Boost Your Body-Image

Lets face it. All of us went through a time in our lives where we weren’t happy with our bodies and wanted to change something about it, whether it be gaining or losing weight. We’re human. Everyone deals with comparing themselves to others and not always feeling as though they are good enough, so just know that you are not alone.

Although negative body image is common among a majority of people, I came across this article that talked about how having a negative body image can actually negatively impact one’s body weight. It then went on to say that if people started to love their body and self-image that they would actually have a healthier life for themselves.

Now, when I first read this statement I thought that the article was wrong. I mean, wouldn’t you have a healthier life if you wanted to change something about yourself, like lose weight? Personally, if I was content with how I looked I probably wouldn’t go to the gym as much as I do.

Feeling the need to fact-check them, I searched to see if there was other research that proved this point. Surprisingly, I did. This article talked about a research study that occurred where there were two experiment groups: one that worked out and one that read a magazine (it should be noted that the groups did not consist of anyone who was overweight or had health issues).

A small study published this month in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that just 30 minutes of exercise can have a positive affect on a woman’s body image. Women felt both slimmer and stronger immediately after they finished their workout and the feeling lasted for at least 20 minutes post-workout.

I knew that it was scientifically proven for people to feel better after a workout, but I never thought that it would have a positive impact on someone’s body image (even if only for a little bit).

With that being said, the research concluded that just by working out for just 30 minutes can improve a person’s body image even if there wasn’t any physical change and they looked the same.

I think that it’s crazy what exercise can do to a person’s opinions on themselves. I think it’s really great and something that everyone should do. I mean, if working out for only 30 minutes would make you love yourself and appreciate your body a little more, wouldn’t you want to do that?

If you can’t go to the gym, try to listen to others when they tell you positive things about you. I know a lot of people roll their eyes when people give them compliments about things that they are insecure about, but accepting these compliments will help your self-confidence in yourself grow and might even help you love the things that you were once insecure about.

While I was writing this blog post I remembered a Buzzfeed video that I had previously watched and I thought that you might enjoy seeing how people go from being insecure about something about themselves or their body to becoming a little more positive about their self-image.

 

 

I know that loving yourself is hard, but by working out and accepting others compliments I think that you might find yourself closer to a positive body image.

Until next time…

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Focus on Yourself

I know that a lot of us like to spend time focusing on what others are doing at the gym, what they look like and how they act, but we need to stop doing that. At the time we may think that these acts are harmless, but they actually affect us more than we know.

According to this Body and Soul online article, we are hurting ourselves mentally when we focus on others. By focusing on others, we start to compare ourselves to them. Now, I truly believe that we should never compare ourselves to others, because we are all meant to be different and unique and looking at our differences can be self-destructive.

The article stated a few things that people can do to create a better body image for themselves.

Stop Comparing

I know that it’s hard (because I find myself doing this on a daily basis) to not compare yourself to others when the thoughts seem to come so naturally to you, but you need to stop. It’s not healthy to compare yourself to someone else, but if you do find yourself comparing yourself to others make sure to ask yourself a few questions about the thoughts you have when you are comparing.

Is it fair? Is it realistic? How do these comparisons make me feel? What thoughts may be more helpful to me?

I’ve never thought about asking myself these questions before but I will from now on. By reflecting on your emotions and your thoughts I think that you’ll understand yourself more and see what you have to change to become a better person (even if it’s just to create a positive mentality).

I think that we often make assumptions or compare ourselves to people so quickly that we don’t really see how the negative self-talk is affecting our well-being. I think that in order to get closer to a better body image, people need to really reflect on their thoughts and see if what they were thinking was rational or just irrational.

It’s easier to tear yourself down than to build yourself up.

Stop Checking

I know that this is another tough thing to do since it seems like we have been conditioned to compare ourselves to others and want to continuously change how we look due to society’s standards, but just know that if you stop doing these things and stop constantly checking on other people or yourself you’ll find more peace.

Don’t be tough on yourself if you aren’t making progress at the gym as quickly as you planned to. Everybody’s body reacts differently to different workouts. It’s okay.

Don’t worry about your weight. I’m not saying that you have to throw away your scale, but don’t let your weight determine your worth.

Your body is more than just a measurement or a weight, it’s powerful and can do great things. Your body is unique and different and that’s a good thing. Focus on the positives instead of the negatives. Life is too short to allow your body and other people to determine your happiness and worth.

