Change How You Think and Feel About Your Body

Change How You Think and Feel About Your Body

Body shame and hatred is one of the most common issues faced by mainly females, but also males, in today’s world.

The connection between body and self has been significantly blurred.

Many males and females identify their own self-worth and self-image solely on their looks and body.

Society is teaching beliefs that:

  • The female body needs to be slim, tall, tanned and ‘beautiful’, and
  • The male body needs to be muscular, tall and tanned.

Without these attributes, society tells you that you do not deserve and cannot be:

  • Happy;
  • Healthy, or
  • Successful

This has a very dangerous impact on not only the psyche, but also on health, leading to long-term effects and potentially death, from such things as:

  • Anorexia;
  • Bulimia;
  • Anxiety;
  • Depression;
  • Addiction;
  • Cosmetic Surgery;
  • Plastic Surgery, and
  • Even Suicide.

The culture of self-image and body-image is only getting more ingrained.

We are seeing more and more boys with Eating Disorders and Body Dissatisfaction more than ever.

We are seeing children as young as 5 years of age with Eating Disorders and Body Dissatisfaction.

The good news . . . 

Body-image, body shame and body hatred are not fixed entities and can be changed.

Throughout life stages, the body changes, and you need to change and become flexible with it.

Just as you are not perfect, neither is your body, or will it ever be (even with surgery)!

To develop a positive body-image focus on the following things:

Three (3) Tips to Improving Letting Go of Body Shame and Improving Your Body Image

Tip #1 – Change How You Think About Your Body and Yourself

ACCEPT THE BODY YOU WERE BORN WITH!

You have the power to mould or shape it, so it feels healthy, strong, and flexible.

Trying to make your body look like someone else’s or conform to society’s concept is unachievable.

What is achievable is knowing that, you have the control and power over your own body as well as the power to accept and love yourself unconditionally. 

 

Tip #2 – Change How You Feel About Your Body and Yourself

Everyone is unique!

There is not another human being on the planet like you.

If you are unique then why are you conforming to the negative messages provided by everyone else?

It is time for you to decide about your own body-image.

Ask yourself:

If I did not know about any expectations from society about body size, shape, weight etc., what would I really think about my body?

Are my thoughts ONLY the product of societal expectations?

Be your own best friend . . .

Every time you say something critical or judgmental, ask yourself if you would say this to your friends.

If the answer is no, then you are being too harsh, and it helps you to change your response to yourself.

 

Tip #3 – Let Go of Body Shame and Hate Talk and Praise Your Body and Yourself 

I am so fat, ugly and disgusting

I am so embarrassed and ashamed by you

I can’t stand looking at myself

How did I even get here?

Do you say some of these things to yourself and your body when you look in the mirror?

If so, you need to change what you say to your body and yourself.

Here are a few things you can say to yourself when you find negative self-talk creeping in about your body and yourself:

  • My body is my home and I will not tear it down.
  • Hating my body does not change my body.
  • Health is not just about what I’m eating or what I look like. It is also about what I am thinking and saying to myself.
  • I will stop rejecting my body and embrace my body.
  • I accept and love myself for who I am now in this moment.

A body size, shape or weight will never make you happy or successful, if you are not happy within yourself and value who you are. 

People who have a healthy body-image have healthy self-esteem and self-acceptance.

When you are free from negative body-image you have more freedom to spend time on things you enjoy.

By being the best version of yourself you will find how to be happy and your true purpose and meaning in life.

If you struggle with poor body-image, self-esteem or self-acceptance, contact Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic today.

At Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic we can help you break free from negative thinking that maintains your poor body image and comparisons.

We will help you become the best version of yourself and build a life filled with satisfaction, balance, health and happiness.

Negative Body Image Causes Obesity

Negative Body Image Causes Obesity

Contrary to earlier claims that Depression causes Obesity among youth, a study from The University of Texas (UTHealth), found that negative body image increases the risk for Obesity among adolescents.

The study found that adolescents who perceived themselves to be overweight, despite not being overweight, were more likely to be Obese one (1) year later.

The study found that negative body image is the mediating risk factor lying between Depression and Obesity, among adolescents.

Females in the study group were found to be three (3) times more likely to be Obese at the one-year mark.

This shows that negative body image has a greater and faster impact on weight gain and Obesity than Depression.

A previous study by UTHealth, only looking at Depression and Obesity, found that participants who were depressed were twice as likely to become obese only six (6) years later, implying a cause-and-effect relationship.

Negative body image has been associated with Depression and other psychological issues including Eating Disorders, disordered eating behaviours, unhealthy eating and inactivity.

