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Improving your body image and eating habits

Our bodies do not define who we are. Check out these tips to help you develop healthy body image and eating patterns.

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Tips

We all live in different and unique bodies, and trying to change how you look will not change how you feel about yourself.

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All bodies are wired to be a certain size and shape. Your body will fight to keep the shape it was born to be. While it may be difficult, what you can change are your beliefs and attitudes about your body.

Recognize that your weight is not a measure of self-worth.

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And why should it be? Your self-worth is your view of yourself as a whole person – your personality, your kindness, your talents, the contributions you make with your family, friends, community, and more. Your weight is just weight. Don’t make it any more important than that.

Try thinking about the things in life you feel grateful for, that bring you joy or that make you smile.

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Do you have any fun hobbies? How do you feel when you’re spending time with loved ones? Does being outdoors bring you joy? By focusing on things outside our bodies that feel more positive, we are able to disconnect from those voices in our head that tell us that our body is not ‘right’.

Remember that the bodies you see in the media are often unrealistic but can still influence how you feel about yourself and how you think you should look.

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Notice the images, ads and people on social media, etc. that make you feel bad about yourself. Challenge them! Are they realistic? Remember, your worth does not depend on how closely you fit these unrealistic images. It is okay to unfollow accounts that don’t make you feel good about yourself.

Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, including those on social media.

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It is easier to feel good about yourself when you are around others who are more at peace in their own bodies. Finding people who appreciate you for the person you are can support you in making you feel more accepting or even good about yourself!

Write a list of things that you like about yourself and put it somewhere you can see throughout the day.

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Your talents, your accomplishments, intelligence, favourite sports, best friends – things that aren’t related to your appearance. Add more to this list as you become more aware of things you like about yourself and go over it when you begin to feel bad about yourself.

Try engaging in a self care activity – something that lets your body know that you are working on taking care of it.

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Think about growing a plant: If you water it properly and give it the right amount of sunlight, the plant tends to flourish! The same applies to our bodies. Some examples might be taking a long bath, going for a walk, going to bed early or doing a gentle stretch. By taking care of our bodies, we are more likely to feel comfortable in them.

Try acknowledging or appreciating all the functions that your body can do for you.

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For example, your arms make it possible to give a hug, your face allows you to make expressions! Your body, all of it, truly is a masterpiece. It not an enemy that needs to be controlled. You might even like to write a thank-you letter to your body about being your greatest ally!

While vulnerability may be hard at first, try talking to someone you trust or feel comfortable around.

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It can be helpful to talk through what you’re feeling with it’s a friend, family member, teacher, coach or reaching out to someone who has been there like a Peer Support worker. Not sure where to start? Check out our Tips for Talking with Someone and 8 Easy Tips for Venting to Friends.

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For more self-care options check out the Apps & Tools section. Sometimes help from a professional is needed, check out the Get Support section.