The Silent Message of our Body Build.
Body shaming is a trend that has always been and will always be. It is the act of making someone feel inadequate for having a particular body type generally perceived by society as an unfortunate one. Dealing with body shaming is actually more difficult than it will sound here, but the steps are very practical ones that could as well help deal with low self-esteem.
Though scientifically speaking, our body build has almost nothing to do with our personality, but there is always a silent message it conveys about our health and lifestyle. Information like occupation, level of activity, stress level, nutrition, and health status may be deduced from a mere careful examination of someone’s physical appearance.
But most often, this rarely translates accurately to the person’s current state of life. But it is important to note this because people’s perception of who we are is very important, as it affects our immediate relationship with them.
However, what is more important is understanding what really matters as long as health and healthy living are concerned. And as well to start building a positive self image.
Dealing with Body Shaming: Understanding What Really Matters
Body-shaming is a trend that has been eating up people’s self-confidence almost everywhere in the world.
Dealing with body shaming can be very difficult especially when it’s coming from friends and loved ones. But understanding what really matters for one to live a healthy life will help to boost the confidence you have in your appearance.
Rarely do people consider that their body build is largely determined by their genetic make-up as compared to lifestyle.
We as well tend to forget about the classification of the various body types even before hitting the gym or adopting the bodybuilder’s lifestyle.
We all know about the Ectomorphs, Mesomorphs and Endomorphs; the three main classes of human body types.
These models have a way of affecting the results you get from bodybuilding and hitting the gym. Besides, they are the primary determinants of what workout strategy you should adopt.
However, this is not really the major concern here. The interest here is actually finding out what matters most about our body. And what matters most, is that;
“We are healthy and functioning optimally in our mind and body”.
This does not in any way mean that we should not have fitness goals, or try to build our body to the desired taste. But considering the factors earlier mentioned that principally affects our build, we should understand the fact that certain body structures are just impossible to achieve for some people.
So the goal should always be to keep fit, instead of trying to be like or build like someone.
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How to Deal With Body Shaming
1. Focus on Being Fit and Healthy
With the understanding of what really matters in life; being healthy and functioning optimally in our mind and body, we should therefore make it count. We should learn to adjust our fitness goals from just being bigger, to actually being healthy. This entails supplying our body with the appropriate diets, good water therapy, and exercise.
Exercise here must not be the gym way. Cardio exercises like walking, running, skipping, and other relaxational exercises like taichi and yoga are also very good in keeping the mind and body healthy.
Continuous effort to be fit and healthy through good diets and exercise helps in dealing with body shaming by bringing out the best version of your body types.
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2. Building a Positive Self Image: Mental Toughness
One other good way of dealing with body-shaming is being mentally strong. And the first step to mental toughness is acceptance. Acceptance is the disposition to tolerate or accept people or situations.
Whatever we try to resist in life, always persists. You can liken this to trying to oppose a force or a certain condition we don’t like. You will find that the more we try hard not to feel bad about it, the more annoying and frustrating it gets. So it is better to stop thinking and worrying about being body-shamed and actually concentrate on how to be fit and healthy as a person.
Mental toughness also entails the understanding that everyone sucks in one way or another. Hence, being an object of body-shaming doesn’t make you a loser.
One more tip is learning the act of expressing ones mind freely in words. Saying how you feel has a way of helping you build a positive self image. There are communities where you can make online confessions about oneself anonymously without fear of being judged. They can help you to start feeling good about yourself and then build a positive mental image.
3. Learn More About Your Body Type
One other way that actually works on a person’s self-confidence is learning about other people whom they share similar traits and qualities with, but who also lived great lives.
If it’s scientists, footballers, inventors, etc. that are your greatest fans, there is always one such person who attained greatness in life while living in a body similar to yours. Make them your motivation. But this should not actually stop you from pursuing your fitness goals.
Apart from the role models, learn to read and understand your body type. Knowing what factors contributed to the way you are built, will help lessen the guilt, and make you practice more acceptance. This will greatly help you in dealing with body-shaming.
Also, Read; Fighting Depression Through Fitness and Exercise
4. Learn to Accept Others in their own Frailty
Acceptance does not just end in accepting your own situation. It also requires that you treat others the same. Accepting other people will decrease the likelihood of them body shaming you because they will also tend to accept you the way you are.
Accepting others means you don’t make them feel rejected or unfortunate because of their appearance and short comings.
5. Develop Your Other Strengths
This is by far the best of the other four ways of dealing with body-shaming and boosting your confidence as well. Giving people something else to talk about when they remember you will help put their minds off body-shaming you.
If you are an ectomorph or an endomorph, it’s time to find something you are really good at, and start making it the center of your personality.
Body shaming people is really more dangerous than it appears to be. It really hurts people’s self-esteem and is sometimes worse than bullying. It is painful and has long-term consequences that could largely affect one’s mental health.
Dealing with body shaming should actually be more of a collective effort as opposed to an individual effort. The collective effort is when we all understand that no one is perfect and that everyone has something to be insecure about.
This understanding alone is the cure to all forms of insecurities.