Body Image

As you know, many people have insecurities.  Some more than others, but most people have at least one.  Can you name your insecurities?  I certainly can.  Although exercise has always been a part of my life, I have struggled with body image issues since the tender age of nine.  Even though I have been struggling with these issues for years, I’m still learning how to deal with these insecurities about my body.  I understand that I decide what I pay attention to.  I’m responsible for being positive as much as possible and truly trying to live in the moment.    

Below I have shared with you, the words that help me on hard days.  I hope they help you as much as they have helped me.    

If you haven’t seen it yet, please take a look at this video.


Some of my Favorite Body Image Quotes

“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.”

“My body was made exactly as it was meant to be.  If I can’t see my beauty right now, the problem is not with my body; it is with my eyes.”

“The root cause of negative body image is not realizing that each and every one of us is intrinsically beautiful and inherently valuable as we are, right now.”

“The reality is that your are enough; you are more than enough, right now, in this moment, regardless of anything and everything else.”

“There is nothing wrong with the desire to change and improve, nor is there anything wrong with the desire to stay the same.”

“I am the creator of my life and my experience.”

“I have the power within me to create a life that I love.”

“I will learn to look in the mirror with love, appreciation, affection, and gratitude.”

“I will develop an overall healthy way of eating and exercising that has adequate room for indulgences, fun, and pleasure.”

I will develop a habit of consciously and continuously detaching from negative thoughts, while creating more positive thoughts to put in their place.”

“You don’t have to control your thoughts; you just have to just stop letting them control you.”

“Perfection isn’t possible, even for the best of the best.”

“Realizing that you’re not perfect is liberating.”

“We need to give ourselves time to get comfortable with the idea that we can do things differently.”

“Everything in the world isn’t always black-and-white.  It’s absolutely okay to just be okay.”

“Admittedly, there are still days when I find myself being critical of my body, but I no longer allow those negative thoughts to determine my mood or how I will interact with others.  Rather, I will let them pass and do not allow them to ruin my day.”

“All our lives we’ve been told that it’s okay to hate ourselves, it’s okay to be dissatisfied with the bodies we have, and that we should always be striving for better.  What we need to learn instead is that it’s okay to feel good about ourselves and be grateful for the bodies that we were given.”


You Have The Power To Choose

I choose to…

♥ Listen to my body

♥ Believe that I am more than a number on the scale

♥ Accept a compliment

♥ Challenge the distorted beliefs I have about my body

♥ Stop the diet talk

♥ Provide myself a variety of foods, none being labeled “good” or “bad”

♥ Celebrate others for the joy they bring to my life rather than how they look

♥ Listen harder to what my children are saying and not saying

♥ Start living my life now!


The Bill of Rights

“I have and will exercise the right to…”

♥ Nourish my body and spirit

♥ Appreciate my body, which will never be perfect

♥ Feel good in and about my body

♥ Exercise my control over what I watch, pay attention to, talk back to, and buy

♥ Remind myself, constantly if necessary, of 10 or more good things about body

♥ Be fit and energetic, no matter what I look like

♥ To dance, swim, sunbathe, and be active no matter what I look like


Ways to Love Your Body

  1. Think of your body as a tool.  Make an inventory of all the things you can do with it.
  2. Notice what your body does each day.  It is the instrument of your life, not an ornament for someone else’s enjoyment.
  3. Consider your body as a source of pleasure.  Think of all the ways it can make you feel good.
  4. Affirm that your body is perfect just the way it is.
  5. Walk with your head high, with pride and confidence in yourself as a person, not a size.
  6. Don’t let your size or appearance keep you from doing the things that you enjoy.
  7. Remember that your body is not a democracy- you are the only one who gets a vote.
  8. Count your blessings, not your blemishes.
  9. Replace the time you spend criticizing your appearance with more positive and satisfying pursuits.

10.Let your inner beauty and individuality shine.

11.Be your body’s ally and advocate, not it’s enemy.

12.Every night when you go to sleep, thank your body for what it helped you do throughout the day.

13.Look at family photos.  Find the beauty, love, and values in those faces.  Hold them close to your heart.

14.Ask: If I only had one year to live, how important would my body image and appearance be?

15.Beauty is not just skin deep.  It is a reflection of your whole self.  Love and enjoy the person inside.


Athletes

Here is proof that even the best athletes have insecurities, yet they still accomplish great things.

