Body image is the way someone feels about her body physically, emotionally, and in relationship to others. The main concern with body image in our American culture and especially Vegas culture; is it realistic? and is it healthy?
As a woman, the media portrays a certain "ideal" that women tend to take on as "that's the way women should look." A 5'8" model, size 2, C or D cup breasts, 25" waist and perfect lips, hair, cellulite free, etc.
Breast augmentation, liposuction, and tummy tucks are among the top 5 cosmetic surgeries performed in 2008. One might walk through Boca Park, The District, or Town Square and think that everyone has something done. It may even seem like, as a woman, you have to do these things just to keep up.
Unfortunately, low self-esteem can cause negative body image, which can lead to eating disorders an unrealistic view of self and depression. Surgery can correct some flaws, but it will not fix self-esteem or negative body image.
Here are a few ways to feel good about yourself and your own body:
Exercise regularly- it releases endorphins a "feel good" hormone. Exercise also helps maintain a healthy body weight
Appreciate what your body can do!- Bodies are amazing works of art. You may not be a stick- thin model, but maybe you can pick up your child and swing them over your shoulder, you can walk, run, and jump. There is always someone out there that may wish to do what YOU can do! Don't ever take that for granted
Relax- get a massage, take a warm bath, take yoga. Do something that feels good. Focus on how good things feel instead of how you look
Expect normal monthly changes in body size, weight and shape- Do not base your feelings about the number on the scale every morning. Women have cycles that fluctuate and need to realistically expect a few pounds to fluctuate.
Stop Comparing- you are a unique person with your own DNA and heritage. It does not do any good for a golden retriever to wish that they were a poodle. Therefore, do not compare yourself to someone you are not. Celebrate your own heritage and uniqueness.
Get support- surround yourself with people that love you and encourage you to be happy. Join a weight loss group for encouragement or take walks with friends.
Make 2010 the year to be healthy, happy and fit. Love yourself for what you can do and the changes you are making for the better!