Cultivating a Positive Body Image
Lovingly care for your body by cultivating a positive body image mindset. We all come with different messages we have heard about our exterior body.
What we tell ourselves impacts our well-being and confidence. Learn to Love Your Body at the Women’s Center or try some of these opportunities to work toward feeling great about your body.
Suggestions to Improve Body Image
Make “positive body image” lists and review them often.
- List the people you admire; consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
- List ten positive things about yourself, without mentioning your appearance.
- List statements that feel true and positive about your body. Repeat these affirmations to yourself while looking in the mirror; write them in your journal; tape them to your mirror.
Lovingly care for your body.
- Wear clothes that are comfortable and make you feel good about your body.
- Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Exercise to enjoy your body’s strength and the feeling of being alive rather than to fight or change your body.
- Foster gratitude for your body. Watch this Guided Meditation for Growing Love and Gratitude for your Body.
Become a critical viewer of the media.
- Talk back to the television when you hear a comment or see an image that promotes an unhealthy body image.
- Rip out advertisements or articles in your magazines that make you feel bad about your body shape or size.
- Make a list of companies who consistently send negative body image messages and avoid buying their products. Write them a letter explaining why you are using your buying power to protest their messages.
- Write a letter to an advertiser you think is sending positive, inspiring messages that recognize and celebrate the natural diversity of human body shapes and sizes.
Be a model of healthy self-esteem and body image.
- Compliment your friends on things other than their appearances.
- Choose to challenge the false belief that thinness and weight loss are great, while body fat and weight gain are horrible or indicate laziness, worthlessness, or immorality.
Cash, T. (1997). The Body Image Workbook: An 8-Step Program for Learning to Like Your Looks. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Kano, S. (1989). Making Peace with Food: Freeing Yourself from the Diet/Weight Obsession. New York: Harper & Row.
Manheim, C. (2000). Wake Up, I’m Fat! New York: Broadway.
Newman, L. (1991). SomeBody to Love. Chicago: Third Side Press.
Pipher, M. (1995). Hunger Pains: The Modern Woman’s Tragic Quest for Thinness. New York: Balantine Books.