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How to love your Body

Lauren Kent
Oct 7, 2023

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.

What is good body image?

“An overarching love and respect for the body that allows individuals to

  • (a) appreciate the unique beauty of their body and the functions that it performs for them;
  • (b) accept and even admire their body, including those aspects that are inconsistent with idealized images;
  • (c) feel beautiful, comfortable, confident, and happy with their body, which is often reflected as an outer radiance, or a "glow;"
  • (d) emphasize their body's assets rather than dwell on their imperfections; and
  • (f) interpret incoming information in a body-protective manner whereby most positive information is internalized and most negative information is rejected or reframed”

– Wood-Barcalow et al 2010

What good body image is not:

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

What can you do to improve your body image?

Placing a focus on body functionality and acceptance are two ways that you can improve your body image.

Body Acceptance:

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.

Body Functionality:

  • Focusing on what your body does for your helps you shift the focus away from just how it looks.
  • How your body heals from sickness or injury
  • How your body allows you to see/hear/smell
  • How your body move’s through stretching/workouts
  • Focusing on selfcare – Showering/sunscreen/nutritious foods

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

About this recipe

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!

Lauren Kent
Lauren is the founder of Impact, she enjoys challenging herself, music and chocolate!

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