Body Image

by Lauren James on September 17, 2013

Body image is defined as the perception that a person has of their physical self, the thoughts and feelings the person experiences as a result of that perception.  These may be positive, negative or a combination of both and are influenced by individual and environmental factors.

—There are 4 aspects of body image:
    1.The way you see yourself
    2.The way you feel about the way you look
    3.The thoughts and beliefs you feel about your body
    4.The things you do in relation to the way you look
This comprehensive definition comes from The Butterfly Foundation who work to support those experiencing Eating Disorders, both in treatment and prevention.
Eat Smart is committed to helping their clients achieve a more positive image of themselves.  Try these 5 tips:
  1. Enhance your relationship with food.  Look at the nutritious qualities that food gives the body, rather than looking at the calories, fat or negatives.  Really taste your food – what does a ripe tomato really taste like?  Learn to cook a new recipe, enjoy a new vegetable or try out a new fruit.  Explore the vast world of food.
  2. Fill your fridge and pantry with nutritious food that you enjoy eating.  Having an abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meats or vegetarian alternatives, dairy products as well as good fats & oils will mean you eat more of these healthy core foods that nourish our body and mind.
  3. Drink at least 1.5 litres of hydrating fluids per day.  Choose water, mineral or soda water, herbal or black teas, coffee in small amounts and milk.  Sip fluids slowly over the day to maximise their hydrating benefits.
  4. Exercise for good health, vitality, fitness and feeling great rather than weight loss, calorie burn or targeting ‘that’ area that you are not fond of.  Find exercise that you enjoy, whether that’s going for a run, hiking through nature or losing yourself to the music in a dance class.
  5. Set yourself positive, health focused goals rather than weight or body shape related ones.  Aim to complete a fun run, eat a new vegetable each week, hike a mountain, eat 2 pieces of fruit per day or enjoy 30 mins of yoga per day.  Make it a realistic goal that makes you feel good and one that shows your body’s unique abilities!

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