What Is a Positive Body Image and How to Build Yours

On a scale from 1-10, how unhappy are you with your body? (If you happen to be the only person in the world happy with their looks, then don’t bother to read this. You’re fine.)

Obviously, you’re not the only one. I could bet that all of your friends have issues with their bodies too, and you’ve probably seen some drop dead gorgeous models complaining about their hair, or nose, or thighs or…

It is a bit irritating, right?

But on the other hand, if both you and that perfect model are unhappy with some parts of your body, and you clearly see there’s nothing wrong with her – could it be that there’s nothing (or at least not nearly as much as you think) wrong with you either?

It’s body, and it’s OK it’s imperfect

Have you experienced those moments when people compliment you on your looks, and you just can’t bring yourself to say “Thanks!” but explain right away they don’t see this or that part that isn’t really… great?

You know your body best, of course.

If you think it’s fat and ugly, then of course it is. Others, they have no idea what they’re talking about. Right?

Wrong. You ARE the one who looks at your body more than anyone else, but if your body is making you miserable, then you’re looking at it with a wrong set of eyes.

And it’s not even your fault. Wherever you look, the message in the media is the same: “do this or that and you’ll have a perfect body” – only means that there’s something wrong with it NOW. And it’s practically impossible to escape those messages, and to stop comparing to the taller, thinner, curlier… ones.

Still, some rounded girls are far happier than some thin girls.

Some models are still spending days and weeks in the gym, hating it but feeling they have to be there because if they work hard enough, that arm flab (invisible to anyone else) will disappear.

Do you see where I’m getting with this?

It’s body, it’s imperfect, and it’s OK. Because everyone’s is.

So the only difference is this: will you continue to hate it, or will you start accepting it and learn to love it?

What you can do to start learning to love your body

Pay more attention to it. But the good kind of attention, not “let’s spend another hour focusing on what I don’t like about it”.

No.

The good kind of attention is, first, feeding it properly. Not because it will help you lose weight, but because your body needs energy.

Then running, or going to the gym, or something else. Not because you must burn off the last night’s dessert, but because being stronger and fitter means you can move more, do more, see more.

Spend time IN your body, not looking on it from the outside. Feel the pleasure IN the movement, and allow yourself to appreciate everything your body does for you.

And the cycle then closes itself and pushes you forward:

When you give your body a little - a little more - love, you will naturally start paying more attention to it, feed it better, work on making it fitter and stronger… Once you change the way you view your body, you will automatically start treating it better.

And it will know how to appreciate it, and to make you proud!

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