Dieting, scale obsession, and unhappiness with our body begin at a young age. We are bombarded with perfect, airbrushed models on TV, in print and on billboards. We see the latest and greatest gadgets to lose weight, get a thin waist, make our hair thicker or silkier, keep our skin young and soft and the list goes on and on.
Once internalized, we inadvertently perpetuate the cycle by passing the same thinking to our children, particularly our daughters. It is critical that we are aware and do what we can to change our thinking to encourage a happy and healthy relationship with your body.
The first step is to think of your beliefs and attitudes about body image, food, health and appearance. Be honest with yourself. Only by taking the time to examine your thoughts and feelings will you be able to replace unhealthy perceptions with healthy attitudes.
Changing the recording in your head
To try and protect yourself from the reigns of a body perfection, train your brain to accept the reflection of your body in the mirror. Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Literally, hold up a mental bright red stop sign and change the message. Instead of "I feel so fat today" replace it with "Hmmm...I feel a little bloated. I will drink some extra water and be just fine. I'm beautiful on the inside and outside." This puts a stop to the negative thoughts and replaces them with a good, positive image. Experts are of the opinion that faking confidence helps to turn the negative thoughts into good ones.
Never treat yourself with depreciating statements. Instead, talk about yourself as you would treat others which will reduce the negative thoughts racing through your mind. Remind yourself the photo in the magazine or the size 2 models are unrealistic and mostly smoke and mirrors.
Often, we obsess over number we see on the scale. It helps to keep an eye on it if you haven't been eating particularly healthy or indulging in junk food, or fall off of the exercise wagon. But if you are making sensible food choices and moving the things you should be concerned with are sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. These are the numbers that talk about your actual health. It's awesome if you wake up in the morning feeling healthy and energetic. Many studies have shown that when a person works out for fun and to relieve stress, both weight and health will fall in the normal range.
Whenever you make a healthy choice, praise yourself. Even if you overindulge do not feel guilty about it. Enjoy every bite and get back on the healthy eating train tomorrow. Throw away the term diet. Just eat smart. Make good choices. This will help you to avoid feeling bad about yourself and your body. More than anything else, do not compare yourself with anybody else and do not depend on products that claim to make you more attractive.