In this podcast episode, we're talking all about body image, how you can improve yours and also help your friends do the same.
Body image has been something I've had to learn how to embrace and I'm still learning every day.
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Growing up, the idea of becoming a model was put into my head, and as we know, the modelling industry can be a very vein industry because you get work based on your physical appearance, which can be terrible for your body image.
Growing up, I felt the need to be the stock standard size eight model and I used to regularly Google, "what are the perfect measurements to become a model?" The search results would give me unrealistic measurements for my body type.
I struggled with my body image for a long time because I couldn't get my body to comply with these ideal measurements no matter how much shit I put my body through.
What I've come to realise is that what you have on the inside is so much more beautiful than what you have on the outside.
I'm very passionate about helping women really realise this and embrace your body image. Hopefully, in the process, you can learn how to also help the people around you do the same.
Helping your friends learn to embrace their body image
It's so important to work on yourself every day, but it's also important that the people around you are on the same wavelength as you.
It's great if you no longer engage in negative self-talk, but if the people around you are always talking about the things they hate about themselves or judging others, it's going to bring you back into that negative space.
Before we dive into this podcast, I want you to remember that body image and how you see yourself, isn't just about your physical appearance, it's also how you feel about yourself mentally.
So, how can we embrace our body image and help our friends do the same?
Avoid engaging in fat talk
Even if you don't know what I'm talking about, you've probably engaged in some form of fat talk.
You've probably talked with your friends about the body parts that you hate or that you wish you could change. Many people don't even realise they're doing it.
It would help if you had a strong sense of self-awareness so that you can avoid the negative self-talk and also call you friends or family out on it too. In no way do you have to be aggressive about it, but it's essential to let them know that you don't engage in those kinds of negative conversations.
Or you could simply steer the conversation in another direction and challenge your friends to have more meaningful conversations.
It can be hard to avoid but remember how damaging fat talk can be to your body image and try to avoid it at all costs.
Tell yourself and your friends why you love them
It's important to remind yourself and your friends why you love them and why they're so important to you and the world.
Your body image goes beyond just how you look, embracing your body image means to know that you deserve to be here. You deserve to take up space and to be living your best life.
Self-love and embracing your body image is learning to love yourself unconditionally and then sharing the love. Tell your friends and family what they mean to you and why you love them so much but try to steer away from complimenting their physical appearance.
While any compliment you give is fantastic, I think it's so much more valuable to compliment someone on their intellect or creativeness rather than their hair.
Go on self-care dates
Taking care of yourself is the key to having a healthy body image.
Nourishing your mind, body and soul and taking care of yourself is so important. When you're putting int the effort to take care of yourself, you're going to show yourself more respect and love.
If you're coming home from your 9-5 and ordering Uber Eats and sitting on the couch until bedtime instead of doing something for yourself, of course, you won't feel motivated.
You have to organise self-care dates with yourself and your friends to truly take care of your physical and mental state. Find something that you love to stimulate your mind and move your body for at least 30 minutes every day.
When we talk about self-love and self-care people, confuse it with just having a bubble bath and putting on a mask, but it's so much more than that. Self-care is fully encompassing. It's taking care of yourself, from moving your body, working towards your ambitions and falling in love with yourself in the process.
Talking about your greater purpose in life
It's vital that you're having a conversation with others about your goals, ambitions and greater purpose in life so that you're putting that energy out into the universe.
If you're not writing your goals down or telling anyone about them, your ideas are getting lost in your head. You probably haven't thought about the action steps to bring your dreams to life, and you're not opening yourself up for the potential opportunities that could come your way if you're having those conversations with others.
We need to try and avoid getting caught up with our appearance or how others will perceive us. Instead, focus on the things that are going to create a life that you love living — a life created by you for you.
Be a critical consumer
Growing up, I would have done anything to become a model, including buying into detox drinks and diet pills. However, I've always been a pretty critical consumer, especially these days, I like to think I can see a gimmick from a mile away.
I talk about this more in Podcast Episode 5: "How are Kim Kardashian Waist Trainers a thing in 2019?".
As consumers, we need to question what is sold to us because your mental and physical health is much more important than living up to societies standards of how "we should look".
Many things are sold to us because we're made to feel like we're not good enough, and we're sold to because all our problems will be solved if we purchase this or that product. Be smarter than that and know your worth.
It's also crucial for the universe to be thinking about how much waste and packaging we're consuming. Whether you consider yourself an environmentalist or not, it's important to realise that consuming more resources than the earth can replenish is not a healthy or necessary trend.
How to help your friends embrace their body image
What I've come to realise is that you can only control yourself and your actions. You can't control others, and you don't need to nor should you want to.
Create a space for love and acceptance for your body image and those around you, but if you're finding your friends do not reciprocate your values, make yours clear to them.
By letting your friends know you don't engage in negative self-talk or fat talk and that you don't allow them to talk that way around you, you can call them out and bring their awareness to it.
Finally, I want to give you some advice that Taryn Brumfit gave me on The Confidence Chronicles Podcast with Erika Kramer. It was to ask your girlfriends over for a movie night to watch the documentary, Embrace.
It's a beautiful documentary with some very inspiring women who share how they've come to embrace their bodies. Once you've watched this with your girlfriends, ask them this simple question.
"Do you think we can stop talking negatively about our bodies?"
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