that everyone else is slimmer, prettier, smarter, or more successful. In truth, everyone else will have doubts and insecurities just like you. There is no point in comparing yourself to anybody else, you are an individual, unique, special and your aim is to be the best you can be.
You’re not going to achieve this overnight, but as explained in our previous blogs, it takes 21 days to develop a habit, so read the tips in this blog, practice them regularly, and it will help you towards a healthier way of looking at your natural body, and of accepting yourself for who you are.
Firstly, appreciate your body for all it can do. Your heart beats, your lungs breathe, your brain thinks and loads more, all without you doing anything. Celebrate that you can walk, talk, dance, laugh and dream. Your body continues to function even though you overeat or drink too much alcohol but learn to respect it and commit to eating healthily and taking part in exercise, to improve the systems in your body. Once you start taking care of them, you will feel the benefits really quickly.
When you look at yourself in front of a mirror, be kind to yourself. Treat your body like you would a friend. If you wouldn’t say what you’re thinking to a friend, don’t say it to yourself. Negative self talk is destructive so change it to positive statements. Remember, ‘I am enough’. You may need the encouragement and support of positive friends and if necessary distance yourself from negative people, at least for a while.
Most people find it difficult to recognise what they like about themselves. They can list lots of things they don’t like, but it is time to concentrate on the good things. Write down a couple of things that you like about yourself. It doesn’t need to be about your body. It could be that you’re a good cook, you have nice nails, you’re a good friend or that you volunteer at the local playgroup. Seeing yourself positively is about more than just your body, so as you gain in confidence and recognise all the good things about yourself, add to the list, read it often, and it won’t be long before you realise just how awesome you are.
It can be difficult to shut down negative voices and thoughts in your head. However, try to replace them with positive affirmations. Write them in a notebook or stick them on the wall but have them ready to counter the negative thoughts. It is natural to look at your own faults, but to break the habit, regularly review your list of things you like about yourself.
It is important to fit things into your day that you enjoy and make you feel good such as, spending time with your family, watching a film, going for a walk or having a bubble bath. All these things will remind you that beauty is a state of mind not a state of your body.
Pilates is a good form of holistic exercise in that it makes you aware of your body and it helps you to look after your well-being. Its aim is to look after your mind, body and spirit. Pilates Scotland on demand is offering a 14 day free trial to allow you to experience the benefits of our classes. They are accessible for every level of fitness, including beginners, and you can take part anytime, anywhere. We encourage you to take it at your own pace and our experienced instructors will support and keep you motivated. Why not give us a try and let us help you to love your body. After all, it’s the only one you’ve got!
If you would like to to experience the benefits of becoming a member at Pilates Scotland, start your 14 day free trial with us now by clicking here.