3 Ways To Heal Your Body Image Issues & Ditch Disordered Eating And Fitness Habits

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upward-facing shot of a young athletic Black woman in an orange top

How healthy is your body image? Do you obsess about what you eat or what you don’t eat? Are you constantly concerned about your weight?

If you have a negative body image, it may be impacting your overall well-being.

Felicia Broccolo was so into healthy eating that it was unhealthy. She believed being skinny was the answer to all her problems.

Her relationship with food and her own body was out of balance, leading to control issues that impaired her ability to live a normal, happy life.

Her mission to redefine her relationship with food and her body led her to a new career. Today, she’s the marketing director of The Life Coach School and a coach for active people who overeat.

She's learned many lessons about how a negative body image can affect your daily life, a few of which she shared with me below. 

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Here are 3 ways to start healing your negative body image & ditch your food and fitness hangups.

1. Change your mindset.

For too long, Felicia believed her ideal body was going to make her happy. What’s more is that she led herself to believe that she couldn’t control herself around food. This belief in her lack of control caused her to overeat.

She discovered it was her mindset that needed the work, not her body.

To love how you look, you need to change your mindset.

This starts by altering your beliefs about what is important and what you are capable of.

Not sure where to begin? Here’s a great new belief to live by: "Your body type doesn’t determine your health."

Look around. Women come in all shapes and sizes and are capable of amazing things! Surround yourself with healthy ideas about women.

Pay attention to what you watch and listen to. Discourage negative talk — and self-talk — amongst the women you love. Practice this belief and ones like it and you can change your mindset for the better.

RELATED: Why We Need To Change The Way We Talk About Body Image, Health & Wellness (Like, Now)

2. Balance it out.

When Felicia would lose control and eat too much, she’d work out to compensate for it. This too became an obsession and three-hour workouts weren’t uncommon for her.

As you work to gain a more positive body image, learn to balance it out.

This begins with a better understanding of nutrition and exercise. Overeating doesn't become healthy if you add in an extra run.

Instead, eat healthy meals that will give you the energy you need for smart workouts. Learn to listen to your body.

That power shake your friend loves may not be the breakfast that keeps you going. And if you’re too sore after your last class at the gym, take a few days off to recover.

With balance, you’ll be on your way to a better version of yourself.

3. Make a plan.

Once you have balance, it’s time to make a plan.

With a plan, you can make lasting changes to how you approach both eating and exercising.

For example, if you have an unhealthy habit of snacking on potato chips, you may think the answer is to get rid of the chips. But it’s not!

Instead, here are some alternatives:

Plan when you will eat them. Give yourself a set time when you can have a sensible portion.

Acknowledge your thoughts about the chips. Do they make you feel guilty after you eat them? Do you have trouble concentrating until you’ve indulged? Sit with those thoughts, even if they’re uncomfortable.

Practice your plan until it becomes your new routine.

Don’t let a negative body image rob you of a happy, healthy life.

With the right mindset, balance, and a plan, you, too, can love the way you look!

RELATED: My Horrible Body Image Sabotaged Every Relationship Until I Finally Changed Something

Hilary DeCesare is the Founder and CEO of The ReLaunch Co. She’s appeared on ABC’s The Secret Millionaire and on major news outlets such as CBS, ABC, Fox, Huffington Post, and Yahoo, and offers several ReLaunch courses and coaching. To connect with her directly or for media requests please email or share your journey on her FB group, The ReLaunch Effect.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.