... featuring advice from five YourTango Experts!
The verdict is in: Bad body image has all kinds of detrimental effects on your life. The way we see it, you have two options: Sit on your hands and wallow or get up and do something about it, and we urge you to try the latter. With that in mind, here are 12 more of our experts' best tips for how you can begin to improve your relationship with your body right away:
1. Get real. Women are routinely bombarded by unrealistic images of beauty in the media that subconsciously lead you to believe that love, happiness and success are easily attainable through weight loss and other physical changes. However, when you focus on your physical appearance and its flaws, you ignore the best part of you, which is internal. —Craig Nelson
2. Get fit and healthy. This is not about having the perfect body to impress others. Having a healthy diet and exercising are forms of self-care, so get fit and get healthy for you. Don't get stuck thinking you will never attain the perfect body. Start with short-term, achievable goals. Then, progress to longer-term goals. You'll have more energy and your self-confidence will improve. —Craig Nelson
3. Celebrate yourself. Make a list of all your positive qualities and accomplishments. Create affirmations and use them to stamp out any critical messages you tell yourself about your appearance. When you complain to yourself about the flaws you see in the mirror, you are criticizing yourself. Build yourself up with your positive attributes and don't feed your inner-critic. —Craig Nelson
4. Change your clothes. Start wearing clothes (that aren't sweats!) that fit you well and are flattering to your shape, whatever your shape may be. Many of us have the tendency to wear unflattering, baggy clothes until we lose weight. That makes us feel even worse about ourselves. So, get up, get dressed and face the world — you'll feel better immediately. —Dr. Lisa Kaplin
5. Make a list. Make a list of the reasons that the people around you love you. If necessary, ask them. It's unlikely that the reasons they give you will have a thing to do with your body and everything to do with who you are as a person. If they love you just as you are, how come you don't? —Dr. Lisa Kaplin
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