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Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “I need to lose five pounds?”. If you answered yes to this, you are not alone.  We all have certain stereotypes to abide by.  Most women can relate to the stereotypical ‘body image guidelines’ of  not being too skinny but not too heavy, or have a big butt without having  big legs, and have a flat stomach, and of course have a big chest without looking too muscular while still remaining feminine. The pressures of abiding to these strict body image stereotypes can be unhealthy for our mentality and for some, lead to devastating disorders like anorexia or bulimia.   

 

MY EXPERIENCE

 

Having once been overweight myself I know what it feels like to not be the skinniest person in the room.  Although I never lacked confidence when I was overweight, the pressure to be thin was always there.  

Now that I have lost the weight I ask myself, was I happier than or am I happier now? Physically my body is much happier.  I lead a healthy lifestyle by incorporating any sort of movement into my everyday life and I watch what I eat.  Changing my lifestyle was the best thing I ever did and has shaped me into who I am today.  I believe I am happier today because I have body awareness and I am conscious about what I am consuming.

 

Luckily, my perception on body image has never been distorted.  I believe each person needs to be comfortable in their own skin and it does not matter what others think.  I like to view the body as a house.  This is a house you live in therefore you must take care of it.  Taking care of it means proper maintenance, starting at cutting your toenails, washing your hair, exercising and eating right etc.

 

YOUR BODY, YOUR HOME

In order to maintain a positive body image YOU must be happy in YOUR OWN skin.  This means feeling comfortable at home.  You can obtain this by spending time with yourself; go for a walk, meditate, anything that will allow you to start your journey being at home in your own skin.  A little thing I like to do is say a positive affirmation to myself everyday.  Before you roll your eyes,  you should try it! It’s not necessarily calling myself beautiful everyday (though this is perfectly okay), I am simply reminding myself of the good I had done or a simple reminder that this will go better next time. Thinking positively will change the way you see yourself in the mirror and the ways others see you as well.  

 

Written By Melissa Likoray