“Dear Phoenix, What can I do when I struggle with Body Image?

Everyone is different when it comes to how they look. Somehow throughout time, the word “different” has translated into “not good enough.” In reality our differences are the most beautiful thing about us. We hear that looks do not matter but at the end of the day we care. Some are proud and confident in their own bodies. But, I can almost guarantee that confidence took along time to grow. So, if you are struggling with how you look please know you are not alone. Growth is hard but all you have to do is start taking tiny steps. Here are some steps to growth.

1. Realize what you want to change

Instead of just ignoring the bad feelings you have about yourself recognize what is making you feel that way. Know it is okay to want a change but it is also just as fine to stay the way you are. Either way, you need to make sure you are in a healthy mindset so you give yourself the love you deserve.

2. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend

If you overheard your friend call themselves ugly you would tell them that is a lie and that they are beautiful. As a true friend you want to lift up your friend. You see their beauty and wish they could see it too. So next time you call yourself ugly, be a friend to yourself tell yourself you are beautiful. This will be hard from the start because you don’t think it is ture. Say it anyways. The more you practice this the sooner your conscious will speak nicely too you and hype you up.

3. Don’t ignore your bodies needs

Our bodies require movement, food, water, and encouragement. At times, when you are in a bad mood you ignore everything you need. That is counter productive. When our bodies move our brains thank us by uplifting our mood. I am not saying you have to go do a full body workout, you can go walk your dog or do yoga. Simply moving is good for you. Sometimes people want to loose weight and decide they need to stop eating as much. That is not true, your body requires food for energy. Eat until you are full, but instead of junk food try something healthy. Replacing what you are eating is more important than limiting eating. Stay hydrated, 8 cups of water a day! And lastly your body needs encouragement. Lift up your mood through meditation, deep breathing, or listening to music.

4. Do not shame yourself

When you are looking through Instagram do you find yourself comparing yourself? When you eat candy do you feel bad? You many see all these people who are leading healthy life styles and you see yourself as less than. There is this feeling like what you do is not good enough, this is called shame. That is not true. What you do and how you do it does not determine your self worth. How you are at this exact moment is beautiful. It is hard not to compare ourselves with others. And it is impossible to completely stop comparing, but you CAN stop shaming yourself. When you realize you are shaming yourself try to tell yourself “Stop, I am worthy and deserve to treat myself better.”

5. Remind yourself of your beauty

Take a jar and fill it with honest compliments about yourself. Put post it notes with compliments on your mirror. Make your lock screen a positive quote. Go put on your favorite outfit and makeup to boost your mood. Write yourself a self love note.

 

You are okay and on a journey to self love. You got this!