- October 01st, 2015
- Empowered Health
- Body-Mind-Soul, eating habits, Exercise, Uncategorized
- 0 Comments
Did that last statement make your heart sink?
If so, read on, because you’re about to find out the number one secret to getting a bikini body, fast. This one-step secret is so ridiculously simple that it’s surprising that more women don’t do it.
Are you ready for the secret?
Here it is:
Step 1 : Put on a bikini.
Congratulations, you now have a bikini body.
If you were looking for tips on how to lose weight fast, sorry to disappoint. If you were looking for a regimen of belly fat-busting exercises, or extreme fasting, then click away now. But if you are interested in improving your feelings about your body, and in how healthy habits can help you develop a better relationship with your body, please read on.
The Numbers On The Scale Are Not The Ones That Matter
Forget about the numbers on the scale, your measurement and your clothing size for a moment and let's talk statistics:
- 45% of women in the healthy weight range believe they are overweight
- 20% or more women who are underweight believe they are overweight and are on a weight loss diet
- 80% of millennial women avoid activities because of the way they feel about their body
- The number one avoided activity for millennials is going to the beach
Disturbing, isn't it? Nearly half of us believe we are overweight when we aren't. Nearing a quarter of us are actually underweight, but are still trying to lose more weight. And a whopping 80% of young women will avoid doing things they want to do, especially going to the beach, because of the way they feel about their bodies.
That is way, way too many women.
The Problem Is Not Your Body
"If I could just lose the weight I could wear a bikini at the beach."
"If I just lose the weight I could feel comfortable at my sister's wedding."
"If I could just lose the weight I would be happy."
These are the sorts of thoughts that are common to us as women. We really, truly believe that when we lose 5kg, or 10kg, or fit into a size 10 dress, we will finally be happy.
But take a moment to think about it. Is that really true? If you feel negatively about your body, enough to diet or put yourself through punishing exercise programs, will those feelings just disappear when you lose the weight?
Many weight loss bloggers, blogging about their personal weight loss journeys online, report unchanging, or even worsening, self-esteem with weight loss. Restricting calories and working out to exhaustion, plus worrying about the small increases in weight that are a natural part of life, takes its toll.
Research suggests that women who are more content with their body image tend to have more satisfying relationships and are happier overall. The problem, really, is not the size of your body, it's how you feel about it.
So let's talk through some practical strategies for improving the way you feel about your body.
7 Ways To Love Your Body
Research shows that daily exercise makes people feel better about their bodies, regardless of their weight. This is especially true for strength or resistance training.
- Have good sex
Satisfying sexual experiences actually lead to better body satisfaction. Feeling sexually attractive improves women's body image.
- Change your self-talk
Choose to counter negative thoughts with positive thoughts about your body. For example, "I love my strong legs", "I love my big smile". When you catch yourself thinking negatively about your body, revisit these positive ideas. It can help to write a list of things you like about your body, so you can remember them when you're feeling down.
- Manage media
Keep away from magazines, TV and movies that glorify thinness, especially when you're not feeling great about your body. Comparing yourself to these unrealistic images can harm your self-esteem.
- Keep away from negative relationships
Spend less time with people who make negative comments about your body, who talk a lot about weight, or who are dieting themselves. Instead, choose to spend more time with people who are happy with their bodies.
- Ignore the scales
Rather than worrying about your weight on the scale, focus on different goals. Examples include increasing the number of push-ups you can do, or adding an extra serve of vegetables to your diet.
- Be mindful
Mindfulness, otherwise known as paying attention to the present moment, decreases body satisfaction. It also reduces stress and anxiety, which can be helpful for body image.
You Are OK Just The Way You Are
Listen. If you’re eating well, exercising regularly, keeping stress low, and you’re generally in good health, your body is the shape and size it's meant to be. (If not, natural therapies can help. Come and see a Naturopath at Empowered Health and we will sort you out.)
If you’re still feeling bad about your body, focus on improving your body image, not on changing your body.
And in the meantime, wear that bikini if you want to.
If you are worried about your thinking around body image, weight or food, or if you're worried about a friend or family member, please call the Eating Disorders Helpline on 1300 550 236. You deserve to speak to someone who can help.
Gauri Yardi, Naturopath Melbourne, specialises in stress and anxiety, and digestive and skin disorders, and she is a passionate believer in loving your body at any size. To get Gauri's help improving your relationship with your body, call 1300 21 44 25.
Refinery 29's 'Take Back the Beach' Survey: http://www.refinery29.com/womens-body-image-survey-2015
Better Health Vic's 'Body Image and Diets': http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Body_image_and_diets?open
Want to feel healthy again?
Book in for a Consultation at Empowered Health!