No bulls&#! guide to a healthier body image

If there's one thing I'm totally sure about it's this: almost every woman or man I met, struggles with her/his body image. That doesn't mean we all have eating disorders. It just means that there is one part of her or his body, with which she/he has issues with.

A big part of a healthy lifestyle is not only taking care of your physical body, but also of your mental and emotional wellbeing.

I totally understand you, because I had the same issues. How can I feel good about myself, when every lifestyle magazine, health and wellness website, or local gym is shouting about the perfect bikini shape. We are so tired of "bikini diets" and "10 day beach body cleanse" nonsense.

Sadly, we live in a society where we are constantly confronted with unrealistic images.

Let me tell you this: Everyone's body shape is different.

I can weight exactly the same as you, but with a completely different body shape.

Our genes determine our bodies. Our height, muscle and fat distribution as well as bone structure.

Besides that, your body image may not be a reflection of what you actually look like! That's why a healthy body image is necessary. It can affect your self-esteem, self acceptance and your attitude towards food and exercise.

Struggling with your body image isn't uncommon. Let me help you with these 6 ways to slowly love yourself more and more.

Calm down

Keep stressing about all the things you don't like about your body wont help you. Relax and calm down. You have to learn to get your head and thoughts right. Stop constantly judging yourself.

Find out why you think what you think about yourself. Understand yourself and change your perspective. Judging yourself means you remain stuck and closed. Start being kind to yourself and appreciate your body.

You are more than a size

It's everywhere: Size 0. Society tells us that in order to be 'sexy', you have to be as small as possible. That's just not true.

Start questioning everything. Why can't you be curvy AND sexy? Who is telling you that you have to be thin to be beautiful? Why do you have to be a certain size? Choose your size to be comfortable with and love yourself.

Sometimes people and advertisement are wrong. Plus, think about it. Do men love skinny model types or curvy women like Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez. Same with women. The Rock, Hugh Jackman or Chris Hemsworth anyone?

Stop avoiding your body

Face your body and get to know it. Including lumps and bumps.

If you usually avoid mirrors, start approaching them. Look at yourself from every angle. Don't just focus on the bits you don't like.

Try to spend more time naked. Start loving yourself and focus on the things you like about yourself.

Stop comparing yourself to others

It's such a habit and happens hundreds of times a day, even if we don't intend to do it.

Try to take notice when you compare yourself to others and what you say to yourself when it happens. Are you fair with yourself? Are you realistic? How do you feel about yourself?

Set realistic goals

If you want to lose fat to be healthier, that's totally doable. Make some exercise and set nutrition goals for yourself.

However, if you don't like your height, that's another story. Accept what you can control and what you can't.

Also don't assume you can lose huge amounts of fat in 2 weeks time. You probably gained the weight in a matter of months or even years. It's faster to lose it but not that fast. One pound per week is enough and healthy.

Surround yourself with the right people

There is nothing worse than being out with a girlfriend who is constantly complaining about her body.

What you need is to hang out with friends who embrace themselves and their bodies. That's the only way you can embrace yours, too. Body confidence is a daily practice for everyone of us.

Talk to your friends and maybe you'll find that they are struggling with their body image as well. Talk it through!

Be healthy, not skinny.

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