Improve Your Body Image the Easy WayApr 18, 2023
Improve Your Body Image the Easy Way
In today's culture, up to 80% of the population has a negative body image. And it's no surprise when you consider how many messages we receive about how our bodies should look and what they should be like.
But what if we're focusing on the wrong things?
What if there was a way to improve your body image that didn't require you to waste time, energy, or money on diets or workouts that don't work? What if there was a way for you to take control of your relationship with your body so that it doesn't control you anymore?
That's what we’re exploring in this week’s podcast episode “Improve Your Body Image the Easy Way”. You can catch the full episode HERE!
Welcome to season two of “SELF Guided" where I’ll explore the revolutionary idea that you don't have to change a single thing about yourself and your body to experience joy, pleasure, and delight in your life in your life now. I assure you, none of that has to be reserved for after you have the elusive perfect body.
I'm your host, Dominique Vandal, I’ll be your body image coach and mentor and I’m here to help you be at peace with your body, how it looks, how it feels, and how you experience it so you too can access the full spectrum of life’s pleasures again. Now with the episode.
Welcome everyone to Self-Guided season two, episode two “Improve Your Body Image the Easy Way” where we’ll explore how you could make it so so much easier for yourself to boost your body image, that is how you feel and experience your body, than you probably ever thought possible by using your actual strengths.
Did you know that some researchers estimate that up to 80% of the population has a negative body image. And it's no wonder why: today's culture bombards us with messages about how we should look and what we should wear and what our bodies should be able to do. It leaves very little room for true individuality and uniqueness.
I have certainly spent most of my life in that camp, the camp that tries to change their body to meet the so-called norm or beauty standards. I’ve come to realize that I had been making it extremely hard to have a decent relationship with my body. It’s as if I was always telling it, you’re terrible, I want very little to do with you unless you fit the mold.
You can improve your body image without having to change anything about yourself about your body.
It’s easy to see why so many people believe the only way to improve their body image is to change something about themselves. If you’ve been struggling with negative feelings about your body, it can seem like there’s nothing else that will help you feel better about yourself. But if we take a closer look at what actually causes us to feel bad about our bodies, we’ll see that there are other options available other than changing ourselves.
I’ll say it again, you can shift your body image without having to change anything about your body. We have to learn to focus on what will make a difference in how you feel and experience your body and at its core, that has very little to do with what your body looks like or what it can do.
It has everything to do with the relationship you have with your body. That relationship is composed of how you think about your body, how you think of how your body moves, reacts to the environment you’re in, what you think your body can go through, etc.
That means there are some very specific steps that will help you improve your body image without becoming obsessed with the numbers on the scale, the size of your pants, your physical abilities or how others see you.
The problem isn’t that you’re weak or unattractive; it’s that you’re focusing on the wrong things. The more energy and effort we put into trying to change our bodies, the less energy we have for other things in life, things like noticing the parts of us that rock, being fully present with loved ones, trying new things.
In fact, that’s my biggest tip for you today, FOCUS
- Be deliberate on what you want to focus on as that’s what will grow and flourish.
When we feel bad about ourselves because of our weight or appearance in general, we tend to pay attention only on things we wish were different about ourselves (like our thighs being too big). We ignore all of the other wonderful things about ourselves (like our ability to read) by overemphasizing one aspect of our bodies that we perceive as imperfection; this makes us feel worse than ever before because now everything seems wrong with us.
- Be diligent in spending a majority of your focus on your relationship with your body and not how it “should” look, feel, be.
It’s hard to go cold-turkey here without ending at the other end of the spectrum where now instead of focusing on your body, you end up avoiding it or ignoring it, so be kind and patient with yourself here as you learn to move your attention away from looks, weight, ability. It’s so weird at first because that’s probably been pretty consuming up until now. What if you pretended your body was a friend you hadn’t seen in a while, how would you start the conversation? What about hi! How are you doing? It might be strange but give it a try!
- Be dedicated to using your strengths to support you in this journey.
I discovered that any self-development journey can be really difficult if we’re trying to do or change all the things all at once. It gets even harder when you try to use other people’s blueprints when you have different strengths. What do I mean? Let’s say that someone you admire is all about mindset but you’re more into energetics. In order to follow their blueprint, you’d have to learn 2 new skills 1) for the topic you’re trying to work on, say body image and 2) for the method or approach, say become very attuned with your mind. That’s double the work.
It can be difficult to see your own strengths, but it's important to do so. If you don't know what your strengths are, how will you use them? That’s actually something I can help you with pretty easily so let’s dive in!
I separate strengths in four categories: physical, emotional, spiritual and mental
If you’ve been a fan of my work or podcast, these 4 areas are not new to you; they are the 4 bodies as described in feminine embodiment coaching but you can also just view them as 4 types of intelligences we humans have. I’ve noticed in myself and my clients that we tend to have at least one that comes to us much easier than the others. I want you to know which one that is and start your journeys with that information going forward.
You see, I was wanting to provide really easy to do body image boosting rituals that you could start and see some real impact but I noticed right away that I’d be asking you to also try a bunch of things that could double the resistance or discomfort and I’m not about that at all.
What I did put together for you is an easy quiz, a don’t over-think it quiz, like the types I used to do in magazines so that you can have a toolkit of body image boosting rituals right at your fingertips. The best part, in my opinion is that you get the rituals that are designed for your strength AND you get to see what your strength is.
You might be a mindset ninja, an emotional champion, physically attuned or cosmically connected. Make sure to check the subscribe box to actually receive the result in your inbox. The feedback I’ve been getting over and over is how accurate the strength finder is. I’ll absolutely put the info in the show notes but know that you can also pop over to my website to check it out. That’s dominiquevandal.com.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the idea of improving your body image, don't be. Remember that it's a process and there are many different ways to go about it. If one approach doesn't work for you, try another! The key is finding what works best for each person individually--and then sticking with it until it becomes your new norm (or at least more comfortable). The quiz is one way to make it easy for you to know what you can try first based on your strength.
Thank you so much for spending your time with me today, until next time.
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