Struggling with body image?
Body image is something lots of us struggle with. It can be hard to accept ourselves when so much of the media is focused on weight loss plans, fitness, healthy eating, or features unrealistic ideals of what we ‘should’ look like.
If you find yourself struggling with having a positive view of your body, this can impact your mental health over time. However, these 5 tips might help you achieve a more positive outlook on your body, and help you on your way to self-acceptance:
1. Throw Them Away
Lots of us hold onto clothes that no longer fit us, with the hope that we will wear them again one day, but what this can do is create a belief that by returning to the size we once were, we are more deserving of self-acceptance. Donating clothes that hold no sentimental value to a bring bank or charity shop can help clear space and allow room for clothes that are comfortable for your body.
2. Measure Once
Measure yourself around the waist, hips and bust if you are buying clothing in women’s sizes, but try not to do this more than is necessary – your measurements are not a measure of your worth! In women’s clothing, each size usually ranges in a 2 inch/5cm fabric allowance, so having a rough idea of your measurements can help with a starting point when picking out clothing.
3. Ignore the Size
It’s important to note that clothing sizes are not standardised, so what might be a size 12 in one high street shop can be a size 14, or a size 10, in another. If you’re buying clothing online, check the corresponding measurements, and ignore the number or the size on the label – what matters is what feels comfortable on your body for your measurements.
4. Ditch the Scales
Unless a doctor or medical professional expresses concern over your weight, or you suspect you are suffering from an eating disorder, your weight does not matter. A weighing scales does not take into account your bone structure, bone density, the amount of water you are retaining, whether or not you are menstruating, or what you have eaten that day. Ask yourself what weighing yourself achieves – does it make you happy? If not, it might be time to cut this activity out of your day.
5. Read Blogs and Other Stories About Self-Acceptance
There are lots of blogs on the subject out there, but there are also lots of Instagram accounts dedicated to body positivity, self-love, and the importance of self-care. Unfollow any social media accounts that make you feel inadequate, and spend a little time a day reading how others feel self-positive.
This blog was written for ReachOut.com by our Youth Editorial Board member Courtney Smyth.