When the weather gets warm and inviting and too many clothing and bulky sweaters are no longer appropriate, shedding some layers feels freeing…and cooler! But, through my coaching experience, many people so often express and visually display difficulty with allowing themselves to bare skin in public, women more than men. Do you ever catch yourself saying (out loud or to yourself):
“My arms are too flabby. I can’t wear sleeveless shirts!”
” My legs are too untoned and pasty white to wear shorts”
“My stomach is so fat and disgusting. I could NEVER wear a bathing suit in public and feel good about myself.”
I have sadly noticed how we, as a society, focus so heavily on our outer image and appearance and how it often rules how we feel about ourselves and our self-worth. Don’t get me wrong, I think how we present ourselves to the world is actually very important. It helps dictate how we feel about ourselves, how we act, how professional we come across, how people interact with us, how much internal energy we are creating, and how we are expressing ourselves and our values. The difference is that we should be presenting ourselves in ways that make us feel good about ourselves for us, NOT for anybody else or because you want someone to accept you. When we get caught in the mental cycle of caring so heavily on outside opinions, our own body image and self worth typically declines. When noticed and caught in time, people make it a point to do something about their mindsets and often seek out help. Personally, I have had many people purchase my health coaching services in lieu of turning their body images, health, and life around to a more positive and energetic approach on life!
So, is your body image healthy or does it need some tuning up? Take the assessment below.
Do I have a healthy body image?
_____ _____ 1. I see my body as something that I need to fix.
_____ _____ 2. My goals for my body are controlling my life.
_____ _____ 3. I aspire to look like someone else.
_____ _____ 4. I berate myself if I backslide.
_____ _____ 5. I worry about how I appear to others.
_____ _____ 6. I define success in terms of appearance.
_____ _____ 7. I am a slave to the scale and the mirror.
_____ _____ 8. I deprive myself of pleasurable activity because of my appearance.
_____ _____ 9. I look at my body reproachfully rather than appreciatively.
_____ _____ 10. I frequently indulge in negative self-talk about my body.
If you answered mostly “yes” or you have an alarmingly high amount of “yeses,” check out the tips below to help you boost your body image today!
Tips To Boost My Body Image
- Try new activities to loosen up your inhibitions, such as Zumba, African dancing, hula hooping, or belly dancing. Get involved in a competition that pushes your limits and gets your out of your comfort zone.
- Use your body to do something, such as build a shed, score a field goal, carry an elderly neighbor’s groceries, instead of treating it as an object to be looked at. You are an incredible physical being with capability beyond your imagination. Get to using it!
- Get to know your body’s abilities and limitations through challenging physical activity (rock climbing, roller skating, diving, biking, windsurfing, scuba diving).
- Indulge in your sensual side. Get massages, use exotic perfumes, wear sexy lingerie (only you may know you are doing this, but you will project a more confident face to the world).
- Wear clothes that allow you to move freely, such as comfortable shoes, flowing skirts, stretchy fabrics. And don’t worry about labeled sizes, only about how they fit and how your clothes make you feel.
- Learn about the wonders of the body. Read book and magazines that are positive influences towards the body. If you are a woman, this is most freeing and empowering!
- Try yoga or mediation. They are two good practices that teach you how to be in your body in a way that isn’t critical or analytical.
- Get involved in a cause. This will put things in perspective. You will realize that in the big picture, how you look isn’t that important.
- Practice good posture. It is an instant shot of body confidence! Try it out.
- Quit believing that people are looking at you and sizing you up! Most of the time, they are thinking about themselves and have no clue what you are doing. And, if they are judging you, it is most likely because they are insecure themselves.
- Live your life in a non-judgement zone. Praise others and their accomplishments and their awesomeness instead of beating them down.
- Hire a professional to help teach and support you. If you like what you have read today and are interested in how I can help you, check out my services to help inspire you or email me for more information.
Here is what I know for real…We have one chance to truly experience life without constraints and with full freedom. We have one chance at LIVING this life with pure engagement and happiness. Why do we care what anyone else around us thinks of us and why do we let that get in the way of experiencing every precious moment in this life? Judgment creates negativity and negativity feeds bad body images. Don’t let yourself succumb to such smallness and miss out on life’s beauties. So, feel the summer sun on your bare arms and let your body move and dance when the moment inspires you. Embrace your life so that you can look back at any moment and say, “Wow, life is amazing!” Let your freaky flag fly!