10 "Will Powers" for Improving Body Image

By: Michael Levine, PhD and Linda Smolak, PhD

I WILL ask myself: “Am I benefiting from focusing on what I believe are flaws in my body weight or shape?”

I WILL think of three reasons why it is ridiculous for me to believe that thinner people are happier or “better.” I will repeat these reasons to myself whenever I feel the urge to compare my body shape to someone else’s.

I WILL spend less and less time in front of mirrors—especially when they are making me feel uncomfortable and self-conscious about my body.   

I WILL exercise for the joy of feeling my body move and grow stronger. I will not exercise simply to lose weight, purge fat from my body, or to “make-up” for calories I have eaten.

I WILL participate in activities that I enjoy, even if they call attention to my weight and shape.I will constantly remind myself that I deserve to do things I enjoy, like dancing, swimming, etc., no matter what my shape or size is!

I WILL refuse to wear clothes that are uncomfortable or that I do not like but wear simply because they divert attention from my weight or shape. I will wear clothes that are comfortable and that make me feel at home in my body.

I WILL list 5 to10 good qualities that I have, such as understanding, intelligence, or creativity. I will repeat these to myself whenever I start to feel bad about my body.

I WILL practice taking people seriously for what they say, feel, and do. Not for how slender, or “well put together” they appear.

I WILL surround myself with people and things that make me feel good about myself and my abilities. When I am around people and things that support me and make me feel good, I will be less likely to base my self-esteem on the way my body looks.

I WILL treat my body with respect and kindness. I will feed it, keep it active, and listen to its needs. I will remember that my body is the vehicle that will carry me to my dreams!