Quotes from A Life Without Limits, by Chrissie Wellington

“I suspect that all the greatest champions are driven by a lot of things, but what really motivates them is insecurity.” – Lance Armstrong

“I’ve also been driven, for as long as I can remember, by a fierce determination to make the best of myself and to try to make the best of the world around me.”

“Sport has a unique ability to inspire and empower.  If used correctly, it can be such a force for good.”

“But if there was one thing that marked me out as unusual it was my drive.  I would go so far as to describe it as obsessive-complusive.  I have, and always have had, the most powerful urge to make the best of myself.  At times I have not been able to control it; at times it has taken me to some unpleasant places; but it also an essential part of who I am, and I cannot make any apology for this.”

“But, as a sensitive soul who has always worried- too much most of the time- about what other people think of her, this obsession with self-improvement has often spilled into other less positive preoccupations.”

“My relationship with my body has been a difficult one over the years.  At times I have loved it; at times I have despaired it; at times I have seen it as little more than a plaything to be bent to my will, as if it were somehow separate from me.”

“I have an addictive personality.  Sport is my drug of choice these days.  It’s one of the best drugs there is.  It keeps you fit and healthy, even if, in the case of ironman, it pushes your body to the limit.  The word “addiction” comes with negative connotations, but it doesn’t have to be a damaging impulse.  It’s about channeling your craving into something positive.”

“But in time you get to know yourself, and with a better understanding of yourself comes the ability to modulate the highs and lows.  More of the control, less of the freak.”

“I love my body now, not because I like what I see in the mirror particularly, more because I no longer look in the mirror and see just contours of flesh and color, there to be scrutinized and manipulated.  Now I see my body as a holistic system that enables me to do what I do.  More importantly, I see it as bound up intricately with me, enabling me to be who I am.  That change has been a gradual one, but it is sport that helped me to initiate it and certainly to consolidate it.”

“This relentless determination to make the most of myself is something I was probably born with.  It is also the “brave face” syndrome, always wanting to appear strong and successful and, just as importantly, not wanting to show any weakness, for fear of people judging me negatively.”

“I suppose we might see in it the seeds of my aptitude for endurance sport- everything was a hundred miles an hour, and it was non-stop.”

“It was the same impulse that drove me on at school and that drives me on now as a triathlete.  I have to give it everything, to do the best I can.”

“I have always been my worst critic.”

“Talking to somebody about the tyranny of body image provide a great relief, and gave me the confidence to find other ways of tackling my obsession.”

“Pressure is a necessary evil if you want to achieve.  It brings with it great stress, but you deal with it, and the redemption comes when you achieve things as a result.  The trick is to understand which pressures are necessary and which ones are the dangerous decoys, the ones that suck the life out of you for no reward.”

“Mentally it is hard coping with the weight of expectations I put on myself.  Mentally it is hard trying to be the best the whole time.  And I don’t know who I’m trying to prove myself to.  There is something inside me- not a voice exactly, but a deep-seated compulsion- that strives for perfection, not to be perfect per se but just to be the best that I can be.”

“Eating less may start as a means to an end, but in an anorexic it soon takes over as the end itself.  You lose perspective.  Yes, on some level I know I was too thin, but you don’t realize just how bad you look.  In a mirror, you don’t see what everyone else sees.”

“I still have to learn to be kinder to myself.”

“I was eating to run now, rather than running to justify my eating.  My diet was balanced and tailored toward my sport.  Running had replaced anorexia, and I felt and looked healthier for it.”

“All of these things, though, are obsessive.  Nothing had changed in my personality with regard to that lust for control, but now it had found a healthier outlet.”

“We all have weaknesses.”

“Acknowledging those weaknesses is vital to our development.  Some are real and can be overcome, but others are not so much weaknesses as imperfections- it is just our perception that makes them seem so.”

“Pick your battles, and accept yourself for who you are.”

“My problem was that I couldn’t relax.  I went at everything like a bull in a china shop, he said.”

“Some sessions are stars and some sessions are stones, but in the end they are all rocks and we build upon them.”

“You never know whether your run legs are going to be waiting for you in your transition bag.”

“Of all the body parts we train for this unforgiving pursuit of ours, none is more important than the head.”

“Remaining positive really is one of the most precious faculties for any athlete.”

“I am motivated above all by that little voice inside that urges me on to fulfill my potential.”

“Think about what you can do, rather than worry about what you can’t.”


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