Body image issues are relatively common among America’s teens and adults. These issues can affect boys and men. However, they’re often more prominent in girls and women. Unfortunately, body image issues sometimes contribute to a severe and damaging disordered eating pattern. If you’re affected by such a pattern, eating disorder treatment can help you recover. You can also take steps to overcome a poor body image and avoid developing a disordered eating pattern.
What Causes Body Image Issues?
Body image issues don’t usually happen out of nowhere. Instead, they tend to be the result of influences such as:
- Media messages that favor certain body types and sizes over others
- Episodes of body-related teasing or bullying in childhood
- Having a body type or size that’s notably different from most other people
You may also have issues triggered by recurring criticism of your appearance by family, friends, or strangers.
Overcoming Body Image Issues
1. Dealing with Female Body Image Issues – Celebrate Your Body’s Many Functions
It can be easy to think of your body only in terms of its outward appearance. Experts recommend countering this limited perspective by celebrating what your body does in everyday life. That includes such things as:
When you celebrate these functions, you take the focus off of the way others may perceive you.
2. Take a More Holistic Perspective on Yourself
This recommendation falls in line with your efforts to celebrate your body. However, it takes an even wider perspective. It does so by asking you to see yourself as a whole, functioning person with valid wants, needs, and dreams.
3. Overcoming Body Image Issues – Remove Yourself from Harmful Social Media
You don’t have to sit passively and accept the daily blizzard of negative social media messages. Instead, you can remove yourself from these messages. You can do this in a variety of ways. For example, you can resolve to keep a critical eye on any messaging you encounter. You can also leave negative platforms that have no positive impact on you.
4. Dealing with Female Body Image Issues – Push Back on Negative Self-Talk
When it comes to your body, it’s easy to fall into the habit of talking to yourself in negative terms. But, as with outside negative messaging, you don’t have to accept your own self-talk passively. When you think negatively about your body, actively push back on those thoughts. Affirm yourself and your worth. Over time, a recurring positive affirmation can seriously weaken the power of negative self-talk.
5. Develop a Body-Positive Support Network
Today, body positivity is a growing force on multiple levels of society. It’s easier than ever to find allies who share your desire to overcome body image issues. Those allies may include people you already know. They may also include people you meet in person or online. In addition, they may be members of support or advocacy groups.
When gathering your allies, be sure to exercise due caution. That’s especially true for people or groups you meet online. Why? Some online communities that seem body-positive may actually promote negative body messages and disordered eating.
Learn More About Overcoming Body Image Issues at Women’s Recovery
Want more information on what causes body image issues? The professionals at Women’s Recovery can help. We understand the many sources that can contribute to such issues. We also understand what it takes to overcome them and gain a healthier perspective on your body.
Need help with an existing eating disorder? Women’s Recovery specializes in treating the combination of eating disorders and substance problems. Our gender-specific approach features a full slate of customized recovery plans. To learn more about those plans, call us today at 833.754.0554 or fill out our online contact form.