Improving Body Image


Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing what body image is and other body image-related topics. This week we are going to discuss what different types of body image relationships can look like and ways to improve your body image.

Body image can be positive, negative, or neutral. Having a positive or neutral body image would be considered a “healthy” body image. Having a negative body image would be considered an “unhealthy” body image. 


An unhealthy body image can look like:

  • Being preoccupied with thoughts about body weight, shape, or appearance 
  • Feelings of shame or anxiety about your body
  • Frequently engaging in body checking or body avoidance behaviors
  • Using unhealthy behaviors as a means to change body weight or shape such as dieting, skipping meals, purging, or laxatives.


A healthy body image can look like:

  • Appreciating your body the way it is by understanding that healthy bodies come in all shapes, sizes, and weights
  • Understanding self-worth is not based on physical appearance 
  • Your body does not hold you back from activities you enjoy 
  • You accept body changes as a normal part of life

But what steps can you take to improve body image? First of all, improving body image takes time and intention. Developing a healthy body image involves changing your mindset, not anything about your body shape or size. 


Steps to Take:

  • Identify and Challenge Negative Thoughts: sadly, negative body image comments towards ourselves can occur so often that we do not even realize it. One of the first steps in improving body image is to become more mindful of the negative thoughts that we have. Keep a list of how many times a day you catch yourself thinking negatively about your body. Are there more common/repetitive thoughts that you have about your body? Once you have identified/become more aware of negative body thoughts you can then begin to challenge and reframe them. Challenge negative body image thoughts by asking yourself the evidence to suggest what you are thinking is true. Are the comments about your body factual or made up? Once you have challenged a bad body image thought you can try to reframe it. 
    • Ex: “I wish my belly was flatter” to instead “I may not love the way my belly looks; however, I can still appreciate what it does for me such as protect my organs, and store, and digest food to provide the rest of my body with nutrients – my belly is pretty awesome!” 
  • Identify the Things you like about Yourself: Challenge yourself to keep a list of the things that you like about yourself that do not have anything to do with weight, size, or shape. If you are having trouble in the beginning, try asking a close friend or family member. As you become more aware of the things you like about yourself you can continue to add to this list.
    • Ex: Sense of humor, caring for others, resiliency, intelligence, strength, kindness, thoughtful, artistic, motivation, 

It is important to think about the characteristics you have that make you unique and that you love because when you feel good about who you are as a person on the inside you can begin to carry yourself with confidence. 

  • Surround Yourself with Positive People: It is easier to feel good about your body when you surround yourself with others who love and support you regardless of your appearance. Those people who do not make body comments about yours or their own. Hearing negative body comments about others can cause you to experience feelings of negative body image/question your own body image. 
  • Allow Time to Heal: Negative body image can be the result of years of negative self-talk and comparison. Therefore, it can take months up to years to heal your relationship with your body and move towards a healthier one.


How We Can help!

Our dietitian collective here at Food Ease have completed body positivity training and body image supervision training. If you or someone you know may be struggling with negative body image send us an email to schedule a FREE 15-minute discovery call to see if our services could be right for you.



NEDA. (n.d.). 10 Steps to Positive Body Image. 

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