Body image problems can be debilitating because they are a 24-hour job. Every time you look in the mirror, you may feel unworthy, fat, or ugly. But then, more often than not, these ideas are in your head, and they don’t represent your real image.
There are many steps to take on the path to fixing these images, but they often begin with stopping some practices and starting others. In this post, we share four things to stop doing to solve your body image problems, as well as four other things to start doing.
Four Things to Stop Doing
Body image issues exist primarily in your mind and in the hearts of people that don’t care about you. This is because those who care a great deal about you will always tell you that you look beautiful, and they aren’t lying, either.
Therefore, fixing problems associated with body image begins with identifying things you should stop doing to yourself. Here are four of them.
Stop being mean.
You need to stop being mean to yourself and others because your body is really no one’s fault, not even yours. Sometimes, people who have trouble accepting their bodies make fun of others for the same thing. The logic is that if they put others down, they may feel better about themselves. For a while, they do until the feeling fades, and they look in the mirror. Then, they find someone else to put down, and the cycle goes on. You must stop judging people with similar or different challenges from you. Kicking someone while they are down will never lift you up.
Stop focusing on the problem.
What we tend to do when we don’t like our bodies is to focus excessively on our body when we don’t like it. You may buy a weighing scale for every room in your house, and check your weight ten times a day. Or, it may be spending hours in front of the mirror, wishing things were different.
Whatever it is, you need to stop. Viewing your body in a negative light will only highlight the flaws you think you see. It’s a vicious cycle that feeds on itself and traps you. Instead, try to focus on other things, like your goals and interests. Engage your mind and body in activities you love, and watch your perception change.
Stop ignoring your body’s needs.
Sometimes, in a bid to focus on other things, we ignore our bodies completely. This may be starving yourself when you obviously need to eat or even throwing up afterward. Our bodies have needs that should be met for a healthy lifestyle. Ignoring them won’t make things better.
You can also take steps to make things better. For example, if you have gynecomastia, instead of ignoring the problem, get compression tank tops (https://www.confidencebodywear.com/product/ftm-binder-compression-tank-top/) to try and solve it. Being proactive about the issue can give you the confidence you need to live your life however you want to.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Models, actors, and other celebrities are the worst body role model any person can have. Even though they have career success, their lifestyle and body aren’t to be emulated. Most of them live by a strict routine that would injure normal people. From highly selective foods to long hours in the gym, their bodies are usually sculpted to perfection.
Additionally, a huge part of what we see on the Internet is a combination of Photoshop and camera angles. Most models don’t eat or drink anything for hours before a shoot just to achieve the perfect body. Then, there are the layers and layers of makeup. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t subject yourself to such unrealistic standards.
Four Things You Should Be Doing
Fixing body image issues is a highly proactive step. Things won’t just go away because you want them to or because you focus on healthy subjects. You need to work at it. That may include everything, from picking up an exercise routine, to seeking counseling. Let’s look at four things you can do.
Some people believe that therapists or shrinks are only for people too damaged to solve their own problems. This couldn’t be farther from the truth because anyone who’s struggling with life can seek counseling. It begins with finding a counselor you trust well enough to share your insecurities with.
The path to recovery will depend on your counselor’s methods, but it may include making a list of all the things you don’t like about yourself. You may then try to identify why you don’t like your features, as well as the source of your distaste. It may be images implanted by social media, past lovers, or even friends and family. Uncovering the roots of your body issues goes a long way in helping you get over them.
Set realistic goals.
Another helpful step is to set goals you’re able and willing to achieve. If you think you’re too fat, set out on a path to address it. Your solution may be diet, exercise, or a combination of both. Diet and exercise are very effective in burning fat and helping people achieve a trim figure.
Just take care not to go overboard. You shouldn’t start your routine by exercising every day until you pass out, neither should you starve yourself while obeying a diet you found online. Instead, stick to tried practices to get in shape. You may even seek some guidance from a fitness coach or dietician.
Carrying the weight of body image issues can be a heavy burden. It wears you down regularly, eroding your perseverance and resilience. Take a break and treat yourself. Remind yourself that you’re worthy of good things. Your treat may be taking a bubble bath, going clubbing with friends, or taking a nap in the middle of the day.
These are just simple examples, and the treat depends on your preference. The important thing is to make yourself feel good by doing something nice. Besides giving you renewed strength, it can also help you re-evaluate your self-worth.
Separate your feelings from reality.
People with eating disorders often believe they are fatter than they really are. This leads them to skip meals, take diet pills, and even to throw up after meals. Without care, these practices can lead to malnutrition, as well as several health and psychological challenges.
Interestingly, most anorexic symptoms are in their head; they often look thin even though they feel fat. Sometimes, you need someone else’s opinion on how you look, and you need to believe them. It helps if the answers come from someone you trust, like a partner or counselor.