If you have been thinking body image pertains to your weight or size always then you are absolutely mistaken. A young woman might have the perfect curves and physique yet she might have a negative body image. Body image is what you think and how you feel when you look into the mirror or imagine yourself. Feelings of what you think about your own body-height, weight and color-negative or positive can have a huge impact on your behavior and mindset. This body image has trapped many young adults and adolescents into the imagination world where they dream of themselves as models who have a great physique and a skinny body. The flashy magazine cover photos, actors on television/movies and fashion divas give our young generations sleepless nights as they dwell over they body image, end up having a low self-esteem and resort to unhealthy eating practices that later on grow into eating disorders. Such people also constantly worry about their eating practices and exercise schedules, develop a feeling of negativity and suffer from increased risks of going into depression.
Its sad to know that it’s mostly women and young girls who suffer from a negative body image as females are always related to beauty, and beauty is always related to a super-thin body and fair complexion. But, this might also be due to the portrayal of women onscreen and in books. A bike ad showcases a woman model alongside it and even an after-shave lotion ad needs a woman model to bring it alive. Women endorse beauty, a woman is praised for her beauty more than her brawn and the media also focuses on females who are thin, fair, tall and young. This makes young girls and adults living in this society (who are unaware of the graphics and technology inputs that are used on the images of women portrayed in the media to make them glamorous and beautiful) to try achieving feats that don’t practically exist in this world.
Parents play a crucial role in sowing the seeds of body image into their children. When the mom or dad constantly focuses on her/his body image and weight, the child automatically gives priority to physical beauty. Rather, parents should showcase a positive body image to their kids by refraining to comment about their own body image or that of others. Don’t emphasise on the beauty of your child, don’t repeatedly praise your child for his/her looks and refrain from encouraging those things that have nothing to do with their skills, talents and abilities.
Food: The Heart & Soul of Body Image
Food is closely related to body image. The first step towards having a healthy body image is to accept your body, overcome emotions and channelize it in the right way such that food becomes a source of pleasure and self-love. Planning to eat a balanced meal is the best way to avoid the problems and issues relating to body image. You can take the help of registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to have a healthy body image as their excellence in nutrition and health is sure to channelize you into having a positive body image. Given here are reliable ways to develop a healthy body image:
Eat a Balanced Diet: Any healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins such as lean meats, tofu and beans, nuts and seeds, low-fat dairy and vegetable oils. Please do include chips, sweets and desserts rarely and by this I would like to emphasize that there is no need to exclude any food from your list unless you have a medical condition. Instead of branding certain foods as bad it is required that we cut down on the portions of these foods and also limit the frequency of their consumption.
Size Up Exercise: Physical activity is essential to maintain a healthy body weight. It's appreciable when you work out regularly but when you feel guilty, overweight, depressed, obsessive over workout or sad when you miss out even a day’s workout it is a sign that you need external help. Every person needs at least 150 minutes of activity per week. It might be walking, dancing or a gym session. Practice resistance training at least twice a week to strengthen bones and muscles. Try your hands on swimming or some sport to make your workout interesting and fun filled.
Engage with Others: Its not all about social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter where people pose pics of their slim and trim body to garner likes and comments. I’m talking about being social with other people in real life. Surround yourself with positive-minded people who help you take a positive approach to life and develop a positive body image. Social support from friends and neighbors boosts your confidence levels and you develop a positive body image.
Parents of young children need to keep an eye on their child’s social media account to ensure that these children are not diverted from their healthy mind sets and are focusing on developing a positive relationship with their body. Teenage is a time when these kids become fussy eaters avoiding many food items quoting them to be calorie-laden. Ensure that your child eats the right portions of foods and doesn’t eliminate foods from a particular food group altogether. Teach your children about making smart food choices, talk them through the benefits of regular physical activity and always refrain from using the word ‘dieting’ in front of your child. Guide them towards eating healthy food and boost their confidence by maintaining a positive aura at home. By this, I mean that you must refrain from complaining about your weight, body shape or physique, never talk about following crash diets or link beauty with body weight.
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