5 sure-fire ways to a positive body image

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Maintaining a healthy body image is crucial to our wellbeing. Here are 5 tips to help you build confidence and love yourelf for who you are.

Building confidence in yourself and your body is central to your wellbeing.

It might be no simple task learning to love yourself for what you are, but it’s worth it.

These 5 tips can get you started.

1) 10 things I like about me …

Keep a top-10 list of things you like about yourself that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like.

When you are trying to slim down you naturally scrutinise all the bits of your body that bother you. It’s easy to lose sight of what you do like about yourself.

Making a list is great reinforcement of the qualities that make you a truly beautiful person.

Ask yourself a few questions:
  • Are you kind? Patient? Optimistic? Resilient?
  • Do you do things for others?
  • Are you a loving parent or a thoughtful friend?

Make a list of your strengths and talents and read it whenever you need reminding that you are more than a number on the scales!

2) Surround yourself with positive people

In the same way that you avoid saboteurs who tempt you with chocolate, avoid being around constant complainers. More importantly, avoid people who put you down at every turn.

Constant exposure to criticism is emotionally debilitating. Surround yourself with upbeat people who inspire you and motivate you.
Anyone who recognises your attractiveness and uniqueness helps you to cultivate a healthy body image.

3) Wear comfy, feel-good clothes

When you wear clothes that suit your body type, you feel comfortable in your own skin.

It’s a recipe for misery, squeezing into a size you think you should be. Wear the size you are. When you wear tight and restrictive clothing, it can be obvious that you are uncomfortable and it affects the way you feel and the energy you put out.

By the same token, don’t hide in baggy clothes. Just because you haven’t yet achieved your goal weight doesn’t mean you can’t get glammed up or styled smart.

Instead, tailor your wardrobe to your particular body shape and emphasise your killer features.

When you wear an outfit that looks great, you feel wonderful and others can tell!

4) Comparison is the thief of joy

In the words of Lady Gaga— Baby you were born this way, be the best you you can be.

You know that annoying person who seems to eat whatever they want and never gain weight? Well whatever you do, don’t compare yourself to them! Remember that genetics influence bone structure, body size, shape and weight differently in every person.

Don’t compare yourself to fitness models and celebrities either. Models — male and female — comprise less than 1% of the population when it comes to their appearance. They also benefit from ace teams of hair and makeup artists, stylists and photographers to make them look amazing. And even then they’re enhanced with Photoshop!

Comparing yourself to others is frequently unrealistic and means you will never be happy with the way you look. Sure, you’re not perfect, but neither is anyone else, no matter how good-looking and famous. Hold yourself to reasonable standards, and have reasonable expectations of yourself.

5) Reward yourself anyway!

It’s time to return the favour. Your body works really hard for you all the time doing complex biological actions like turning food into energy, growing muscle and protecting you from infections.

It could use a treat (although this does not mean buying yourself a whole tiramisu cake and chowing down!)
  • Go get a massage and soothe those hard working muscles
  • Have a relaxing bath
  • Get your hair done or pamper yourself with a luxurious mani–pedi

Whatever the reward may be, choose something that makes you feel good and complements your healthy living goals. You and your body deserve it!