Overcoming Body Image Issues

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“You look great!” Your significant other says it to you all the time… But how often do we believe them. They can’t mean it. How could they possibly mean it? Look at us! We’re a mess. How could anyone look at this and tell it it looks great? The truth is that pretty much all of us have issues with our bodies from time to time. Sometimes they are fairly benign. Our butts could be a little tighter, our chests could be a little fuller, our hair could behave itself a little more and our skin just doesn’t have the glow and youthful lustre it once did. It sucks, but we can deal with it. There can come a point, however, where our body issues can start to weigh heavily on our self esteem. They can cause us to shun the company of our friends, making us become more insular and slowly draining our self confidence. If we leave out body issues unattended they can slowly eat away at us, until we’re reduced to a timid neurotic mess. The times we live in don’t help much either. Not only do the worlds of entertainment and advertising bombard us with images of unattainable airbrushed perfection on a regular basis, we have social media to contend with too. By nature, social media shows us only the aspects of friends’ lives that they want us to see, causing us to overestimate them. This can lead us to assume that everyone else is so much happier and more successful than we are, not to mention all those filters and selfie apps that casually eliminate their physical imperfections.

When body issues get you down, it can feel as though you’re all alone but this is pretty far from the truth. In fact 91% of women (and approximately 80% of men) are affected by issues with their body and appearance. You’re not alone, nor should you allow yourself to be consumed by your insecurities. Easier said than done, right? The truth is that your body issues are demons which can’t be slain overnight. They need to be confronted little by little, one day at a time. There’s no single way to do this, but these techniques may help…

Get help

You don’t have to face your personal demons alone. There are many forms of help available to you, and which you choose is entirely up to you. If you have a specific issue about your body, you may want to consult a medical expert to help you with it. Contact ROXYplasticsurgery.com for an example. There are a range of procedures that have helped millions around the world to find confidence with their bodies, but there are also caveats. It’s important to have realistic expectations of a procedure and remember that although this solution can help you with your issues, the change in how you perceive yourself can only ever come from within. Some people have spent a fortune on procedures yet still not managed to address the psychological side of things, leading in some cases to an addiction.

Whether you elect to address you issues through a procedure or not, you should consider counselling. You may have an undiagnosed case of body dysmorphia which can be overcome with cognitive therapies. Addressing the causes of your body issues is the most effective way of addressing the issue itself.

Learn to take compliments

Do compliments just bounce off you like raindrops? Do you subconsciously find yourself adding “yeah right!” when someone tells you you look beautiful? The inability to accept compliments is actually a troubling sign that your self esteem has eroded to the point where you’ve failed to see the qualities worth admiring in yourself. While nobody likes arrogance and many of us are conditioned to keep self celebration to a minimum, we can’t become blind to the things that make us special. It may feel uncomfortable as Hell to start with but the most effective way to appreciate your own beauty is to compliment yourself every day. When you see something in the mirror that you’re happy with, make a point of telling yourself.  

Reign in your expectations

We’re constantly assailed by the very specific brand of beauty valued by Hollywood and the fashion industry yet only 5% of women conform to this kind of body type. There’s absolutely no value in comparing yourself to the women in movies, magazines and billboards. Seriously, surely you wouldn’t want to judge yourself by the standards of an industry that thinks Jennifer Lawrence is fat?!? It’s important to keep your expectations of yourself realistic. By all means pursue a better you by cleaning up your diet and exercising regularly (it’s good for you, after all) but just remember that the only person worth comparing yourself to is you!  

Set goals for yourself that are realistic and healthy, and be sure to reward yourself for every step closer to them you take, without beating yourself up about it if you should fall short. Remember that lasting, meaningful progress takes time. Losing a pound of body fat a week is considered sustainable and healthy. Plus, making slow and steady progress in your weight loss will allow you to slowly adjust your perception of yourself.

Challenge unhelpful thoughts

We have around 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day. Some of them help us navigate life’s path… Others are less useful. All too often we’re beset by unhelpful thoughts every time we catch sight of ourselves in the mirror or see someone we compare favorably to ourselves. “Oh my God, I look so fat”, “If only I was as pretty as her”, “Did I just catch him checking her out? Why doesn’t he look at me like that?”. These kinds of thoughts can make our body issues a whole lot worse, and they’re rarely grounded in fact. These thoughts need to be challenged and you can use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques to help combat them. The next time a thought like this pops into your head, make an effort to prove yourself wrong!

Again, you mustn’t expect this change to come overnight, but by chipping away at them every single day, you’ll slowly but surely start to overcome your body issues.

 

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