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How can I build a better body image?

Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics
Focus on what you do like about your body or face. Do you have a nice smile? Neat ears? Pretty hands? Strong calves? Broad shoulders? Everyone has something about themselves to like.

Notice that there are all types of bodies in all shapes, sizes and skin tones. What you see in the media is not a representation of the human race. Appreciate the differences you see around you and appreciate your own individual looks.

Exercise. If you move, you can be grateful for what your body is able to do, rather than how it appears. You do not have to do an extreme sport. You can just take a walk and appreciate how your legs can take you from one place to another.

When glancing into a mirror, look at your body in its entirety. Try not to look at your body as individual parts. Look in the mirror and observe your whole body. When you do this, you might like what you see.

Do not check yourself out all the time and do not use a magnifying mirror when you look at your face. Be at peace with your self-image. Look in the mirror once in the morning, once after lunch to check for food on your face and once in the evening. Otherwise, give the mirror a rest.

Improve your body image by taking note of how you talk to yourself about your body and change it if necessary. Instead of, "I'm so fat and ugly, I hate myself," tell yourself, "I have beautiful eyes and I am a good friend. The package may not be perfect, but it does need to be loved."

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.