Negative Body Image Bumming You Out?
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 Helpful tips to love the skin you’re in 

Negative Body Image Tips - Overcoming Negative Body Image

What do you see when you look in the mirror? What internal dialogue goes on while you’re looking at yourself?  Do you tend to pick apart certain body parts? Or do you focus in on your favourite attributes? There are many variables that can affect our body image on any given day, including our upbringing, family environment, social media, diet culture, attitudes of peers and more.

If you’re noticing that your internal dialogue and overall feelings towards yourself and your body are on the negative side, read on for some helpful tips. 

What is Body Image Anyway? 

The National Eating Disorders Collaboration of Australia, (NEDC), defines body image as a combination of the thoughts and feelings that you have about your body. It can be influenced by internal (e.g. personality) and external (e.g. social environment) factors; and varies between  positive, negative, or a combination of these experiences. 

NEDC also defines 4 aspects of body image: 

  1. Perceptual body image (the way that you see your body) 
  2. Affective body image (the way you feel about your shape, weight, body parts etc…) 
  3. Cognitive body image (the way you think about your body) 
  4. Behavioural body image (behaviours you engage in as a result of your body image)

What the Numbers Show 

If you’re someone who’s feeling like their body image is poor, you’re not alone. A 2006 study examined associations of body satisfaction to age, height, gender, and body mass index (BMI) in over 52 000 adults and the findings weren’t much of a surprise. They noted that 60% of women thought they were too heavy and were self-conscious about their weight, 30% reported being too uncomfortable in a swimsuit, and 20% thought that they were unattractive. For men, 41% thought they were too heavy and were self-conscious about their weight, 16% reported being too uncomfortable in a swimsuit, and 11% thought that they were unattractive. 

Doctors Lexie and Lindsay Kite, sisters and co-authors of the book More than a Body shed light on why these stats may be high:

“Too many of us not only feel awful about our looks, since we can never achieve or maintain the aspirational beauty ideals presented to us, but also feel awful …because all we care about is how we look. This is truly the root of negative body image. To add insult to injury, we will likely feel awful about ourselves as a whole because we’ve learned that our bodies define our worth.” 

Body Image Issues - Negative Body Image

So how can we improve our body image? 

Try some of the strategies below and practice those which resonate the most with you: 

  • When you look in the mirror focus on what you like about your appearance. You can also choose to focus on more neutral areas such as your ears or hands. 
  • Remind yourself that true beauty is not skin-deep. Think of the most important people in your life and ask yourself why you love them. Odds are its not because of their weight or wrinkle-free skin. 
  • Wear clothes that are comfortable, that express your personal style and that make you feel good about your body. 
  • Practice self care: visit a loved one, take a bath, read, cook your favourite meal, watch your favourite movie 
  • Make a list of all the things your body can do, and does for you daily. 
  • Challenge negative self-talk. Are these thoughts actually true? Where do they stem from? 
  • Unfollow any social media accounts that trigger negative feelings about you or your body.  Follow accounts that promote unfiltered body diversity. 
  • Come up with a mantra to say when times gets tough, such as “I am loved, I am worthy, I deserve respect”. 
  • Speak to yourself as you would speak to your best friend, or loved one if they were having a bad day. 
  • Ditch the scale. Stop weighing yourself if you find it brings you down. Advise your doctors or nurses that you don’t want to know your weight at your next check-up. 

One final note: 

Showing up for ourselves with compassion isn’t always easy. Remember that it’s natural to have both good and bad body image days. It can be helpful to consider why you might be having a negative day, for reasons such as life stress, sleep deprivation, or a family member raving about the new diet they’re on. Be kind to yourself and look ahead to more positive days! 

four young women of a variety of body shapes and skin colours laugh together while wearing workout wear

For more information and tips from NEDC, visit this body image fact sheet.

For other tips to help build a positive body image, click here.

Interested in seeing a difference? Craving confidence? Let us help you love the body you live in. 

If you are looking for food freedom, a caring supportive co-pilot, and creating sustainable habits that fit into everyday life, we can help.

Don’t forget to check your health insurance! Many insurance plans cover Dietitian services.

Want some recipe ideas to provide you with a boost of positive energy? Check out these ideas! 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As seen in


Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This