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!

How we feel about our bodies is really a matter of perspective. In fact, our body image has very little to do with our actual physical appearance.

Instead, it’s the stories we tell ourselves that play a major role in the state of our body image.

I was reminded of that when I came across this quote from writer and life coach Debbie Reber: “I’m not easy to be around vs. I’m grateful for friends who see me for who I am.”

I think this is a powerful lesson in working toward a positive body image. The stories we tell ourselves can slowly chip away at a positive body image, or they can build it up.

Here are some examples of how you might adjust one of your stories:

  • I need to lose weight in order to date vs. I’ll find the right person for me at this very size.
  • I’ll like my body after I lose X pounds vs. Weight is fleeting; I’ll be much happier if I cultivate a stable self-esteem that isn’t swayed by the scale.
  • I’m so bad for eating that cookie vs. The diet mentality is so insidious; but being a bad person has zero to do with what you eat.
  • I’m not losing any weight, even though I’m working out hard vs. I’m grateful for my body’s amazing abilities and strength.
  • If my friends are having salads, I should, too vs. I’m going to focus on nourishing my body without letting others’ choices determine my own.
  • I’ll start taking better care of myself once I reach my goal weight vs. This is the only body I’ve got, and, thankfully, I can start taking better care of it right now.
  • I wish I were thinner, then I’d be beautiful vs. Beauty comes in all different shapes and sizes. (Here’s another great way to see your story in a different light: In her new book, This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart, Susannah Conway features this quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estes from her book Women Who Run With The Wolves: “To support only one kind of beauty is to be somehow unobservant of nature. There cannot be only one kind of songbird, only one kind of pine tree, only one kind of wolf.”)

What stories can you start to see in a different light?