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Bad body image

By Herbert Owens,2014-10-06 21:43
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Bad body image

    Bad body image? You’re not alone. Many of us are unhappy with what we see in the mirror. Heres how to turn things around.

    Women have an average of 13 negative things to say about themselves each day, according to a recent US survey, the quest for the perfect body have become normal for many women. The cost

    of this social issue is it continues to churn out generations of women who believe they are not good enough.

What women are thinking

    Recent research reveals just how ingrained negative body image is in women: ; Ninety-seven per cent of women will say something negative about their body every day,

    such: “I hate my thighs, I hate my stomach or Im ugly, a US survey reports.

    ; The first thing women notice about other women is how fat they are, a UK study of 2000

    women found.

    ; Ninety per cent of women aged 15 to 64 want to change at least one aspect of their

    appearance, most of all their body weight, according to an international survey.

Bad body image begins early

    Dietitian and co-author of The Good Enough Diet(Wiley), Tara Diversi, says body image issues exist across all age groups. Girls as young as five have strong ideas about weight, such as fat is bad and skinny is good, she says.

    These values often develop into a unhealthy eating behaviours in adolescence and beyond, an international survey found 68per cent of 15-year-old girls are on a diet, while an Australian reports found 30 per cent of women aged 18 to 23 have experimented with purging, laxatives or fasting to lose weight.

Whats fuelling the obsession?

    There are four main factors contributing to womens negative body image, according to Diversi.

1. parents body image

    Many parents are dieting and saying skinny is better, even when they have healthy bodies, and this sets up their children to have the same approach. Diversi says: “A healthy body does not equate to

    a healthy body image and children pick up on their parents constant quest to be thinner.

2. Mixed messages

    Education about the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods can actually trigger eating disorders in kids. Keeping a food diary might be great for 98 per cent of kids, but its important

    were checking on their understandings of the teachings, Diversi says. One of her young clients

    developed an eating disorder after understanding some foods can be bad. Her thinking then

    became, “I’m not bad, so I dont eat food.

3. Models in media

    Research shows the more women see pictures of perfect women in the media, the more they

    believe they should look like what. This happens even though women know pictures have clearly been airbrushed, diversi says. The rational brain knows its not real, but the emotional brain

    doesnt.

4 Taking control

    It may not be weigh that is causing women to feel unhappy or unsatisfied, but it’s the part that can

    be perceived as the easiest to control. This is when people make the mistake of thinking the quick-fix diet will help them feel better about themselves, Diversi says. Research shows most

    people on quick-fix diets put all the weight back on, or more.

Turing it all around

    If youve been saying bad things about yourself and your body, it can take quite some time and commitment to turn that habit around, but its a practice worth committing to, Diversi says. Hter

    are Diversis recommendations on fostering a positive body image:

1 Food food guide

    Focus on the health properties and nutritional value of foods instead of what they will do to your backside or thighs. Awe should be looking at whats going to give us more energy, make us live

    longer and experience optimal health, Diversi says.

2 Many health body types

    People can be overweight but healthy if theyre exercising and eating well. They can also be thin but unhealthy through a poor diet and sitting down all day. So when sizing up your health, consider how happy you are. Why? Being overweight reduces your life expectancy by three years, but being unhappy reduces it by nine years, Diversi says.

3 You versus you

    A powerful practice is to commit to measuring your health, weight and worth based on how happy you are, not how your body compares with others around you.

4 Self-loathing to self-love

    Some people magnify criticism and dont hear compliments. A lot of women in your clinics say

    things out loud and in their heads that they would never say to their worst enemy, Diversi says. A

    powerful way to turn that habit around is to write a list of 10 nice things about yourself and say them out loud.

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