Image Conscience

Body perception depends more on self–esteem than the reflection in the mirror. If left unchecked, it can easily shame you into fad diets, extreme exercise, and insecurity. Give your body image a makeover with these tips for shaping a healthy perspective regardless of where you are on your fitness journey:

  • Touch, don’t look. Magazine covers are like carnival mirrors — they reveal fictional figures. The beefed–up bodybuilders and svelte models often are a figment of digital touch–ups, and are unrealistic for the general population. So buy them for cooking tips or financial advice, but don’t envy pictures spread throughout — they’re dishonest attempts to claim beauty is only skin deep.
  • Strut your stuff. Nobody’s flawless. But dwelling on the areas you wish to improve can blind recognition of your positive traits. Step back and pick 3 things you appreciate about yourself. Then focus only on them the next time you walk into a room. Drop your arms, raise your chin, and smile as you practice celebrating the qualities you’re proud of.
  • Aim for health. Too often we shoot to drop pounds because we want to look better. But those results can be temporary, which can lower self–esteem. Give up the goal of weight control for appearance. Concentrate instead on developing a healthy lifestyle. Eat more vegetables and fruit. Walk longer and more often. Pursue stress–relieving activities like yoga. Pamper yourself with a golf outing or a massage.

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