4 Ways to Boost Your Body Image

4 ways to boost your body image || CohesiveFitness.com

We have all been there at some point. You’re gazing in the mirror, not happy with what you see. You’re comparing yourself to others who have a different genetic make up than you. You’re wishing you were thinner, taller, more athletic, curvier – whatever it is that you think you don’t have. Your body image is suffering because of this negative self talk.

I want to remind you – you ARE beautiful. You are unique and special and wonderful in your own way. No one is the same, and you shouldn’t want to be the same as someone else. This world is so full of negativity, the last thing you should do is bring it on yourself. I know how easy it is to say that, and how hard it is to actually do.

As a fitness professional, I have my own sets of struggles. I sometimes get caught in the mindset that if I am not super lean and fit, that people won’t want to take my Pilates classes because they won’t think I know what I am talking about. I have to remind myself that my body is beautiful and healthy and strong, and it’s MINE.

If you are struggling with your body image, here are a few tips to help you learn to love your body.

//Stop negative self talk

Have you ever mentioned to a group of friends how bloated you feel or how you don’t look good in a certain outfit? Have you noticed your friends coming to the rescue by saying that they look worse than you? This is so common with women. We think we are trying to help our friend feel better, but in reality we are negatively effecting our own body image.

Take ownership when you find yourself having negative thoughts. If you can stop the thought before you verbalize it, even better. Negative self talk is a constant battle we don’t even know we are having. It doesn’t even need to relate to body image to be damaging. If you can stop the negative self talk, and replace it with a positive affirmation, you will quickly begin to notice how much better you feel about yourself.

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//List all the things your body is capable of

Instead of thinking about all the things you dislike about your body, I challenge you to make a list of 5 things that your body is capable of doing! Can you run a really fast mile? Can you hang with the guys in the weight room? Do you have strong lungs to play the trumpet? What ever it is – write it down. Put the list someplace you will see everyday.

So much of the time we forget what great gifts our body gives us. Remind yourself that your body image should not be wrapped up in being negative about appearance, but in being grateful for all the things you are able to do with your beautiful body.

4 ways to boost your body image || CohesiveFitness.com

//Grab some post it notes

The more colorful the better in my opinion. Take the list you just wrote and along with posting that up I want you to write each one down on at least 5 post it notes. Put these post it notes in various places. Maybe on your car dashboard, in your planner, your favorite notebook, or right on top of your pillow. Put a few in places you won’t see that often like a cookbook with your favorite holiday recipe. When you open that cookbook in 6 months, you will see a wonderful note to yourself.

By hiding these post it notes around, you will be continually affirming yourself for months to come. This is something you can even practice once a month. As your gratitude increases, you will find more and more things to love about yourself.

//Pay the “body image” love forward

Take a moment to tell a friend or loved one something you admire about them. It doesn’t need to be something physical. I am a firm believer that our body image and self esteem are almost interchangeable. Once we can build up our self esteem, naturally everything will elevate.

By taking a moment to really pour love into another person, you will both benefit tremendously. They will be more likely to compliment you, and the love will continue to spread. Please don’t think that by this I am saying that body image and self esteem are tied to what others say or think. What matters most is how you feel about yourself. However, I have never heard anyone report that their self esteem decreased after paying a compliment to someone else. Just saying. 🙂

Your Turn:

I hope you find these tips useful. Take a picture of the post it notes you put up around the house, and share them on your social media channels. Lets get more women to change their negative body image, and keep spreading the love. 🙂 

This post is linked up on Tip Tuesday on DebbieInShape.com

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About Stephanie

Stephanie Benton is a STOTT PILATES Certified instructor and recently became a mom! She holds a BA in Dance from California State University Long Beach, and has a passion for helping new moms reconnect with their physical and emotional selves after starting a family. Cohesive Fitness is a place to learn to simplify your life, health and family priorities.
  • tianna

    too true! It’s hard to love yourself sometimes, but definitely worth doing. great post!

  • I definitely have been working on this lately, especially the whole “listing things that your body can do.” Whenever I get down about my body or not being fit enough or having the endurance or strength to work out as much as I wish I could, I try to remind myself that my body beat my cancer and kept me alive and that’s the most important thing it could ever do for me!

  • Stephanie

    Thanks Tianna! We are all so competitive and its media that drives the unrealistic body image issues. When you think back to women 500 years ago, being fuller was considered more attractive. Funny how things change.

  • Chelsie,

    That is absolutely incredible! I can;t imagine what you must have gone through!

    I have had my own personal struggles and after all is said and done, when I hear people complain about stuff sometimes that used to bother me, it seems so trivial now. Your body is strong and amazing to be able to get you through something that seems so impossible! I am so happy for you.

    -Stephanie

  • Thank you Tianna!

  • These are such great ideas! It’s so easy to get down on yourself, but that doesn’t mean we should do it. I especially love your post it idea. I think I know what I’ll be doing tonight!

  • That is an awesome message. I think that for both sides. There is also a hate out there for those who want to look fit and be healthy. We have to love ourselves for who we are because we are beautiful!
    Thank you very much for sharing it on #TipTuesday.

  • Jessica,

    That is wonderful! Yes it is too easy to get down on ourselves and a lot more difficult to look at the positive. I struggle with this all the time, its a constant battle that unfortunately we all face. I hope the post its help, they definitely give me a boost!

    -Steph

  • Thanks Debbie!

    Yes we have to be the ones to love ourselves and accept ourselves for who we truly are! <3

    -Steph

  • Love your message! I’m going to start hiding those notes!

  • YES!! stop the negative self talk!! whenever i hear my girlfriends doing that i literally tell them to stop!!

  • Thank you Pamela! I hope it brings you a lot of joy to find those notes around randomly! <3

    -Steph

  • Awesome Linz!

    This is a generalization but we do it so often we don’t even notice most of the time! I am glad to hear you are spreading a positive message!

    -Steph

  • Thanks for the kind words and support Danielle. Body Image is something I constantly struggle with, so it’s nice to know my words are appreciated. It means a lot that you commented and enjoyed this post. <3

    -Steph

  • Thanks Laura! I appreciate your sweet words!

    -Steph