Body Image Disorder

Tackle body image disorder with these 4 prevention tips

With increased media attention on body image, the human race seems to be obsessed with the way we look and as a result, we often find ourselves developing unhealthy relationships with both food and exercise and we find ourselves obsessed over what we eat and how we look. The increased pressure to look like our role models can have a very negative effect on our mental health, including confidence and self-esteem. With the media glamorising the extreme’s – stick thin supermodels, huge and muscular body-builder types, or photoshopped body assets (cough cough Kim Kardashian) – it’s no wonder why so many of us feel so pressurised into looking as lean as we can possibly be. As a result of this, as well as the stigma associated with being overweight, more and more people are finding themselves suffering from body image disorder, which can ruin their lives in some cases. Body image disorder is unfortunately all too common but they are treatable and preventable, and for that reason here are just four ways to help prevent them and learn to love yourself.

Think independently

One of the best ways you can help prevent body image disorder is to think independently and not let your thoughts be influenced by the media, the TV, Hollywood, or even by those around you for that matter. If you enjoy eating certain foods then don’t suddenly decide to stop enjoying them just because somebody tells you that you shouldn’t enjoy them. We all deserve a treat now and then, it’s just that moderation is the key. If you hate jogging, don’t take it up just because some magazine tells you that you should, instead find a viable alternative that you do actually enjoy. Exercising isn’t just about getting healthier and fitter, the key to it is to ensure it is fun.

One of the best ways you can help prevent body image disorder is to think independently and not let your thoughts be influenced by the media, the TV, Hollywood, or even by those around you for that matter. If you enjoy eating certain foods then don’t suddenly decide to stop enjoying them just because somebody tells you that you shouldn’t enjoy them. We all deserve a treat now and then, it’s just that moderation is the key. If you hate jogging, don’t take it up just because some magazine tells you that you should, instead find a viable alternative that you do actually enjoy. Exercising isn’t just about getting healthier and fitter, the key to it is to ensure it is fun.

Develop a healthy relationship with food 

Body image disorder and food consumption go hand in hand with one another which is why so many people find themselves obsessing over what they’re eating and how much they’re eating. To help prevent body image disorder, one should develop a healthy relationship with food by eating healthy and balanced meals on a regular basis. Never starve yourself, never restrict yourself, but try to ensure that the majority of your meals are nutritionally balanced. Avoid processed and frozen junk foods and go for fresh fruit and veg, fresh lean meats, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Express just how much you enjoy certain foods, talk about it, don’t hide it as there’s nothing wrong with it. Eating healthy 90% of the time means that you can have a treat now and then as well.

Make sure that you demonstrate a positive body image

If people compliment you on your appearance, rather than playing it down or making a negative comment, instead respond with a smile and a “thank you”. Don’t hide your body away, wear clothes you want to wear and add some variety. Hold your head up high and demonstrate a positive body image by showing the world that you are comfortable with how you look.

If people compliment you on your appearance, rather than playing it down or making a negative comment, instead respond with a smile and a “thank you”. Don’t hide your body away, wear clothes you want to wear and add some variety. Hold your head up high and demonstrate a positive body image by showing the world that you are comfortable with how you look.

Remember, you can easily lose weight, or gain it for that matter

Let’s face it, gaining weight is easier than losing it but that doesn’t mean that losing it is impossible. We all gain weight from time to time but the thing to remember is that no matter how much weight you gain, you can always, always lose it again. For this reason, don’t become depressed or obsessed and instead tell yourself that you CAN lose the weight again in a healthy and balanced manner by eating healthy foods and getting regular physical activity. The same applies for if you’re underweight as well, as no matter how you look, you can always change this in a healthy and balanced way.

Chris Smith
Founder of Vivi Nation, sports enthusiast, occasional triathlete, keen cyclist and optimistic Liverpool FC fan.

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