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HOW TO OVER COME BODY IMAGE ISSUES

Sounds impossible, right? Overcoming negative thoughts or feelings about your body that you have lived with for years? On my first blog post I'm going to share with you several ways I have personally overcome body image issues. These are some techniques and strategies I also share with my clients. Over the next several weeks I will go more in depth into each technique. 

1)  The most important change in mindset is this: STOP COMPARING. Stop comparing your body to any body else's body. We are all unique special snowflakes and are simply not meant to look the same.  

2) Realize what you're up against. Beauty marketers have created a beauty "ideal" because they want you to feel bad about how you look so you will buy the stuff they are telling you you need to look a certain way so you can be accepted by the masses. This is a fool's errand. And you know it. Also, photoshop. 

3) Begin a gratitude list for your body, i.e. "thank you legs for helping me walk in the park today." Try to name 5-10 things that you are grateful for about your body. As you progress in the practice, you will eventually be able to feel grateful for how beautiful your body is.

4) Begin a "sensuality discipline." This means you pay attention to your senses--to what *your* body enjoys: for example, do you really like hot showers? Or the smell of a particular flower? Or the sound of a specific song or type of music? The more you can tune into and then act on the particulars of what you enjoy, the more you will be honoring your body. 

5) Start paying attention to how often you think negative thoughts or say negative comments about your body. I hear so many women say things like, "ugh, I hate my thighs they're so fat," or, "if I have this dessert I'll probably gain five pounds." 

6) Now--stop saying those things out loud. Recognize that type of language and thinking as TOXIC to your own self esteem, but also to any little girl that might be around you who is learning how to think about her body. If you can't change your language for yourself, think of the younger generation who is PAYING ATTENTION. Hopefully, one day, you'll be able to change it for yourself, too.

7) Reject the diet mentality. Begin intuitive eating practices. (Intuitive eating is a mindset and way of approaching food that I learned early on in my career working with eating disorders. It is the approach I use to help people recover from the depths of an eating disorder, but it is an approach that everyone can benefit from). 

8)  Unfollow triggering and/or negative social media accounts, i.e. the "instagram models." There isn't anything inherently wrong with these people or accounts, it's simply that they promote inauthenticity and most of us can't look at them without comparing ourselves--it's too tempting. Start following people that promote "bodypositivity and #bodylove. You will see examples of women of all shapes, sizes and colors absolutely loving themselves--and you will begin to feel permission to love yours, too.

9)  Play more. Play is the thing that helps us feel alive, connected and happy. When we are playing, we aren't thinking about that cookie we had or didn't have, we're not thinking about how we look, we're doing something more important--feeding our Soul. We all play differently--a review on the 8 different types of play in another post. You will learn how to identify your style of play.

10)  Nurture your relationships and spiritual connection. When we are connected to others and our higher power, a sense of meaning and purpose fills us up. 

In the weeks to follow I'm going to start unpacking each of these concepts in more depth and detail.

 

Much love and peace to you beauties!!

--Brooke