5 Steps to a Healthier Body Image

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Body image.

It’s something we all struggle with at one point or another. Today, we live in a world full of filtered, photoshopped photos on Instagram that show us what we are “supposed to look like”. You can’t scroll through any social media without at least one post about weight loss, or a photo of an unrealistic body type. Whether it be bigger or smaller than you are, there’s always a post somewhere telling you that you need to change. That you aren’t good enough.

It’s easy to get caught up in these posts and fall into the self-comparison game, but how healthy is this? Even if those of us that are older are “mature enough” to handle it there are young, impressionable girls and boys looking at these posts and comparing themselves to unrealistic standards. It’s things like this that play a part into leading teens into life long struggles with eating disorders.

It’s because of this that something has to be done.

If you know me or have followed me on social media over the years, you probably know that I have struggled with an eating disorder for years. Having a positive and healthy body image was basically a foreign concept to me. I hated everything about my appearance from my height, to my weight, to the color of my hair. I didn’t like anything about myself.

I had a horrible relationship with food, being in a constant cycle of not eating, giving in and binging, feeling guilty and purging. I hated every minute of it, but I just couldn’t stop. It was like my brain would shut off until after the fact.

I’m now working towards my third year of being in recovery. Has it been easy? Not even close. I have struggled, I have slipped up, I’ve cried, and wanted nothing more than to give up at times. Although I am better-“recovered” if you will-I’m definitely not in the best physical or mental shape. I’m still working hard towards achieving both.

I still have down days. I have days where I want to slip back into old habits and give up on the whole “recovery thing”, but I don’t. Even when the dark thoughts start slipping back, I keep on fighting! Why? Because I’ve realized that I am worth it. I am worth recovering. I am worthy of happiness, and so are you!
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Two years ago I found myself doing something I never thought I’d have the confidence to do; I got on stage…in front of everyone…in a bikini?!?!

Yeah 12 year old me never saw that one coming.

If you told me a few years ago that I would be on stage in a bikini I probably would have laughed in your face, because there was no way, feeling as insecure as I felt that I would be able to do that, and yet here I am.

 

28618704_1847716021907277_3185484370552243955_oFast forward to this year, I modeled fitness wear for Jewlz Fashion Boutique! Just like the swimsuit it’s not something I thought was possible for me to do. Honestly I almost backed out of shooting the look last minute, but now looking back I am so glad I pushed through and got the confidence to rock that look!

Building up the courage to compete in swimsuit, shoot in fitness wear, and really learn to embrace my curves definitely was not easy. I had to work on my body confidence every single day, using little tricks that ended up helping in the long run!

Here are 5 of my tips to help you improve your body!

  1. Write down something you like about yourself each dayI know this one probably seems pointless, but try and find little things that you like about yourself that aren’t related to your weight! It could be something as small as your nails or your eyebrows, or even your personality! Just find something unique that you love about yourself!
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others!You are you! There’s no one else in the world that is like you, and that is an amazing thing! Don’t try and be a copy of someone else, just be you!
  3. Erase all negativity from your life, focus on the positive things!It’s time to tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to have a seat and be quiet. Get rid of any items, thoughts, or people that bring negativity towards your life. It’s time to start fresh, and think only positive thoughts!
  4. Look at yourself as a whole, rather than focusing on just one areaThere is so much more to you than your insecurities. Look at yourself as a whole and realize how truly amazing you are, regardless of what you weigh.
  5. Realize that beauty is not defined by a number, true beauty comes from withinIt might sound cliché, but it is so true! Beauty really does come from the inside. No matter what you weigh or what size you wear, you are beautiful!

Try these tricks out and you’ll be surprised to see that it actually does help! It’s going to take time to build the confidence and healthy body image that you deserve to have, but trust me when I say that it is SO worth it!

If there’s anything I’ve learned over my years of struggling with an eating disorder and body image insecurities it is the importance of loving yourself. So many years of my life were wasted hating myself and only now that I am 19 years old have I finally realized that the most important thing is self love.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a size 2 or a 22. Just know that You are beautiful. You are talented. and You are so loved.

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