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What's Your Body Image?

Are you punishing yourself for being imperfect?


Updated March 20, 2008

Do you love your body? I can hear you saying, "Well, I like my arms but my thighs are too big and I have this spare tire and..." No, that isn't loving your body. Having a healthy body image means you feel good inside your own skin, despite any flaws you may have. Sounds good, but how do you make that happen? Start by understanding what body image is and how you can change it.

What is Body Image?

  • How you feel about how you look
  • How you see yourself
  • How you think others see you
  • How you feel in your body.

Body image is influenced more by self-esteem than how we actually look. Imagine it like this: I have some jeans that fit me perfectly and, whenever I wear them, my husband says "Those aren't very flattering." After I kick him in the shins for saying such a thing, I realize he's right--I have other pants that are more flattering. But, I feel like I look good when I put them on and because of that, I don't care how I look to others. I'm convinced it's possible to feel this way all the time, even without the jeans and you can too.

Are You Punishing Yourself?

Talk to people around you and you'll find that most are unhappy with their bodies. Even worse, they may punish themselves for not having the perfect body by:

  • Denying themselves food
  • Obsessing about eating or not eating and never enjoying a meal
  • Obsessing about exercising or not exercising instead of enjoying being active
  • Following diets that never work
  • Worrying about how they look rather than their health and quality of life

Wouldn't it be nice to love your body so much that you want to take care of it? To exercise and eat right, just because it feels good? Wouldn't it be amazing if you were comfortable in your own skin and didn't give a hoot about what other people think? It sounds impossible, but it isn't and you don't even need a perfect pair of jeans to do it.

Next page: Improve Your Body Image

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