I wanted to write a quick post about body image because with summer just around the corner (hopefully!) it is likely to be on people's minds.
I cannot tell you how many times I've heard people criticise the way they look, not only in my consulting room but when talking to friends too. Indeed I am guilty of it myself sometimes!
It's the never ending quest for perfection. 'I will feel better when.....I'm smaller/I have less belly fat/my teeth are whiter/my skin is better'. This kind of thinking is a guaranteed way to feel not quite good enough and not quite happy at any time.
Wanting to improve is very different to being self-critical. We can all strive to be fitter or healthier but first you must learn to love the skin you are in!
Here are my 5 steps for helping you love your body....
1/ Stop being so mean! When you look in the mirror treat yourself as you would a friend or loved one. Highlight 2 or 3 things you like about your body and focus on these instead of everything you hate.
2/ Write a list of what you like about yourself. NOT based on your looks but about you as a person. Are you a good friend? Are you kind? Hard working etc. Self worth should never be based on looks.
3/ Become aware of what your body does for you on a daily basis and treat it with respect. I've just completed a course in Anatomy & Physiology and I was blown away by just how complicated our bodily systems are. Each part performs a specific function to keep us going and it's amazing. Be grateful for your body and thankful for what it does rather than critical about how it looks.
4/ Think about people you admire or have influenced you in life. What is it about them that you aspire to? Is it their body shape or the things they have done? I bet you it has very little to do with looks and everything to do with their character. Why should it be different for you?
5/Stop fixating on skinny or 'flawless' celebrities and comparing yourself. Don't forget these people only release images they want to, that are heavily staged or photoshopped. Comparison is the thief of joy especially when what you are looking at is so unrealistic.
Most of all life is too short to worry about the lines on your face, if you are happy and confident on the inside it will shine through anyway!