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How to Nurture a Healthy Body Image

According to a recent study by Psychology Today magazine, twenty-four percent of women and 17 percent of men say they would give up more than three years of life to be thinner. Yet, similar studies report that half of American women underestimate the size of their bodies.

So, why does America have such a distorted body image? Some fault the media, while for others, skewed body image begins during childhood.

Carolyn Strauss, a plus-size model and  author of Specialty Modeling, told SheKnows.com that the biggest danger of a negative body image lies in the power it gives away.

“When someone has a poor body image, she will try to find validation from outside to make her feel better. The next diet, the next fashion fad, the next boyfriend, anything but where she is now. Instead of living in the moment, she may find herself living for ‘when I look better,’” Strauss says. “Remember, the goal of most [commercial] advertising it to make you ‘not okay’ so that, upon using that product, you will become okay.”


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Weight of your words

I’m forever being accused of being too “positive”. Some people have gone so far as to question whether or not my sunny outlook is “genuine”. I suppose in a negative world, someone who is always happy go-lucky can be a bit disarming. However, I am proof positive that positive self-talk is a learned habit; and one that can help you shed those unwanted pounds.

As a child in the 60s, divorce was rampant and my situation was no exception. My mom and I didn’t have much, but I never knew it, because my Mom always focused on the positive. She always told me we were going to make it, and be successful, and you know what? We did it. She just recently retired from a very successful 40 year career in the mortgage industry, and I am principal of my second company, each started with little or no capital investment.

I have a friend who calls herself a “fat little girl”. No doubt, she heard this from her caretakers, and has made it part of her vocabulary. She is now dealing with Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Arthritis in her knees, and while she is an extremely successful businesswoman in a cut-throat industry, she has always been overweight, and most likely, always will be.

Psychologists assert that positive self-talk can be taught through “cognitive restructuring”. For a free “mind tool” resource, click here, and join the positive self-talk club!

You can also learn more about emotional eating at the mental ties to weight with Shrink Yourself.