Your body image is a combination of how you imagine, see, and feel your body. Sometimes negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves can keep us stuck.
Working on your body image is important when starting your health and fitness journey as your thoughts and beliefs about your body will impact your behaviour and choices in your life.
Clients often come to me with at least one or two struggles, and often explain how it can derail their training; one example is a client who is less than kind to themselves in the mirror eventually realising this can send her down a negative thought spiral that leads to comfort eating.
“An overarching love and respect for the body that allows individuals to
– Wood-Barcalow et al 2010
Loving every part of your body, changing your body to fit the social ideals at the time and feeing happy that you fit in to that mould, it is not narcissism or vanity, it is not aided by frequent appearance related compliments, engaging in potentially destructive appearance altering methods to fit standards, basing self-worth off your looks
Body positivity affirmations – Eg looking in the mirror saying I love (insert insecurity here)
Affirmations do not help in increasing body positivity; you cannot force yourself to love the parts that you really don’t. Deep down you know that you are lying to yourself so you will find these very hard to believe. This is why when you are complimenting someone about an insecurity they have or saying you are beautiful, no matter how many times you tell them they will not believe this
Placing a focus on body functionality and acceptance are two ways that you can improve your body image.
By accepting the way you look or the insecurities you have helps to minimise/takeaway the effect that it has on you emotionally. E.G, say you look in the mirror and get upset about the way your skin look’s, which ruins your whole day, affect’s your confidence and dictates your behaviours throughout the day.
By practicing body acceptance, you are accepting where you are right now. You don’t let it define who you are, the choices you make or base yourself worth off it. This does not mean you don’t want to change it, this means you accept where you are which could in turn make you not want to change it which is fine. This gives you the power and the choice.
A helpful technique using gratitude to reframe and focus on present sensations and abilities. These can then be an anchor as you grow over your training.
Focus on awareness of the different capabilities of your body and note these down.
Take 2-5minutes and practise gratitude of the above
EG: I am grateful that I am able feel the clothes on my skin
I am grateful that I my body allows me exercise to improve my health
Try this daily for the next 2-3 months and watch your mindset towards your body change
This recipe and others are available to online, in-home and in-gym clients as part of your training at no additional charge. Trainerize have kindly let us post a few here!