Eating healthy food, managing emotions, and working out regularly can help you change the way you think and feel about yourself. As you learn more about the benefits of changing your behavior, ask yourself whether you can feel really good about yourself if you continue your old, unhealthy habits.
Here are some powerful questions to ask yourself?
Will I feel more in control if I reduce my calorie intake?
Am I really doing the best for myself and my family if I continue to eat high fat foods?
Will I feel better about myself if I use healthy strategies to manage distress rather than eating?
Will I feel strong and more confident if I work out regularly?
There’s no end to the benefits of exercise and, if you focus on the right benefits, a better body image can be one of them. In fact, according to a 2014 study published in Body Image, women who exercise to reduce stress or feel healthier enjoy greater improvements in their body image compared to those who exercise primarily for appearance reasons.
What if instead of focusing on what your body looks like leaving the gym, you focus on everything it can do while you’re there? For instance, that could mean forgetting about losing weight and instead focusing on improving your mile time. As your training progresses, you’ll witness your body completing feats it never could before, and your appreciation for your body will only stand to benefit.
Poor body images can be contagious. There are studies that show young women are more likely to report body dissatisfaction if their friends regularly discuss their own body image concerns, exercise or dieting. Why not surround yourself with people who speak positively about their bodies as well as others’ bodies? If your friends slip into any fat-shaming behavior, don’t hesitate to interject and encourage healthier talk. The shift in conversation will benefit everyone’s body images.
Here’s to your health~