Body image. It’s not a topic I tend to focus on a lot here on Chase the Red Grape but it’s one I am ready to deal with since it has become more prominent.
So here’s the deal. I’m not going to tell you to stay positive and keep smiling. That a smile will always make you look beautiful. That doing X,Y or Z programme will make you look in the mirror and see whatever it is that you want to see. Or that chanting ‘I’m beautiful’ to yourself over and over works (although kudos to you if it does).
I’m all about health and a healthy body. Whatever you believe a healthy body looks like is up to you – they all differ but yet are all strong and capeable. But there are a few things I really do want you all to take into account when addressing the issue of body image.
So for this weeks 5 top tips, I want to remind you all that you are not alone in this. Body image issues affect us all, and I want you to keep the following in mind.
We all have insecurities
News flash! You are not alone. We all have things about us that we wish were different. Even the most confident and happy people occasionally wish ‘that bit would sit flatter’ or ‘my toes look really odd in these shoes’. Humans are programmed to compare, not by the media, but it’s how our brains function. Never think you are alone in feeling a certain way. Often the way we feel about ourselves is something we don’t talk enough about.
We all look at others and wish we had x,y or z
Another ‘we are all the same’ news flash! It’s normal to look at pictures and want to look like that. It’s normal to look at friends and wish you were the same. But you have to realise that someone is also looking at you and feeling the same way. Sometimes what we hated about ourselves we learn to love as it makes us stand out from the crowd. I hated being tall in school. Now I love it. And I know so many folk who have been flabbergasted that I ever wished to be anything but tall. It’s perception.
Lust but don’t obsess
The media and the blame we lay on it for feeling the way we feel – oh boy where do we begin! The media will always portray unrealistic images, it’s the sad truth, but how we respond to them is a different matter. Imagine it being like having a crush on Brad Pitt. You lust after him but you don’t obess after him. You are so happy and in love with your husband… but that doesn’t mean you can’t swoon at a pic of him occasionally. Same goes for posts on social media (or in real life). Look at that persons body/ hair/ makeup. Lust after it. But don’t let it become an obsession, you already have what you need.
Learning to love your body comes from the mind
If you struggle to love who you are and the body you are in, no amount of dieting or exercise is going to change that. The markers for ‘perfection’ are always going to change and evolve. If you want change it has to start with how you feel about yourself and view yourself.
Remember your strengths
When I am feeling glum about my body I always remember my strengths. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but I’m always willing to give it a try. What can I do? What does my body do for me? What do I love about myself? Why can’t David let me past without giving my bum a little squeeze – is it because it is pretty or ugly? And so on and so forth. Being realistic about yourself doesn’t have to be negative!
Next weeks podcast (episode 43) will be all about body image, addressing it from both the male and female perspective – yes folks men feel it too! Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher so you don’t miss it.
Do you suffer from body insecurities?
What do you love about the way you look?
What do you think could be done in the media to address this issue? Or do you think it’s the everyday comparisons that really make a dent?