Body Image 101


Let’s talk about body image…

Improving Your Body Image

Improving your body image takes a lot of work – but it’s worth it! How many people wake up, see their reflection, and immediately start the usual self-criticizing routine? Too many! It’s a nauseating feeling, and nothing good can come from that kind of negative body image routine.

How do you see yourself?

Let me ask you, how do you see yourself in the mirror? What are the first words that light up in your head when you think about your body?

How does your body feel both in and out of clothes?

How do you perceive and compare your body relative to others?

Every day we personally objectify our bodies. We are the harshest critics of our own body image.

What is our body image?

Our body image* is a multidimensional construct. It is complex, dynamic, and variable. In other words, it is constantly changing.

/ * Body Image – Defined to be the subjective visual representation people have of their own bodies. /

Our body image has multiple parts:

  1. Cognitive: How you feel and think towards your body
  2. Perceptual: How you see each part or your entire body
  3. Behavioural components: How you interact and behave towards your body

For example: Client A is disappointed with his body (perceptual). He is convinced that he cannot gain muscle mass. He is convinced that he’s extremely thin compared to all of his Crossfit friends (cognitive). In turn, Client A decides to attend Crossfit 10 times a week in order to increase his fat free mass (behavioural), leading to a lack of recovery, increased risk of injury, and overall fatigue.

As you can see from this example, our body image can govern how we operate and function in the world.

A negative body image has been shown to lead to the following:

  1. Low Self Esteem
  2. Depression
  3. Social Anxiety
  4. Impaired Sexual Functioning (Ouch!)

Body image is not something that goes away. What is important is having a positive body image. Your body image will be with you every single step of our fitness journey, it is very important to address what kind of body image you have and what you need to do to improve it. The formation of a positive body image is crucial for your own emotional and physical progress. A lack of a positive body image can increase the intensity of negative thoughts and reduce our self esteem.

When you have low levels of self esteem, you are less likely to remain motivated and stay with the program you have built for yourself or by your trainer. This is why it is so important to be honest about your thoughts, to speak openly with your personal trainer about your concerns and goals, and to see a version of yourself that you love and can be proud of – regardless of which stage of your fitness journey you’re in!

The goal to succeeding is continuous and infinite. It feels fulfilling and amazing to grow in such positive ways. Success and progress will keep you on track towards your goals and help create an overall healthier you tomorrow. As such, having a positive body image is critical towards your success. Speak with a qualified FITHAUS personal trainer today to begin your fitness journey.

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