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Re: Live GR: Body Image, 13th July 7:30 AEST

Hehe, my laptop died but now I'm back in time to also say thanks so much for the chat! I loved reading everyone's answers. Heart Smiley Happy

As always, here's the list of questions in case anyone reading this later would like to answer! Smiley Very Happy

1. What is body image?
2. What are some things that you like about your body/ that your body lets you do?
3. What does it mean to have a positive or healthy body image?/ What does having a positive body image mean to you?
4. What resources are available if you are struggling with your body image? How can we support a friend/ourselves struggling with body image?
5. What are your top tips and/or what steps can you take to develop a healthy body image for yourself?
6. What's something you wish you knew about healthy body image when you were younger?
7. Has there been anything that has positvely influenced your perception of body image?

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Re: Live GR: Body Image, 13th July 7:30 AEST

Amazing conversation everyone. Feeling really proud of the way everyone shared and supported each other. 

 

1. What is body image?

For me, body image is the lens you view yourself through. Body image isn't a stagnant thing for me, something that changes as I change. 


2. What are some things that you like about your body/ that your body lets you do?

I really appreciate my legs because they allow me to do things I love, like dancing. 


3. What does it mean to have a positive or healthy body image?/ What does having a positive body image mean to you?

To have a healthy body image, to me, is to see yourself in a balanced way. It doesn't mean you have to totally love every single part of yourself but it means that you accept yourself for what you are and treat your body well. 


4. What resources are available if you are struggling with your body image? How can we support a friend/ourselves struggling with body image?

The butterfly foundation are the main lead in Australian when it comes to body image and the struggles that can come up as a result. They offer online chat, helplines, information on their website as well as providing training to workplaces and school to create long-term impact. 

 

There is also the National Eating Disorders Collaboration who have a search engine for support services here. Also, Eating Disorders Victoria who have support services available to for residents of the state. 

 

Getting professional support is one option to getting help or helping a friend. There are so many ways however to connect with yourself and develop healthy eating/exercise habits, if you aren't ready to take that step. Tell someone you trust what is going on for you and get them to work on a plan with you/check in on you. 

 

If you have a friend or loved one who is struggling you can always contact professional supports to get some tips on how to help. 


5. What are your top tips and/or what steps can you take to develop a healthy body image for yourself?

 

My top tips are

 

  • Be mindful to notice and appreciate the parts of your body that you like or that help you do the things you love. It could be as simple as having arms to hug your loved ones, hands to hold the lead and walk your dog or eyes to help you see your fave T.V show. 
  • I know we bang on about it all the time but - self care. In social iso I was feeling really bad about the way I looked because I wasn't getting out as much and doing the usual things that make me feel good. Getting my nails done, or my hair, or getting a new pair of jeans makes me feel good in my skin and confident. Even though there is more to healthy body image than physical things, it still boosts your mood when you have done whatever self care you prefer. 
  • It's all about balance. Balanced eating and exercise. Focus on health and not weight Heart 


6. What's something you wish you knew about healthy body image when you were younger?

 

That you can have a healthy body at any size. That no matter what the size of my body, what really matters is how my body feels. I wish I knew that I wouldn't always hate aspects of my appearance and that it will 100% get easier as I get older. 


7. Has there been anything that has positively influenced your perception of body image?

 

Yep, looking back on old photos where I thought I looked horrible and I actually didn't look that bad. It made me realise that the emotions you have towards yourself in any given moment literally effects how you view yourself. It gave me hope that the way I perceive myself can change if I feel better. 

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Re: Live GR: Body Image, 13th July 7:30 AEST

Such a good chat guys!

 

1. What is body image?

Your thoughts and feelings about how your body looks
2. What are some things that you like about your body/ that your body lets you do?

I love the feeling of learning how to move my body in a new way (like doing a harder mountain bike feature for the first time, first learning to play basketball last year and all the skills involved, or each new trick I learnt back as a gymnast). In terms of physical features one of the few parts of my body I've never had an issue with how it looks is my butt haha
3. What does it mean to have a positive or healthy body image?/ What does having a positive body image mean to you? 

I think it's mostly being comfortable with how you look. Like there's probably at least some things you like about your body, you appreciate it for what it does, and the things you don't like about it aren't causing you crippling emotional pain or having a big impact on your life. For me positive body image is being able to just be and not be thinking much about how I look.
4. What resources are available if you are struggling with your body image? How can we support a friend/ourselves struggling with body image?

Helplines, GP/other professional help, body positive/ health at every size media... I think having safe conversations (like this one!) around body image can be really valuable for both you and others who are struggling. So sharing your struggles in a way that doesn't perpetuate harmful messages. Eg, instead of saying 'I'm so X, it's disgusting!', saying 'I'm feeling very self conscious and anxious about X and it's really hurting me. Even though I believe everyone has value and being X doesn't make someone ugly or bad, I'm really struggling to apply those beliefs to myself. It's taking over my thoughts and I'm really struggling to see my value'


5. What are your top tips and/or what steps can you take to develop a healthy body image for yourself?

For me I've never found it very helpful focusing on trying to fix negative mental health symptoms (like poor body image). But I do find it really valuable focusing on adding positive things to my life (invest in relationships, pursue meaningful study/career, join a sport, move somewhere I love, go on a holiday, watch a funny movie etc) at a pace I can manage. And gradually let the positive things distract from, overpower and sometimes resolve the negative issues. So I tried to make my life less consumed by body image issues by putting more energy into other areas of my life, and then the body image issues got a lot better without much direct input from me.


6. What's something you wish you knew about healthy body image when you were younger?

I wish I'd had as much (or more) exposure to body positive messages as I did to negative ones.


7. Has there been anything that has positvely influenced your perception of body image?

Super controversial answer of having sex and shedding Christianity 😛 (not saying this is the impact those things would have on anyone, but it's the impact they had on me)

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Re: Live GR: Body Image, 13th July 7:30 AEST

@lost_Space_Explorer5 I love this explanation of positive body image focusing on living in the moment! I totally agree and I feel like times when I am feeling negative toward my body it is because I am obsessing over how I am going to look at an event in a certain outfit or how I looked in a past event in a photo etc.. and so I really do think that negative body image involves this perception of our bodies outside of the present moment we are living in and also a fear of how other people perceive us. Even sometimes when I am at an event and worrying about how people are perceiving me in that moment I almost feel like it is related to their opinion of me if that makes sense and I guess that is an ongoing perspective not just how they see me in that moment.
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Re: Live GR: Body Image, 13th July 7:30 AEST

Hey @Bananatime04 

 

I also think positive body image has a lot to do with accepting your body at times where you don't necessarily feel happy with it. I think often people want to jump from negative body image straight to positive body image without remembering the work in between on just having an accepting body image. Some affirmations I try to remember when I am leaning toward the negative side of things could be:

- This is my body

- I am more than my appearance

- My appearance is always going to change throughout life and this is okay

- Looking and feeling attractive are not gate ways to happiness

I encourage anyone starting their journey towards body acceptance to remember these body neutral ways of thinking are just as good as body positive affirmations if they work for you. Maybe even make a few of your own! Smiley Happy

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Re: Live GR: Body Image, 13th July 7:30 AEST

@Hozzles omg I agree! I often find myself thinking about past comments that have been made about me and then when I catch myself I realise that the person who said it probably never thinks about it so why should I! Easier said than done I know but it is nice to kind of joke with yourself in the same way you would with a friend if they were obsessing over something from so long ago!