I used to think that a healthy body image was all about being OK with how you look, or better yet, being happy with how you look.
And I wasn’t. So I thought that I had to somehow become happier with my hips, thighs, belly, and essentially all of me. My initial idea for a path to a positive body image was losing weight.
But then after years of yo-yo dieting, gaining and losing weight, and realizing that at my thinnest, I was actually the most obsessive about food and my weight (and much more frightened than happy), I realized that this was an ineffective solution, to say the least.
Margarita Tartakovsky is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com, an award-winning mental health website, and the voice behind Weightless, a blog that helps women deal with body image issues and disordered eating. She also writes a monthly feature for Beliefnet.com, covering topics such as patience and procrastination.
Editor: Muhammad Talha
The more I wrote for Weightless, and thanks to many wise bloggers and readers, I started realizing another important fact: Having a healthy body image means a multitude of things. Each is a brick on a skyscraper. Each takes time and care to cultivate. Each is a process.
What a positive body image really means (at least to me):
- Accepting yourself
- Taking good care of yourself
- Nourishing yourself (with food, fun physical activities)
- Giving up the diet mentality
- Being kind to yourself
- Thinking that you’re worthy of healthy and meaningful relationships
- Knowing that your presence matters
- And ultimately, loving yourself as you are
What does body image mean to you? What does it encompass?
Here are several posts from Weightless to help cultivate each part of our body image.
- Is Your Body the Enemy?
- 5 Ways to Reconnect with Your Body
- How to Respect Your Body
- 15 Body Image Boosters from the Blogosphere
Ditching the diet mentality
- Body Image & The Diet Mentality: Letting Go of Shame
- Improving Your Body Image by Ditching Dieting
- Realizing Your Diet Rules and Getting Rid of Them
- A Tip for Tending to Your Body
- Body Image & Self-Acceptance: 28 Lessons I’ve Learned in My 28 Years
- When Your Self-Worth is Wrapped Around Your Weight (and 7 Ways to Unwrap it)
- Boosting Your Body Image by Being Madly In Love with Me
- How to Love Yourself: A Q&A with Christine Arylo of Madly In Love with Me
Today’s favorite post. “The Big Idea” by Lacy at The Me Makeover.
How do you work to improve the various aspects of your body image?