Is Your Body Image Hurting Your Love Life? 3 Ways To Change

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It's hard to have a healthy relationship if you hate your body.

There's no question that our body image influences our relationship behavior (heck, we did a week-long Experts spotlight on it, that's how influential it is!). Low body image and self-esteem blinds us to our own self-worth, which in turn can make us settle for a so-so relationship or give up on searching for love altogether. As part of our Love Starts Within spotlight, YourTango Experts sound in on how to stop hating on our thighs (or stomach, or whatever we've deemed our "problem area") and start loving ourselves fully—because if we don't love and accept ourselves, flaws and all, how can we expect someone else to?

1. Discover self-confidence through what you do—not how you look.

When you feel really good about your body and yourself, you radiate self-confidence, and that is sexy to both men and women. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, how flat your stomach is or what size clothes you wear. The more you like yourself, the more others will want to be around you and enjoy your company. Self-acceptance of your body makes it easier to feel relaxed, lighten up, get out to meet new people and try new things. With that level of positive confidence, you will have greater success attracting a new love in your life and keeping the romance and fun in your relationship. 20 Reasons To Love And Appreciate Your Body

Self-confidence and feeling sexy is tough to imagine when you are overweight and focused on what is wrong with your body. Our media-obsessed culture has taught us that we need to be thin to be beautiful and lovable. The shame that comes from not being thin enough can impact how we see our worth and our level of self-confidence. This in turn leads to a preoccupation of doing whatever it takes to get thin, yet the dieting, obsession and self criticism that often follows is anything but sexy and takes a toll on finding and keeping relationships.

Instead of focusing on getting thin, the better way to feel good about your body is to find ways to be more active and make healthier food choices. The goal isn't a quick fix that won't last or change how you feel about yourself. The goal is to create a healthy lifestyle you can enjoy and stick with. Even if you start with baby steps, you will feel more successful, energized and happier. Success, no matter how small, feels really good and keeps you motivated to do even more good things for your body. Soon you will notice you feel more fit and confident, and that will help you feel sexier, more playful and open to doing new things in and outside the bedroom with the love in your life.

 - Life Coach and YourTango Expert, Alice Greene

2. Stop the negative self-talk!

When you get dressed, do you look in the mirror and think, "My thighs are SO big" or "I wish my boobs were bigger" or "That pooch, no matter what I do, just doesn't go away!"

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