3 SECRETS TO IMPROVING BODY IMAGE
Article by Dr. Ariane Smith Machin
Philosophy of People
Magazine: Issue #18
Do you want to know how small shifts in the way you think about food, exercise, and your daily habits can enhance the way you perceive your body size and shape? Do you find yourself continuously unhappy with your physical appearance and experience shame during so-called fun activities, such as going shopping, wearing a bathing suit, or meeting up with some friends to exercise? If you relate to these situations, you are not alone! In fact, in our Western Culture, body dissatisfaction is the norm! However, I am here to share three, simple secrets that can boost your body esteem!
1 :: Mindfulness Practice!
In your day, are you sitting down and eating food in a slow manner, are you in your car and stopping for fast food, are you running around with your kids and just picking off their plates? Being mindful when you eat is important because we become more in tune with our hunger signals and reduce the likelihood of binge-eating or emotional-eating behaviors.
2 :: Daily Exercise!
When I work with clients, I often refer to daily exercise as simply Movement! When we re-define this activity, it seems to reduce the pressure and expectation that we must run 5 miles on a treadmill or it somehow does not count! I strongly encourage you to think about your daily movement habits and make short, attainable goals each day as body image is directly and positively related to regular physical activity!
3 :: Beauty Ideals!
Yes, those filtered, photoshopped images really do influence us even when we know they are not real! Ugh! From a young age, we are exposed to implicit and explicit messages about what it means to have a particular body size and shape, and unfortunately, these can become internalized over time. When we begin to believe and value these messages, it distorts how we see and accept our body. We do have power though, and we can begin to understand how these images impact us and limit our exposure to them while resisting their meaning!
Philosophy of People is a compilation of self-improvement articles written by entrepreneurs seeking to bring holistic solutions to everyday problems. Read more articles from our 2nd Year Anniversary issue.
Dr. Ariane Smith Machin is a Licensed Clinical and Sport Psychologist, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Creator of Hello Totes. She is also a Member of the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry and an Advocate for women’s health and body image! When she is not teaching, writing, cooking, cleaning, talking, hanging with her husband, exercising, or running after her three toddlers, she is enjoying a 5-minute cup of coffee in peace! Find information on her services at Machin Counseling and Sport Psychology.