20 Sep Time to Prioritise Health over Beauty.

We live in a world that sends us all sorts of messages about the ‘perfect’ body. Truth is, there is no such thing. We are constantly receiving image-related messages, both within the media and our surrounding environments, indicating what society views as ‘beautiful’. It is not surprising then, that instead of embracing and celebrating diversity in all body types, we end up focusing on what can be dangerous and often physically unattainable perfection. Given that most images in everyday media are computer-manipulated to create completely unrealistic bodies, it is no wonder more and more people are turning to cosmetic surgery to get the body the media portrays. And since the images created are artificial in the first place, it follows that no one can attain this body through natural or healthy means.

So What’s Body Image?
Body image refers to how you see yourself, how you feel about the way you look and how you think others perceive you. The reality is that we come in all different shapes and sizes. It is unrealistic to represent only one body type as beautiful. Unfortunately there is a whole lot of shame, guilt and disappointment around our bodies today.

Time to Embrace.
This week I am thrilled to be hosting a cinema screening of one of the most important documentaries of 2016 ‘Embrace.’ The documentary is the brainchild of Body Image Movement founder Taryn Brumfitt. From body loather to body lover, Taryn has set her sights on creating global change in the way people feel about their bodies by sharing not only her journey, but also that of inspiring and motivational people from across the globe. https://fan-force.com/screenings/embrace-roseville-cinemas-nsw/ I am seriously passionate about helping to share this important message and get people questioning and accepting the current norm.

Enough.
We are enough. We are not broken. We do not need to be fixed. We need to stop stigmatizing bodies and calling them too fat, too short, too old, too tall. The truth is we come in a variety of shapes and sizes and our diversity is something to be celebrated.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO?

1. Question Messages in the Media.
We need to look and think critically about the unrealistic ways the media portrays girls and women. We should be questioning and challenging western society’s narrow beauty ideal. So many pictures are photo-shopped to the point where those body shapes are impossible to achieve. It is not real life. We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to the unrealistic images in the media.

2. Give your Body some Love.
Focus on our positive qualities, skills and talents and what our bodies can do rather than on how we look. Perhaps consider all the different aspects that make up a person; personality, skills and outlook on life! The body is amazing. Appreciating and respecting all the things it can do will help you to feel more positive about it.

3. Think Critically.
Become a critical viewer of social and media messages.  Pay attention to images or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Do you really need that in your life? Try to stick to media that doesn’t make you feel ugly and unworthy.

4. Rock your own Style.
Wear clothes that are comfortable and make you feel good about your body.  Work with your body, not against it. When you feel like your clothing suits you, you’ll feel a lot happier and confident in yourself.

5. Don’t be Negative.
Accept other people’s body sizes and shapes. There is no right or wrong when it comes to body shape or appearance. People are more than numbers on a scale. Every person is a unique individual with admirable talents, skills, and abilities. Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. We should be celebrating our individuality and diversity.

6. Don’t Diet.
Instead of weighing food, obsessing over it, fantasising about it, just eat what makes you feel healthy and gives you plenty of energy to achieve what you want in your life. Try to eat healthy and in moderation. Focus on how different foods make you feel. You’ll start noticing which ones make you feel bloated and lethargic, and which ones make you feel energetic and vibrant. Don’t get caught up in fad diets which inevitably end up backfiring, and result in you putting on more weight than you started with.

All this obsession is not only time consuming, it’s a waste of time. Truth is, healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. We need to change the rules and the way we think. It is time to celebrate diversity, pursue vitality and health through mindful eating and enjoyable movement.

If the way you feel about your body is getting you down or if you are caught up in the sea of misinformation and confusion; please contact me for some support options. Together we can get you thriving, flourishing and enjoying life.  http://www.chasingsunrise.com.au/contact/

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