Until next time…

 

Working Out Improves One’s Self-Esteem

The typical picture of a college student is a person who sits around all day and does nothing but their homework and watch Netflix (or something like that). Now, I know this is not true for everyone, but I know that I fit into this picture every once in a while when I am stressed with school and everything that life throws at me.

By finding a little sliver of motivation to pause your favorite show and go to the gym, you can increase your self-esteem, which includes looking good, feeling strong, and having a positive attitude.

When I go to the gym I only think about the different things that I can do to improve my body and health. I never really thought about the gym as a way to help my mental health, until now.

I found this article from Live Strong that explained why exercise is a good thing when it comes to one’s self-esteem.

 

When you’re at the gym, cardio isn’t the only thing that you can do to help boost your mood. According to this article, you can also strength train.

I know what you’re thinking.

Lifting weights? How is that suppose to make me feel positive?

But it will! Not only will lifting weights help strengthen your body, but it also helps you shed fat and tone up.

I came across a Livestrong article that showed some positive things that can result from weight-lifting. Your confidence and self-esteem will improve each time that you lift weights. Most of us (at least I know that I was) lack in our confidence when it comes to our body image and lifting weights can help change our physical appearance (that’s a plus!).

According to this online article, “When middle-aged women participated in a strength-training program twice a week for 12 weeks they reported having a better attitude about their physical self, felt happier and healthier.”

Becoming leaner isn’t the only thing that can result from weight-lifting. I found an article that explains the emotional benefits that can occur from weightlifting, as well.

The Livestrong article talked about how endorphins are released from the brain and how this chemical can create a feeling of happiness. This chemical is usually released when a person is weightlifting because our bodies think that this type of a workout is a stressful event and that we lift weights to relieve this stress. Once the workout is done, it is said that you will feel happier because of the endorphins that were released during the workout.

I never thought that weight-lifting would be something that I might consider doing, but now that I know the benefits of lifting weights I think that I might try it out.

I always find myself working out in an attempt to lose weight or to reduce my stress (because let’s face it, college is stressful), but I’ve realized that losing weight isn’t going to help me get a positive body image. Being strong is.

By lifting weights, people can be stronger and help their body unleash it’s full potential (because a strong body is a healthy body).

Everyone can have a positive body image for themselves, it’s just up to them on how they do it. Will it be weight-training? Who knows!

 

Recognize Your Self-Worth

I know that sometimes it’s easier to wallow in your own self-pity instead of trying to change the negative mind set that you are in. I know that I get mad when people tell me to try and look at the positive side of things, but I think that’s because I get frustrated that I can’t see myself the way that they see me.

I usually think that they’re lying.

I found this Lakeland PBS online article that talked about perfect illusions and how people struggle with their body image and things that they can do to feel more confident in their own skin.

The article talked about how in order for people to first come to terms with starting to love and accept their body by appreciated and respecting our natural body shapes. Here are a few things that I thought might be helpful for other people if they are struggling with their confidence and loving their bodies.

Recognize Your Worth

We are uniquely made and we should recognize that our body is a blessing and can do many things. If we are unable to do these things than we will never be closer to loving ourselves. Our bodies are a temple and can do great and powerful things like running and rock climbing. We are more powerful than we know, but we can’t unlock our full potential if we don’t acknowledge our greatness.

Write Lists

Another thing that could help people improve their self-confidence in themselves and their bodies is to write ten positive things about themselves (not relating to their physical features). I think that this would be a cool idea because it would show people that the most important things about themselves are more than their bodies or outer appearance. I think that once people come to love their personalities and other features about themselves that they will be more likely to love how they look, too. Confidence is courageous once you start.

Work With Your Body, Not Against It

If you can’t quite gain the confidence to love your body fully quite yet, try and work with your body. By this, I mean go to the gym and try and mold your body into what you want it to look like instead of just sitting there and wishing that your body would change.

You are in charge. The only person that can change things about you is yourself.

Another thing that someone can do to work with their body type is to dress for it. By this, I mean that you should wear clothes that are comfortable and flattering on you. I know that you might think that certain clothing items would look cute on you, but just wear what you know looks good with your body type. It’s way easier to have confidence when you are out in public when you know that your outfit looks good. Trust me.

