Every Monday features a tip, exercise, inspiring quote or other tidbit to help boost your body image. For many of us, Mondays are tough. We may feel anxious and stressed out, anticipating an arduous week, especially if we didn’t get much rest and relaxation during the weekend. These kinds of feelings don’t create the best environment for improving one’s body image. In fact, you might be harder on yourself and easily frustrated. You might even feel like you’re walking on egg shells – with yourself! With these posts, I hope you’ll have a healthier and happier body image day, that’ll last throughout the week.

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky@gmail.com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. It can be anything you do that’s healthy and helps boost your body image. I’d love to hear from you!

A few weeks ago, I posted my notes from Golda Poretsky’s free teleclass on healing from emotional eating; today, I wanted to share with you more insight from another teleclass on body image and feeling sexy at any size. Below are Golda’s tips.

  • Reconnect with your senses. Golda says that there’s nothing sexier than a woman who’s turned on to herself and the world, which is more important than your size. Being and feeling sexy has more to do with your own enjoyment of yourself, your own appreciation for your body and your own lust for life. To reconnect with your senses, engage them, even if it’s for five minutes. One way that Golda suggests: Take a walk, without being on your cell phone or listening to music. Tune into your surroundings. See what’s around you. Hear what’s around you. Feel the breeze on your skin, feel your joints and muscles move.
  • Turn down the volume on your inner critic. If the negative voice is plaguing you, acknowledge it. Sometimes, it might feel like the inner voice just gets going and going as if it has an internal fear that you’ll forget all your thousands of flaws. Golda suggests writing these negative thoughts down to get them out of your head. Also, use affirmations that really turn you on and excite you. Keep your affirmations positive and present. And use words that sound “juicy.” Say something like “I’m a devastating woman.” Say it out loud, say it in your head and write it down. Remember that it may take time to quiet the inner critic, and that the negative voice isn’t true.
  • Realize that criticism doesn’t enact change. We think that if we beat ourselves up enough about our flaws, and tell ourselves how fat and disgusting we are, that these comments will will us to the gym, and they’ll force us to change. Suddenly we’ll have everything we want. But this rarely happens – or it rarely lasts. It’s not only ineffective, but it’s a waste of time and it’s damaging. It chips away at us. Golda gives the following example: If your boss wants you to do something better at work, and approaches you by saying that the company is invested in you and they want to make it work, wouldn’t you be more willing to try such and such? What if he says various negative things about you and criticizes your work? You probably won’t be as enthusiastic to improve, and you’ll just get down on yourself.
  • Avoid one of the biggest mistakes. The top mistake when shifting from body hatred to body love, Golda says, is giving up too soon, and thinking that you’ll change many, many years of programming in a few days or weeks. Building a better body image takes time, and it’s cyclical. Trust me, I know. If these things seem impossible at first, Golda suggests modifying them. Take small steps.
  • Consider where you’re cramming yourself into. Golda also shared an interesting insight about trying to make ourselves fit into clothing and life. We think that we’ll just diet until we fit into that dress. But instead of saying that that dress isn’t “exquisite enough” (love that!), we try to cram ourselves into it. Golda asks,” Where else do you cram yourself into?” Where else are you trying to make yourself fit in rather than embodying who you are? Where else are you trying to make yourself acceptable, rather than approving who you are? Accepting yourself puts you in a place of power, when your life can reflect how you feel. As Golda says, reclaim your right to be here and take up space.
  • Have fun. Golda uses the following technique with her clients, which she invented when walking to the subway. That day, she thought her jacket was really tight, and started feeling bad about her body, particularly her shoulders. Suddenly, she decided that she had the sexiest shoulders, and women all over the world would love to have her shoulders. She decided that this trait was actually incredibly desirable and everyone wished that they had it. After changing her thoughts, it seemed like guys were coming out of the woodwork. While she didn’t necessarily want that attention, it got rid of her negativity and changed her whole day. By changing how she felt about herself, Golda changed the energy around her. This exercise might seem silly but she suggests treating body image like a fun game. I’m sure there are many times that you feel like improving your body image is arduous. But, as Golda says, it doesn’t have to be this big challenge, or another problem. It’s fun to feel good about yourself!

If you’d like to hear about Golda’s fantastic free teleclasses, sign up for her newsletter here. Also, Golda has written a book called Stop Dieting Now: 25 Reasons To Stop, 25 Ways To Heal, which will be available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other places soon. I’ll let you know when!

Today’s favorite post. Dear Scale: It’s Not You, It’s Me” by Kendra Sebelius at Voice in Recovery.

BTW, stay tuned tomorrow for part one of my interview with the inspiring and insightful Mara from Medicinal Marzipan! I’ll be running my three-part interview with her all week.