Having a Healthy Body Image

 

Everyone has a mental picture about their body, and they have feelings or make judgments based on this picture.  This is our body image.  Unfortunately, in our society, it is difficult for many people to feel good about their bodies because very few people have what is currently considered “ideal”.  For some, a negative body image is just discontent with the size or shape of their body.  For others, the discontent with their bodies can be part of a deeper dissatisfaction with themselves.

 

Improving a body image involves changing beliefs and behaviours that cause people to feel negatively about their bodies.  Steps towards having a positive body image are:

 

·        Accept yourself.  Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.  Focus on your good qualities and forget about the negative ones.  Make a list of the positive things about you, and keep it where you can see it.

 

·        Stop dieting.  The vicious cycle of losing and gaining weight can be harmful to your health and can lead to frustration, anger, and an even poorer body image.

 

·        Follow Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating.  Are you eating because of hunger or some other reason? Trust your body's hunger and satiety signals to tell you when and how much you should eat.

 

·        Become more physically active.  Physical activity can help you feel more energetic and less stressed.

 

·        Relax.  Have some quiet time for yourself.

 

·        Always look your best.  Wear clothes that fit and give away the ones you never wear.  Congratulate yourself as you learn to accept your body by trying a different hairstyle or treating yourself to something new.

 

·        Get support from family and friends.

 

·        Express yourself.  Do things that make you happy.  Work on your favourite hobbies

 

 

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