Those with negative body image tend to:

  • Overeat;
  • Eat unhealthy foods;
  • Eat less fruits and vegetables;
  • Cutting out food groups;
  • Restricting food intake;
  • Over-exercise, and/or
  • Rarely engage in exercise or other physical activity.

Negative body image and Obesity go hand in hand – when you have a negative and poor body image, it is difficult to create true change for weight loss, health and happiness.

Some things you can do to improve your body image are:

  • Stop or reduce engaging in social media and media;
  • Stop comparing your body to others;
  • Accept the body you were born with;
  • Let go of body shame and hate talk;
  • Praise your body and yourself;
  • Reduce processed foods and drinks;
  • Feed your body unprocessed and healthy foods;
  • Drink more water;
  • Move more for enjoyment;
  • Build self-compassion, and
  • Celebrate yourself for who you are today.

Overcoming a negative and poor body image can be difficult, especially if it is something that has been created over time.

If your body image has resulted in low Self-Esteem, Disordered Eating Behaviours and/or Eating Disorders, then Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you with personal support.

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic understand your struggles, and provides you with information and support, to help you overcome the behaviours and beliefs maintaining Disordered Eating and/or Eating Disorders

Thinking you are fat makes you fat

Thinking you are fat makes you fat

In our society striving to be thin, and keeping up with the unrealistically thin bodies of celebrities, causes many to perceive themselves as ‘fat’ when they are not.

Now we have proof that thinking you ‘are fat’ WILL MAKE YOU FAT!

A study by Cuypers and colleagues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that 78% of girls who ‘felt fat’ in their teen years actually became overweight or obese in adult life.

Most importantly, it was noted that waist circumferences that classified them as obese, not BMIs.

“Perceiving themselves as fat even though they are not may actually cause normal weight children to become overweight as adults,” says Koenraad Cuypers, a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Some of the reasons for the link between thinking and being fat in later life may start with behavioural changes found in teens who think they are fat.

Some of the behavioural changes may continue into adulthood and include:

Disordered Eating Patterns

As a teenager, disordered eating patterns such as:

  • Skipping breakfast;
  • Skipping other meals;
  • Restricting food intake, and 
  • Dieting etc…, 

negatively affect metabolism, stress, hormone production and brain function as you grow into an adult. 

Stress

Stress, anxiety and obsession about:

  • Weight;
  • Dieting;
  • Food, and 
  • Exercise, 

produce stress hormones that affect metabolism, hormone production, brain function and fat retention (particularly abdominal). 

Dieting

Going on and off restrictive diets cause stress to the brain and body and changes the function of all aspects of the brain and body.

“Thinking fat” and then “getting fat” is not limited to teenagers.

 

According to the article, “Similar studies have previously been conducted in normal weight adult men and women.

These studies have also shown an increase in weight over time in those who perceived themselves as too fat.” 

Society and the Struggle For the Ideal Body

Social media and obesity, media and obesity, society and fat shaming, society and ideal body types

If you type “ideal body” into a google search there are many articles about what the ideal body should look like and even “programs” to reach the “ideal body”.

When you look at the magazines in the rack when you are buying your groceries you are bombarded with glossy, “perfect” and photoshopped women and men. 

When you scroll through your social media you are constantly bombarded with images of people with filters and poses to make them look a specific way.

You will notice when a celebrity, or someone with a lot of followers posts a picture of themselves to their feed, people comment on their body – positively and negatively. 

Society has a major impact on the way we perceive ourselves and this can lead to many health issues including:

  • Extreme dieting;
  • Over-exercising;
  • Eating disorders, or
  • Disordered eating such as Binge Eating and Food Addiction. 

The social pressure present in your life, can not only lead to physical health issues but can also lead to poor:

  • Self-esteem;
  • Self-image;
  • Body-acceptance;
  • Self-confidence;
  • Self-worth;
  • Self-belief, and
  • Much more. 

Be a Role Model for Teens

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It is essential to provide a buffer between society beliefs and the media and our teens.

Parents, teachers and other key people, in teens lives, need to become healthy body role models.

How often do you find yourself, as an adult, looking in the mirror and saying “these jeans make my butt look big,” or asking someone “does this outfit make me look fat?”

As teenagers go through adolescence they mimic the behaviour of the adults around them. 

Most importantly though, is acknowledging role models for their positive internal qualities such as kindness, sharing, courageous, forgiving etc.

The best gift you can give your children is the gift of teaching them how to treat others with respect, kindness and humility.

Love Yourself and Your Body

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Change your Language

It starts and ends with you!

Small actions can make a big difference.

If you wouldn’t say something to your best friend, why are you saying it to yourself?

Every time you talk to yourself and look at yourself in the mirror, you have the choice to lift yourself down or lift yourself up.

