Body image refers to our own perception of our bodies and the assumption that those around us share the same perception. According to the latest South African Body Report published on Whyfive.co.za, a consumer insights website, 78% of South Africans are unhappy with their body image. In order to prevent a low self-esteem, eating disorders and other unhealthy body image practices, it is important to know how to overcome a poor body image through a few lifestyle changes.
A large part of tackling your body image issues lie within your ability to accept yourself for who you are. Here are a few tips you can practice every day to combat thoughts of inferiority from getting the better of you.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has something they dislike about themselves. Wishing you had a different quality undermines your uniqueness. Instead, focus on the qualities you like about yourself.
- Accept that some things you can’t change. Instead of wishing you were taller, buy yourself a new pair of heels or spend time toning your legs!
- Dress for self-confidence. If your clothes make you feel dull and you don’t want to buy new clothes until you lose weight – rather focus on buying one item that brings you confidence right now. A new blazer, scarf or piece of jewellery may be all you need to ignite the spark of confidence you need.
- Surround yourself with things that make you happy. The more sensual your environment is, the easier it is to stay positive. Make sure you have fresh flowers for your office, your favourite music playing when cooking, the softest pillows on your bed and a clean car when you are out and about.
- Look after your body and mind. By taking care of what you have now, you will more likely move in a positive direction for change. Make time for a hot bubble bath, facial, an inspirational book or hobby.
- Set performance-oriented goals when exercising. Instead of focusing on how many calories you are burning, set a goal of completing 10 push-ups or something that your body can do.
- Fake it, until you make it. Highlight your talents and abilities, even if you don’t feel particularly self-confident about them. Eventually you will start to become more positive about yourself.
- Let your loved-ones know about your body image issues. Those that care, need to know how you feel so that they can be supportive of your goals. Get your loved-ones to refrain from negativity and join your positive image goals.