How often do you think about your body when it isn’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like? Every day your body does incredible things for you like breathing, digesting, walking, dancing, laughing, and so much more. Show your body appreciation by building a positive body image. A positive body image is an effective way to avoid negative thoughts that compare yourself to others. Here are 8-ways to foster a healthy relationship with your body:

    1. CREATE A LIST. In order to help remember the qualities you appreciate most about your body (aesthetic and functional), keep a list of the top 5 things you like about yourself! Focus on your positive qualities and read this list often to become more aware of what you like about yourself.
    2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE. You’re more likely to feel good about yourself when you are around people who support and appreciate you.
    3. BLOCK NEGATIVE BODY IMAGE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS. Remind yourself that many images you see on social media are filtered by photoshop. Pay attention to images being advertised and block accounts that promote negative body thoughts.
    4. Love ALL of yourself! Choose not to focus on specific body parts, but rather see yourself as a whole person.
    5. DO SOMETHING NICE for yourself to show your body APPRECIATION. Make time for a nap, get your hair done, or find a peaceful place outside to relax.
    6. AVOID COMPARISONS. You are unique and beautiful in your own way, so don’t compare yourself to others – be YOU!
    7. CHALLENGE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. Identify and challenge negative thoughts that criticize your body and impact your mood. BUILD yourself UP by countering negative thoughts with positive, balanced thoughts about yourself.
    8. WEAR CLOTHES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD. Wear comfortable clothes that work with your body, not against it.

And remember, when you feel good about who you are, you carry confidence and self-acceptance and THAT makes you beautiful. Avoid wasting your time and energy worrying about calories or your weight. Rather, invest your time and energy into helping others and making a positive change in our world. SIZE DOESN’T MATTER. You always deserve love, respect, and appreciation from yourself!

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Sara Alamdari, FEAST Group Leader and USC M.S. of Dietetics candidate

Sara joined FEAST as an intern thanks to the support of the USC Good Neighbors Campaign!

Through Food, Education, Access and Support,

Together We Can Create A More Nourishing Life.