The more you embrace being positive accepting and confident about who you are and your body NOW, the more energy and happiness levels will naturally increase. 

Balance is the Key

Balance the not so healthy foods with healthy food.

If you are eating at least 80% healthy food every day you should reach a healthy balance as you change eating habits.

For example, if you have a creamy pasta bake, add 3-4 vegetables such as carrot, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, pumpkin etc.. 

Keep Moving

Look for opportunities to be active.

Cliché as it sounds, it does work:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator;
  • Park further away at the shopping centre;
  • Go outside with the kids and play;
  • Go Swimming, and
  • Do whatever is enjoyable for you to get your body moving. 

Feel good about just being you

Listen to yourself, your body and use your intuition to continue to learn about yourself and grow.

Along your journey be positive, kind, caring and understanding.

Allowing yourself to accept yourself empowers you to:

  • Acknowledge who you are;
  • Celebrate yourself, your achievements and milestones;
  • Change for yourself, without comparison or judgement, and
  • To be the person you want to be. 

If you are struggling with weight issues and/or Disordered Eating, Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you get to the underlying issues of your health problems.

We specialise in weight management, Food Addiction and Disordered Eating such as Emotional Eating, Stress Eating, Binge Eating, Night-time Eating, Dieting and More.

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you build the life that you want and become the person you to be through a process of education, skill development, healing and achievement.

Fat Shaming Leads to Weight Gain

Fat Shaming Leads to Weight Gain

Being called fat, or being fat shamed, has an immense and very measurable effect on the person years later.

Someone who is overweight or obese may feel ‘different’ and treated ‘differently’ by others.

Unfortunately, people who carry more weight than what is supposedly healthy is becoming the norm, not the exception.

However, those carry the extra kilos are experiencing more and more discrimination and judgement by society.

They can be treated with less respect, get poorer service from staff and even harassed.

Friends, family and medical professionals may think they have the best intentions of telling someone that they need to lose weight but unfortunately, this can lead to people gaining weight, not losing. 

Overweight people are often stereotyped as being lazy, and body shaming over and over again has found that it results in many negative consequences including:

  • Depression;
  • Anxiety;
  • Social isolation;
  • Body dissatisfaction;
  • Obesity
  • Eating disorders, and
  • Disordered eating behaviours such as binge eating, emotional eating and food addiction.

Being Called Fat Causes Obesity

A study by UCLA Psychologists have made a startling discovery, young girls who were called fat, around age ten, are more likely to be obese by age nineteen.

In fact, the likelihood of them becoming obese was 1.66 times greater than their peers.

Also, the more people who told her she was fat, the likelihood of her becoming obese increased.

“Being called fat has an immense and very measureable effect on the person years later,” according to Assist. Prof. Tomiyama.

The study showed that even if girls are not overweight, but labelled so by peers and/or family, the likelihood of being obese years later increased.

Labeling can result in increased stress and worry over body weight, shape and image, leading to disordered eating behaviours.

5 Steps to Create to Lasting Change

Being body-positive is not only about your physical self… it is about who you really are! Beat social pressure and misguided norms with these 5 steps:

Tip #1 – Live in the NOW

Realise that your thoughts and the words of others are not your reality.

Take control of your thought process and stop comparing the now with the past, or scenarios in the future.

Use your breathing to focus on the present and turn your focus towards something in that moment.  

Tip #2 – Celebrate Even the Smallest Change

When we celebrate the small wins for successful change, we are celebrating habit and/or behaviour development.

When you look back at what may have been a small change at the time, it could have made a bigger impact in your life. 

Tip #3 – Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin

There is only one YOU in this world!

Your mind and body are your vehicles through this lifetime.

If something makes you uncomfortable – stop! and find things that make you feel comfortable.

Do things that make YOU happy.

Be who YOU want to be. 

Tip #4 – Build Self-compassion

When people are constantly tearing you down and making mean comments about your body, you can start tearing yourself down.

Ditch the negativity and focus on the positives.

Be kind to yourself!

What really matters is what you think about yourself – not what other people think. 

Tip #5 – Celebrate Yourself for Who You Are Today

To be happy and healthy, realise that you need to celebrate your uniqueness, accept your flaws, and work on goals that matter to you.

No matter where you are in your journey, always celebrate you for who you are today!

If you or your child is suffering from Body Dissatisfaction, or concerns about body shape and size and this has resulted in low Self-Esteem, Disordered Eating Behaviours and/or Eating Disorders, then Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help with personal support.

It is not weak to seek help from a professional.

Fit Minds and Bodies Clinic understand your struggles and provides you with information and support to help you overcome the behaviours maintaining Disordered Eating and/or Eating Disorders.

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