What is the difference between positive and negative body image?

You deserve to be fit and healthy no matter what your weight, size, or shape but you have to care about yourself to achieve fitness and health. What is the difference between positive and negative body image?


Body image is a combination of:

  • how you see yourself when you look in a mirror or catch a glimpse of your reflection in a window
  • what you believe and tell yourself about what you see
  • how you feel about what you see
  • and how you behave toward your body as a result of what you see, feel and think.

Body image is not necessarily about your size or about eating issues. There are thin people who see themselves as fat, and there are people who are considered beautiful by most, but who think they are ugly and experience daily struggles with body image, and the shame, guilt, and embarrassment that accompany negative body image.

You don’t have to have a weight or eating problem to struggle with body image. There are many difference between positive and negative body image.

Symptoms Of Negative Body Image

  • You see yourself as ugly and disgusting
  • You see a distorted image of yourself
  • You see your body size or shape as a symbol of your personal failings
  • You constantly compare yourself to others
  • You are embarrassed by your body
  • You are ashamed of your body
  • You hate yourself because of the way your body looks

Positive Body Image

  • You see your body and its parts as they really are
  • You appreciate your body
  • You understand that your value as a person is not tied to your appearance
  • You feel comfortable in your body as you move through the day
  • You treat your body well

When you love your body you take care of it.

When you hate your body you do your best to destroy it.

Self Acceptance and Self Care

Your body size is a reflection of your eating habits, your exercise habits, and genetics. Although this combination affects each of us differently, when we understand the interaction it is easier to work with our bodies rather than against them.

Despite genetics, the way you live and take care of yourself is what determines your body size. Even though genetics plays a role, it doesn’t tell you what and how much to eat or when to exercise.

You deserve to be fit and healthy no matter what your weight, size, or shape but you have to care about yourself to achieve fitness and health.

Being plus size, accepting your body as it is, and treating your body well are not mutually exclusive.

Self-acceptance does not mean that it’s okay to do nothing. Self-acceptance means you care for yourself and strive to be what is optimum for you, regardless of genetics or societal ideals.

Whatever your size, your body will respond to being treated well!

Stop Postponing Your Life

Body image is not about your weight but sometimes it becomes about your weight.

When weight prevents you from living your life because your knees hurt so much that it is difficult to get around, or you’re out of breath from minor exertion, or you can’t be comfortable in a movie seat, then it is about the weight.

These are problems you must face not because of your appearance but because you are not living your life.

Living In The Land of “If Only”

Have you ever thought if only you were thin, you would go on a cruise, take a class, ride your bike, or visit New York? If only you were thin your life would be perfect.

What is on your “if only” list?

Postponing life until you reach a magic number on the scale is not going to work. You deserve a rich and full life, complete with friends, fulfillment, and most of all self-respect.

To eat whatever your body is hungry for, to move when your body needs movement, to give your body the opportunity to find its natural weight – you deserve all of this.

You deserve to stop hating your body.

Self-Care – Learning How To Love Yourself

Since body image is a combination of how you think, feel, and act toward your body, changing one of these factors will affect the others.

For instance, if you start to treat your body well you will start to think and feel more positively about your body, and if you start to think and feel more positively you will treat your body well.

Begin by noticing when you have negative thoughts about your body. Pay attention to what you’re saying to yourself and notice how often these negative thoughts occur and under what circumstances.

Maybe there is a pattern or a specific reason that the thoughts occur.

Practice interrupting the thoughts and replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones. Every time you stop yourself when you notice the negative thought, tell yourself that you respect and love yourself and you deserve a healthy body. Say it even if you don’t believe it at first.

Reminder – When you love your body, you take care of it.

You will be amazed that with practice the negative thoughts will diminish and you will slowly start to develop a positive attitude about your body.

Practicing Self Care

Self-care means being gentle and kind to yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend. Would you ever berate a friend by saying the mean things you hurl at yourself when you were looking in the mirror?

Think about that the next time you find yourself belittling your body. Be kind to it. Having a positive body image isn’t about changing your body, although change may occur. In the above article, you read about the difference between positive and negative body image.

Remember you can feel beautiful, sexy, and attractive at any size, shape, or weight. When you think it you feel it and when you feel it you act it. It works the other way around as well. When you activate it you begin to think and feel it. Remember you deserve it!

Thank You!

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