Grab your workbook! Here are a couple of activities for you to do, to put together a picture of where you are at with appreciating and respecting your body right now.
You can do these at the beginning of your journey, so that you have a starting point from which to work from. Then you may revisit them as time goes on, and see how things have changed for you.
First, take a look at the first three questions around how you feel about yourself.
Take some time to consider them and see what comes up for you. Remember, this is just for you unless you choose to share it with anyone else, so try to answer them honestly.
- What negative views do you hold about your body right now?
- What do you think life would be like if you didn’t hold those views any more?
- How do you feel about accepting your body as it is now, and not trying to change it any more?
Then, take a look at the next part of the workbook, the body appreciation scale.
For each statement consider whether it is a yes, a no, or a maybe for you.
- I respect my body
- I feel good about my body
- I feel that my body has at least some good qualities
- I take a positive attitude towards my body
- I am attentive to my body’s needs
- I feel love for my body
- I appreciate the different or unique aspects of my body
- My behaviour reveals my positive attitude to my body eg walk holding head up and smiling
- I am comfortable in my body
- I feel that I am beautiful even if I am different to media ideals of attractive people
Try not to overthink your answers on this one. There are no right and wrong answers here, it’s just an observation at a point in time. Your answers will change from one day to the next based on a lot of different factors, but over time you will be able to tick more and more yes boxes.
What affects how I feel about my body?
We also know that body image isn’t solely an inside job! There will be plenty of aspects of life that affect how you feel about your body, both negatively and positively. Some you will have control over, and others you will not.
You can’t change whether it is a bright and sunny day, or a rainy and miserable day for example, and that can make a difference.
You can’t change the stock that a clothes shop stocks, and so whether you can shop there or not, and that can affect what you think of your body.
However, if you can recognise some of those things that are going to affect you, you will have a better awareness of why some days you don’t feel as good as other days.
So again, in your workbook, put down some thoughts around these questions.
- What parts of my day and the world around me can influence how I feel about myself?
- Which of those things can I change?
- Which of those things can I not change?
- What can I do to begin to improve how I feel about my body, so that I can tick more ‘yes’ boxes in the body appreciation scale?