How to Fix your Body Image issues
Today I’m going to talk about body image.
Body image is something that, in my opinion, everyone struggles with at some point in their life.
Teenagers right through to people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond can all feel that their body doesn’t look the way they want it to.
The difference between the last 5-10 years and previous generations, is that the ‘ideal’ body is very easily accessible.
It’s very easy, in an environment of ‘perfect’ Instagram models (both male and female) to feel inadequate.
You don’t need to scroll Instagram for very long before you see someone showing off their body.
And it can be dangerous.
People seeking to emulate the ‘ideal’ physiques that they see on TV or social media can become obsessive.
So much so that it’s damaging to their health.
I watched a documentary recently where a lad, who clearly had mental health issues, was lifting weights in a sauna, having wrapped himself in cling film, in an attempt to ‘lose body water’ and look shredded.
Many people want to be a little bit less fat, or have a little more muscle, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
But when people take it to the extreme, and don’t prioritise their health in that process, it can become a dangerous obsession.
Steroids, detoxes, and eating disorders are just some of the symptoms of this negative body image disease.
So how do we avoid this problem?
It brings to mind a quote
Who it originated from I actually have no idea.
Someone old and Greek maybe?
Anyway – the sentence is ‘comparison is the thief of joy’.
Meaning that as soon as you start to compare yourself to other people, you outsource your happiness to the perceived gap between you and that other person.
I was guilty of this when I first started trying to get in shape.
I found that focusing on the way I looked, to the exclusion of all else, was not a healthy mindset for me to be in.
Now – I’m able to focus more on performance and health in my training and nutrition, rather than purely aesthetics.
The way I look is simply a by-product.
When I work with clients, we also try and focus on the actions and the process – not the end result.
Building healthy habits on a daily basis, rather than thinking about what somebody else looks like.
There is also an element of controlling your own environment.
If there is a specific person, or place, or practice, that makes you feel ‘not good enough’ – get rid of it. Or at least take a break from it.
Your social media account is part of this.
Basically - unfollow accounts that make you feel shit about yourself.
You don’t need to follow them, and clearly they aren’t improving your life. So get rid.
There has never been so much potential input, so curating and editing that as much as you can is beneficial.
Again – I’m not saying that you can’t go on a diet.
Everyone has the freedom to choose to improve themselves, and that includes their health and their body composition.
But a focus on habits makes that journey far more empowering.