Boost Your Body Confidence
You can do amazing things – here’s how to feel great about yourself, every step of your journey.
WeightWatchers Weekly February 26- March 4
How you feel and think about your body is shaped by many sources, from life events and societal standards to your own self talk. If you have negative thoughts about your appearance and how others perceive you, it’s time to reframe your thinking and start feeling positive about what your body is capable of. WE know you’re amazing – do you?
Why change how you think? A negative body image can get in the way of your weight loss efforts crushing your confidence and sabotaging you before you even begin. Improving your body image will help you shut down the trash talk and appreciate the healthy changes you’re making. This can make you more apt to feel motivated to keep up with your good work. Simply put, a positive body image can boost weight – loss success – and may help you keep those lost pounds from coming back.
What to do: Give yourself a body boost. Reshape how you think about your body by taking a long, thoughtful look at it. (OK, not that long – only 10 minutes or so.) You’ll need a full length mirror, notepad, and pen.
- LIST WHAT YOU LOVE. Close your eyes and think about all the different areas of your body – from your ankles to elbows, hair to hips. What two areas are you most satisfied with or proud of? Open your eyes and write them down.
- LIST WHAT YOU DON’T. Close your eyes. Identify 4 or 5 areas you are least satisfied with. Open your eyes and write them down.
- RANK THEM. Assign a numb from 0-10 to each body part you’ve written, with 0 meaning “most content” and 10 “most content”. Reorder your list, from most satisfied to least.
- EXAMINE YOUR BODY. Stand in front of the mirror, close your eyes, and breathe deeply until you feel calm and relaxed. Visualize the body area you’re happiest with for about 15 seconds, then focus on relaxed breathing.
- THINK ABOUT IT. Open your eyes. Look at this body part again and consider what it does for you. For example, you might look at your nose and think; it helps me smell the air after it rains, and it holds up my sunglasses on a sunny day. Take a moment to appreciate what it does for you.
- NEUTRALIZE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS If it’s difficult to be thankful for an area, take the sting out go your immediate unhelpful thought when you look at that body area. For example, if your reaction is My stomach is disgusting, try shifting your thinking to a neutral observation: My stomach is round. Then close your eyes and breath slowly until you are relaxed.
- GO DOWNN YOU LIST. repeat steps 4 – 6 for each body area, treating it with respect and care. If it’s easier, spread this activity over a few days or a week. Take time to give your body positive attention deserves.
EVERY TIME A NEGATIVE BODY THOUGHT COMES INTO YOUR HEAD, GIVE IT A REALITY CHECK. CHECK YOUR THINKING STYLE: ARE YOU OVERGENERALIZING, USING BLACK-AND-WHITE THINKING, OR PUTTING A NEGATIVE LENS ON A SITUATION? Some examples below.
Unhelpful: “My arms will never look as good in a tank top as hers do.”
Helpful: ” Her arms look good in that take tank top – but that doesn’t mean mine won’t some day, too.”
Unhelpful: “Finally, my jeans fit me! Now if only I could do something about the bags under my eyes.”
Helpful: “Why let a small aspect of my appearance bug me? I’m thrilled with how these jeans fit.”
Your turn! What unhelpful thought about your body have you had? Give it a reality check. Now what is your helpful thought? If you’re willing to share comment.