Brooklyn, promenade, 2011

Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts the week on a positive note!

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

On Saturday night we saw Elton John in concert. My boyfriend, Brian, and I grew up listening to him. My mom and dad even had his records in Russia.

In a word, the concert was amazing.

But what does Elton John have to do with body image?

Quite a bit, actually. One of the best ways we can improve our body image is to broaden our world, to experience new things with all of our senses.

To hear an artist perform his ultimate passion. To see him in person — and watch a huge crowd of people sing his words. To taste the foods at a new arena. To touch the fabric of the seats. To smell the mixture of fried foods, beer and excitement.

To shake things up once in a while.

Regardless of how we feel about our bodies, or our looks, it’s important to get out there and experience life. To have fun and live fully.

At the concert, I didn’t just hear the music and sing along. I felt it through my bones. The lyrics, the notes reverberated through my body. We danced. We laughed. We even got emotional.

And I knew right there, as I was bouncing and singing in my seat (and out of it), that this would be a moment I’d never forget. I’d put it in my own greatest hits file.

These kinds of moments can boost our body image in an indirect way, because they lift our mood, soothe any anxiety and remind us of how great life is. (Ever notice that when your anxiety is through the roof and your mood through the ground that suddenly your body image follows suit?)

So, today or sometime this week, I thought it’d be fun to create a list of the top three to five activities you’d like to do. The activities that represent your version of amazing.

(Not sure? Consider the top moments of your life. Where were you? What did you do? Who were you with? Can you recreate these moments or spend time with these same people?)

It might be attending a concert, pampering yourself at the spa or enjoying a weekend getaway. It might be taking an online class, participating in a race or visiting out-of-town family.

Just to give you an example, I’d say that my top five categories for amazing moments would be:

1. Concerts and musicals, including Billy Joel and Elton John; Jekyll and Hyde (our entire family went for my 18th birthday), the Lion King and Cabaret (a gift at the time from my grandma).

2. NYC, where my family and close friends live, and great moments happen regularly (even the smallest things like cracking up at a joke in the car).

3. Writing; any time I write something I’m incredibly proud of.

4. Travel; exploring the sights and sounds of new places.

5. Bike riding on a beautiful day, sun shining, a bit of a breeze, and Brian by my side.

Again, think about the events that make you feel alive. Because when you feel alive, you realize that the width of your thighs and those supposedly excess 10 pounds are unimportant and irrelevant to your life.

That thinness doesn’t bring enjoyment, happiness or fun. That what does is seeking out these kinds of amazing moments, big or small.