It has been a couple weeks since I posted since I was away for a much needed vacation. We spent one week in Yellowstone National Park enjoying nature, hiking, animal watching, and just having a great time. It was a trial to get ready to go, and then a bit of an adjustment getting back into the swing of things once we were back home. This was true in all aspects, including our food choices. While on vacation we ate a bit more than normal, although we ate very healthy, because we were so active with hiking and such. Coming back home, it was tempting to continue snacking on trail mix, but I knew that would not be good sitting at my desk all day! After a couple days, I am back to my normal routine, thankfully!
One of the things that came to my mind while out and about was the topic of self-image. You know, I love being out and socializing, but sometimes I get to feeling insecure about myself and how I look, as I am sure that many do from time to time. It is easy to get in the mode of comparing ourselves to others and finding ourselves coming up short in how we look, our body image, our level of success or whatever the case may be. So, I decided to do some research and learn more about our self-image or self-esteem.
Self-image is a term that is used to describe our personal view of ourselves. It is a mental image of our charecteristics that might include beauty, talent, personality, etc.
Where does our self image come from? It is learned from our parents and caregivers, teachers, friends, family, and relationships. Our self image may be real or it can be distorted. Based on this view of ourselves, we obviously develop a positive or negative image of ourselves. Our self image is important because it affects how we respond to life and it’s stresses.
The good news is that it is not permanently fixed! If you find that you have a poor self image there are steps you can take to turn it around. The first thing we must do is learn to accept and love ourselves. It is easier when we feel loved and accepted by others, so surround yourself with people who build you up, not bring you down.
Some other tips are to take a self inventory, define personal goals and be sure they are realistic, confront thinking distortions, identify childhood labels, STOP COMPARING OURSELVES TO OTHERS, develop our strengths, give ourselves positive affirmations that are real and not just quotes from a book, remember that each one of us is unique, be sure to laugh and smile a LOT, and remember how far we have come in life. It does not matter who you are or where you are at in life’s journey…you have your own successes, your own accomplishments, and there are things about you that make you special and awesome!
Our self-image in respect to body-image is basically the same as above, but if you have a poor body image, it takes more than just changing your body…it is about changing how we think, feel, and react to our body. Obviously weight management and surgery can alter the body but learning to have a positive relationship with an imperfect body increases our ability to lose weight. Again, learning to love and accept ourselves for what we are…all our strengths and weaknesses is the key to having a healthy self-image. Challenging misleading body assumptions are important too! Most people do not look like the women do in the magazines. Find your own beauty and everything will make sense and fall into place.
One last thing I would like to mention regarding self-image is this….Failure does not define you! When you make a mistake or slip up, it does not characterize you as a person or determine your self-worth. We are all a work in progress. We learn from our mistakes. If we are not messing up now and again, we are not growing. So to quote one of my favorite teachers, Joyce Meyers, “We may not be where we want to be, but at least we are not where we were.”
So, on that note, keep up the good work including eating healthy, working out, getting good sleep and proper supplements. Keep reading and together we will reach our goals!
Becky Pandolfo is a working Mom who has a wealth of experience with many diet and fitness programs. Her insight and information has helped countless individuals attain their weight loss and fitness goals. For more information on her and the products she recommends visit: http://www.GoSlimFL.com