How to Develop a Positive Healthy Body Image, Part 2
Hello and welcome to part 2 of How to Develop a Positive Healthy Body Image. Last week I outlined 5 strategies for developing a more healthy and positive self and body image and this week, I describe 5 more strategies. You can read part 1 here.
Let's get started!
Be Thankful and Grateful Every Day
Each week in my Erin Condren Life Planner there is a space to include a thankful thought. At least for me, thinking about something I am thankful and grateful for reveals to me that I have way more to be thankful and grateful for than I give notice to every day. When something is getting me down, if I reflect on my blessings, my troubles don't seem to be as bad.
The NEDA article "20 Ways to Love Your Body" puts it like this, "Count your blessings, not your blemishes." (2014). When you begin to think and stress about a blemish, you can counteract that negative thought with a thankful and grateful thought. This approach is so simple, but it truly works wonders.
Try writing down something every day or every week that you are thankful and grateful for. Write these down on the blank affirmation cards included in the freebie to help you remember to counteract those negative thoughts when they begin lurking in your mind.
Another good practice when thinking about thankful thoughts is to search for the beauty in the world and in yourself.
This idea is one of the goals of my blog, to help myself and others discover the beauty and value in ourselves and the world around. Look at the sunset, flowers in bloom, snowfall, fall leaves, a mother cow and her calf, look into your eyes, don't you see beauty and value?
Give and Serve Others
I discussed the benefits I receive from serving others in the post 5 Breakthrough Lessons I Learned From Serving, if you haven't read this post, you totally should. Lesson 5 from that post states that serving will change YOU, a work is done in your heart when you serve. I know first hand how giving and serving can and will radically change your perspective on life.
Another way to look at this is to think about all the negative time and energy spent worrying about food, exercise, calories, or weight.
What if you spent this time doing something positive reaching out and helping other people?
Trust me, you will feel a positive change in your life, and you will be making a positive change in someone's life and your community.
Find Something You Love Doing
When I was going through my disordered eating, exercise, and body dysmorphia, it kept me from participating in certain activities, or not enjoying those activities as much as I normally would. If an activity involved food, it would stress me out, and if the event conflicted with my strict exercise schedule, I wouldn't attend. This is absolutely no way to live!
Find something you love doing and think about why you love doing it. Make a promise to yourself that you will not let preoccupation with your weight or shape interfere. I am here to tell you that you DESERVE to do activities you enjoy free from worrying about your body or appearance.
Join a Community of Positive People and Others Who Share Your Self-Embracing Philosophy
This is so important! 1 Corinthians 15:33 states "Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'" I think this verse can be applied here, if you are trying to recover from an eating, exercise or body dysmorphic disorder, you do not want to keep company with those who do not support your recovery. Additionally, keeping company with others who could lead you to triggers is not beneficial.
Instead, surround yourself with others who inspire, support, and love you for the unique person you are and your inner beauty.
Be around people who make you feel good about your personality and abilities and that do not base their relationship with you based on appearances.
Additionally, find a community of others who have been on a similar journey so you can aid one another in recovery and growth. Surround yourself with self-loving and positive people.
Today on Twitter I saw and retweeted a great tweet: "Kindness is as close as your smile." ~ Patsy Clairmont (Oh, and if you're not following me on Twitter, do! Let's connect here).
This Tweet says so much! Not only does a smile show unspeakable kindness to those you smile at, you can't help but feel more positive when you smile. An article from the Huffington Post states that science proves this "In fact, even faking or forcing a smile reduces stress and makes you happier" (2015). I can almost promise you that if you smile more, at yourself and others, you will feel more positive about yourself, your self-worth, and of course others.
Thank you for reading part 2 of How to Develop a Positive Healthy Body Image. One key idea to take away that I want you to remember is that
EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT AND UNIQUE,
we need to embrace our individuality and diversity. No one can ever be you; you are unique and valuable for your uniqueness and your individual life.
Take the time to read through the references for this post. Meditate and contemplate the different statements, take the pledge, live by these ideas and know that sometimes you may “fall off the wagon,” but you can always get back on.
There is no shame in moments of relapse, no one is perfect and recovery is a marathon, not a sprint and you may need a buddy or more to get to the finish line.
Also, I hope you didn't forget the freebie I promised last week! The freebie for this post is Affirmation Cards! There are some blank spaces as well for you to write your own affirmations. I also included some Bible verses, quotes from some of my favorite books, and quotes from other women to supplement the affirmations. Just sign up for my email list and download the freebie!
Yours Truly, LeNae
P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to my exclusive monthly newsletter and gain access to the Members area which includes free resources! Also, let's be dear friends. Follow me on all my social media. Leave a comment below; I'd love to hear from you.
All information provided on this Blog, social media, or any other material issued should not replace seeking professional help or substitute professional guidelines. I am not a health, mental, nutritional, or fitness professional. The FDA has not approved any advice or statements made on this Blog, social media, or any other material issued. Any information found on this Blog, social media, or any other material issued is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any condition. Please consult a professional before engaging in any activity suggested on this Blog, social media, or any other material issued
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The Science of Smiling | The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-merle/the-science-of-smiling_b_8570354.html (accessed March 28, 2017).
National Eating Disorders Association. 2014. “10 Steps to Positive Body Image.” Accessed May 1, 2014. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/general-information/ten-steps.
—. “10 “Will Powers” for Improving Body Image.” Accessed May 1, 2014. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/10-will-powers-improving-body-image
—. “20 Ways to Love Your Body.” Accessed May 1, 2014. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/20-ways-love-your-body.
—. “No Weigh! A Declaration of Independence from a Weight-Obsessed World.” Accessed May 1, 2014.https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/sites/default/files/ResourceHandouts/NoWeigh.pdf
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