According to love, sex and health expert Dr. Pam Spurr, countless women and increasing numbers of men dread warmer weather because they don’t want to strip off. They worry that, because their bodies aren’t like the ones they see in the media spotlight, partners or potential partners won’t find them attractive, and that people will judge them by the shape and size of their bodies.
With magazines and news sites bombarding us with images of stick-insect celebs frolicking on the beach, it’s no wonder we’re all feeling a little disheartened about how we look. Often, the figures people desire are only really achievable through five hours of exercise a day and near-starvation. For most of us, this simply isn’t realistic – it would also do untold damage to the body and make life pretty miserable.
Instead of feeling bad about yourself and spending summer lurking under layers of clothing in the shade, Dr. Spurr recommends you take the following tips for body confidence:
1. DON’T be mean to yourself. If you stop to think about it, the worst comments about your looks probably come from you. Remove all mirrors in your home and challenge that negative voice pinpointing all your ‘flaws’. Research shows the more you look at your reflection, the more you’ll obsess about your body shape and size.
2. DON’T attribute your self-worth to your body size or shape. If you ever catch yourself wondering if people would respect you more, or take more notice of you if you were thinner, then you’re probably pinning unwarranted blame on your body. Address the real issues at hand – don’t blame your looks for everything that goes wrong in life.
3. DON’T put up with a partner who criticises your body in a disrespectful way. While it is natural for loved ones to be concerned if your weight is affecting your health, any digs or jibes designed to hurt you need to be challenged. Some people use other people’s insecurities as a way of controlling them. Make sure you are not in this kind of relationship.
4. DON’T diet because you feel bad about your body. If you want to lose weight, do it for positive reasons. Do it because you want to live for longer, get fit, or feel happier. If you cut out your favourite foods because you hate your body, you’ll resent your new diet and you’ll resent your body even more for putting you through it.
5. DO keep track of your progress. Think about what you’re doing well and praise yourself for every achievement. If you say ‘no thanks’ to a colleague offering biscuits, give yourself a mental pat on the back. It’s the small things that make big differences and if you take note of these, you’ll see what a great job you’re doing every day.
Remember that healthy change takes time and it’s important to feel good about yourself regardless of your size or shape. Every small change will make a difference eventually.
If you’d like support and encouragement making changes in your life, why not get in touch with a life coach? Find out more by visiting our Health page.
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