How to Improve Your Body Image in 3 Easy Steps


If we can’t experience the reality of our innermost beauty, losing weight won’t bring us any closer to recognizing how lovely we are.

320756_2545702681966_1101898257_nMany of us have struggled with body image for most of our lives, but this battle doesn’t have to define our future. Transforming our body image may not be an instant fix, but beginning the process is far simpler than many of us realize.

Here are 3 doable steps that will undoubtedly improve your body image and lead to greater self-love.

1. Rethink Your Flaws.

Often there’s a body part that steals our focus. For some of us, it’s our thighs. For others, it’s our stomach. Many of us are preoccupied with a part of our body we’ve designated a “problem.”

Yet, the very fact that we see our body as a problem tells us more about the state of our mind than the state of our body. Often our lens is shaped by popular culture and fashion trends. Start working on your perspective. It’s the one that matters most.

Do some investigative work and find a culture or a historical period that celebrates round stomachs or thick, full thighs. It may make a difference in how you think about your own body parts. When you find yourself focusing on your “flaws,” remind yourself that seeing your body as a problem is simply a matter of perspective. such-thing_n_4726196.html

2. Go Grateful

Feeling truly grateful for our body heightens and reinforces connection with ourselves and with others. Our amazing body manages a legion of complex human functions and interactions to maintain its balance and health with loyalty and resilience. We depend on our body to make courageous efforts to compensate for physical and psychological maladies as they occur.

Our bodies are first and foremost functional. Our legs are our primary means of support and movement. Our torso protects vital organs. Our hands help us complete the essential tasks of every-day-life and embrace our whole world.

When we’re focused on what we “don’t like” about our body, we miss out on one of its most remarkable aspects – Our body is a “communication specialist” bar none. It takes in and responds to everything we think, say and do. Everything takes place in our body. It maintains a continuous stream of communication-whether we are aware of it or not.

There is a powerful, inseparable connection between our minds and our bodies. The more grateful and kind our inner dialogue is, the more positive the corresponding physical responses. We can linger in our bodies longer and feel safe in them.

Make a gratitude list featuring your body. Describe the abilities you treasure, the ways your body supports you, the health you savor. Take an inventory of your senses and appreciate each one for how it enriches your life. Close your eyes and listen to your body’s extraordinary language. It can be an unprecedented meditative experience for as long as it lasts.

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3. Treat Your Body As A Dear Friend.

Poor body image can lead to incessant internal unrest in which our mind, body, and spirit are disconnected and adrift. When we’re in conflict with our body, we are far more likely to succumb to unhealthy behaviors. Instead of thinking of your body an adversary, try treating your body as a dear friend. Try to embrace a spirit of hospitality and kindheartedness on its behalf. Nothing is closer to you than your own body.

11532_20120923_193954_dandelionsWould you prepare a beautiful and nourishing meal for a dear friend who came to dinner, or would you pass them a paper bag from a drive through restaurant? Would you rush a dear friend through a story, or would you be patient and empathize? Imagine what your daily life would look like if you treated your body as a friend and listened to the messages it gives you with compassion and warmth. Transforming your body image isn’t going to happen overnight, but never underestimate your capacity to change your perspective from one moment to the next.

Every subtle shift in how you perceive yourself can transform how you see everything else. Seeing your thighs as too fat or your upper arms as unattractive is more likely to prescribe your behavior on the beach trip, not your appearance. Can you relate?

  1. I like the idea of “lingering in my body longer and feeling safe.” For so long I have seen my body as “adversary.” I felt my body betrayed me when I got cancer. Now I know I was betraying my body!

    And work with Sunny has brought me back to the precious gift of my body…….beauty, function, soul, even mystery. Lost weight is only a small part of the journey for me, a compass toward healing.

  2. Very insightful article, Sunny! One of the best part of entering my ripe years is that I’m able to see my different parts as “features” instead of “flaws.” Your historical perspective will help with that too.

  3. Love your “ripe years!” Fruits are picked when they are ripe….women choose (as you have done).

  4. This idea about gratitude is very helpful. Focusing on what our bodies give to our lives rather than focusing on what we lack is truly transformative.

  5. I so appreciate your advice to treat your body as a friend- I would never serve a friend some of the meals I eat! And I agree that a shift in our self perception can have a definite impact on other parts of our life. Great wisdom here!

  6. Jane, I know how you loves veggies….This is an e-a-s-y recipe for “Friendsgiving.” Try serving this to yourself! (can also use broccoli). Plan: Have simple ingredients in house; Go to farmers market for gorgeous sprouts; Do NOT put away in fridge but make immediately; Celebrate being as wonderful a friend to yourself as you are to others!

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