Body image refers to the mental representation and perception we have of our own bodies. It's shaped by various factors such as personal experiences, cultural and societal norms, media exposure, and self-esteem. A healthy body image means having a positive and realistic perception of one's body, whereas an unhealthy body image is characterised by negative self-esteem and a distorted view of one's appearance.
Unfortunately, today, many people struggle with body image issues. The media constantly bombards us with images of idealised bodies, leading to feelings of inadequacy and a distorted perception of what is considered "normal". This can result in negative thoughts, behaviours, and emotions related to one's body and appearance.
Improving your body image can be a challenging process, but there are several steps you can take to build a more positive relationship with your body:
Limit exposure to media that promotes unrealistic body standards: Be mindful of the media you consume, and limit exposure to images and messages that promote unrealistic body standards. Remember, no one is forcing you to follow someone's account.
Challenge negative thoughts: When you notice negative thoughts about your body, challenge them by questioning their accuracy and reframing them in a more positive light.
Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend. Focus on your strengths and accept your body for what it is.
Engage in physical activity: Regular exercise can improve your mood, boost your self-esteem, and help you appreciate your body for what it can do.
Surround yourself with positive influences: People who support and respect you for who you are, rather than focusing on your appearance.
Seek support: Consider seeking help from a nutritional therapist or mental health professional, who can help you work through body image issues and develop a more positive relationship with your body.
It is essential to remember that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and there is no one "perfect" body type. Everyone's body is unique and changes over time and the most important thing is to learn to appreciate it for what it is. Also, improving your body image is a process, and it may take time and effort.
Be patient and kind to yourself, and know that a positive body image is possible with dedication and effort.
If you or someone you know is struggling with disordered eating or an eating disorder, it is
critical to seek help and support as early detection and treatment can improve outcomes
and lead to a full recovery. That said, full recovery is possible at any age and no matter how
long one has been struggling with disordered eating or an eating disorder.
Want further guidance? Book in with Irina, our disordered eating specialist today to discuss your concerns in a commitment free call.
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Irina has a special interest in eating disorders and disordered eating, such as binge eating, bulimia, chronic dieting, restrictive eating, emotional eating, and poor relationship with food in general. To provide support in these areas and any co-occurring health conditions, Irina offers a personalised approach, which combines nutritional, behavioural, and psychological interventions.