 

There’s no set things that a person can do that will make them magically gain confidence in themselves and in their body image, but each thing that you do to try and love yourself will help you get there eventually.

Patience is key.

 

Be Nice To Yourself

I know a lot of people that hate the way they look and have certain features that they could list off about what they don’t like or what they wish that they could change. I admit, I’m guilty of this, but I want to break that negative habit.

It’s great to see that there are so many sites that offer advice for people who struggle with their body image, but it’s also sad that people can’t love the skin that they’re in. I read a few positive articles, like this Glamour one, that inspired this blog post.

Here are the important concepts that you should think about this week:

Treat your body like your best friend.

When I first read this I was confused, but I learned that people seem to respect others more than they respect themselves. The article talked about how we wouldn’t judge our best friend, so why do we think that it’s okay to judge ourselves?

I think that we were always raised to teach others with respect, but we were never really told to do the same things to ourselves. I stumbled across this article about how society failed to teach us to love ourselves and instead taught us to compete and find differences in ourselves and with one another.

I think that we should all be taught when we are growing up to love ourselves like we would a best friend, because then I believe that people will be more positive as a society. I’m not saying that this concept would have to be implemented in school systems, but even if parents repeated themselves more when they teach their child about loving themselves and how beautiful they really are I think that people will believe them more. You know what they say, the more you say it the more that you will believe it.

So, I think that something that people can do to give them a boost of confidence is to give themselves a little pep-talk each morning before they start their day. Here’s an example of a pep-talk you can give yourself, though it’s a little more positive than a pep-talk I would give myself. I think that I would watch inspirational (and funny) videos like this to help create a positive mood for myself.

Care for your body.

Just like treating your body like your best friend, you should focus on what you’re putting into your body. I know that you may not want to eat vegetables and fruit, but your body will love you for it. To me, eating healthy is a form of self-love. I believe that you should love your body enough to give the nutrients that it needs to function properly. I found this article that talks about how eating these healthy food items help create a positive mood in people.

You’re body is a temple, so cherish it by treating it like your best friend and giving it the care and nutrients that it needs. You may not love your body now, but with time you might.

 

 

 

Just Love Yourself… Is It Really That Easy?

Every single time that I find something about myself that I don’t like about myself, I find myself telling others. My comments to others range from, “Man, I just wish I was able to pull that outfit off” or “I’m so fat, I really shouldn’t have ate that burger.”

The usual responses that I get when I say these things are, “Oh, stop it. You’re pretty” or “Just love yourself.”

I hate that response, because honestly I don’t think that it’s that easy.

I’ve been down on myself for so long that these negative comments just fall out of my mouth and seem normal. It seems like a normal routine and it shouldn’t be. I know that it is unhealthy for someone to think so negatively themselves and with this blog I really want to try and educate myself on how to love everything about myself (but not in a narcissistic way). I think that it’s crucial that people become educated in their nutritional health, physical health and their mental health.

When I started looking up articles I was surprised to find out just how many articles on self-love there was and that there were actually articles of about the things that affect our perception of ourselves.

I was happy to know that I wasn’t the only person who struggled with this, but at the same time it made me sad that people struggle with self-love and loving themselves.

I was fortunate enough to find a few articles on things that people can do to help them love themselves. I know that it’s just an article and that I can’t believe everything that I read online, but I think this article had good advice.

The one thing that struck out to me the most with this article is that beauty can have many definitions. I think that a lot of us often forget that beauty is not strictly defined. Throughout history and throughout different countries there has been different standards of beauty. Though I believe that there shouldn’t be a standard defining what is beautiful and what is not, I do think that it is important to note that there are different opinions on what is beautiful. So really… we’re all definitions of beauty ( even though it’s hard to believe sometimes).

Another thing that I think is so important is that in order to feel better about one’s self image, is that we should be thinking about going to gym to do workouts that make our bodies stronger instead of going to the gym in order to shed inches so that we look the way that we want to. I thought that that was an important concept for me to think about, because I know when I go to the gym I go there in an attempt to burn calories, not to make my body powerful.

I think that the most important concept to take away from this blog is that beauty has many different definitions. Try to change beauty’s definition to strong and powerful and go to the gym to try and be just that.

Beauty is more than skin deep and I know that’s hard for a lot of us to see. But I think that if we try and focus our mindsets on becoming stronger and healthier, we will come a little bit closer to loving our perception of ourselves and become better at practicing self-love.