You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’… What that phrase is saying is that beauty is seen only from the person looking at what they think is beautiful. Well, what if the beholder is looking in the mirror at themselves and doesn’t see what they think is beauty?
When this happens, this is what you would call having a negative self-image.
Your size and weight play a crucial role in how you view yourself. This particular topic has taken the world by storm in the past couple of decades. Celebrities, athletes, and social media influencers have all been part of commercials and various other types of content to promote positive body images, no matter what size you are.
The intention of these ads are indeed good but if you step into the minds of some of the people watching the ads, they’re experiencing constant self-hate and ridicule. So if they’re punishing themselves for being ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’, they also believe that they’re incapable of losing weight too.
The way a person views their body is based purely on their own thoughts, emotions, and perceptions.
How many times have you hopped on social media and seen some of your favourite celebs sporting 6-pack abs or rocking a sexy two-piece bikini a month or two after giving birth, rocking what’s called a ‘post-baby body’? You see it all the time.
Whether it’s a celebrity or an actual friend, you can’t be mad at them for posting pictures of their slim physique or weight loss journey. If they’ve lost weight, they have every right to be proud of that. But if you find yourself in a position where you’re battling a negative body image, it’s up to you to do something about it.
In most cases, when people have negative body images of themselves, they more than likely will have a negative approach to eating and weight loss as well. But the thing to understand is that we’re all human, and it’s completely normal to get overweight at times or underweight at times. The key to success here is how you respond to your physical changes.
You have to remember that weight loss is a journey, not a race. The people you see on social media and TV, they didn’t drop 30 pounds in one day. They had to monitor their eating habits, exercise, and change their way of thinking about themselves.
This is, of course, easier said than done, but you have to start somewhere, right? If you want to change your body image and body weight, you’re first going to have to change your eating habits and approach to weight loss. Here’s a great way to start:
Understand that you are valuable and you matter
Before you can even begin to think about losing weight, you have to be mentally ready to do so. That’s not saying you have to stick post-it notes all over your mirrors with positive notes on them (unless you want to). Your first step to weight loss is acceptance; acceptance of who you are right now, and respecting that person.
If you can get comfortable with who you are now and embrace yourself inside and out, you’ll be well on your way to an impactful weight loss journey.
Understand that a well-balanced diet and exercise is not an option but a requirement
This particular section can be intimidating but diet and exercise are key to a positive mental state. When this isn’t understood, or executed properly, this is what leads people to turn to fad diets. Sure they may help you lose the weight fast but it can do serious damage to your body.
If you don’t know how to cook, hop on YouTube and learn how to cook some healthy meals. With all this access to the internet, there’s no excuse for anyone to say they don’t know how to do anything.
If you really want to jumpstart your weight loss journey, you can start a green juice cleanse. This will not only aid in weight loss but also boost your energy and give you healthy glowing skin.
Pay attention to food habits that contributed to your weight gain
This is going to take an active effort on your part but being able to recognise your food habits is going to help you tremendously on your weight loss journey.
You may not even realize it but food can be addictive especially processed foods. So if you enjoy sodas, pizza, fried chicken, fries, and ice cream, you could actually be addicted to them. Food can be as addictive as drugs.
In your efforts to avoid these foods, it’s definitely going to get tough but you’ll be so proud of the strength you put in to avoid those foods. You just have to keep the bigger picture and your goal at the forefront of your mind.
Weight loss isn’t easy. As easy as it was to gain weight, it’s going to be even harder to lose it but you have to try and stay motivated. It’s going to take time but be patient and stay the course.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.
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