The Counselling Centre
To be happy and healthy; you need to be content with what you have - to be the best YOU can be. Liking yourself involves many things, but the one thing people seem to get “hung up on” is how they look. With today’s emphasis on physical appearance, weight and “the body beautiful,” men and women can become preoccupied with their appearance. The result is a population who spends much of their time, money and energy improving their appearance and watching their weight. There is a lot more to one’s wellness than how he/she looks. It is important to take care of all aspects of you which includes physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual.
Put It in Perspective
Research shows that if a person is going to have a problem (obsession) with body image, it will probably start during adolescence. It is important for you to put your feelings and ideas about your body into perspective now.
How you appear to others, how they see you and what attracts people to you involves a lot more than your body shape and size. Your laugh, the twinkle in your eye, how you walk and carry yourself are as much a part of your image as your weight and body measurements. Take a minute to think of what attracts you to your friends. Is it their smile, friendliness and openness, energy and attitude toward life or is it how they look?
Heredity Is Important
Trying to make your body look like something it cannot be is a waste of your time and energy. It may also endanger your health. Much about your body shape and size, including height and bone structure, is determined by heredity. Your age and sex also influence how you look. These things you are born with and cannot change. So enjoy what you’ve got and make the most of it.
Look Good, Feel Great
To look your best, exercise and eat properly. Exercise will help your body be firm and supple. Nutritious food will help your hair and skin glow. Together they can give you the energy to look like you’re on top of the world and to make you feel that way too.
Eat Healthy Foods
You’ve heard it all before but it is still important to eat a variety of foods from the four food groups each day:
- Vegetables and fruit
- Milk and milk products
- Meat and meat alternatives
- Bread and cereals
Also include foods high in fiber such as fresh fruit or vegetables; whole grain cereals and breads and legumes (baked beans or split pea soup.) Always limit foods that are high in salt, fat and/or sugar such as chips, fruit roll-ups, pop, and deep fried foods.
Be Physically Active
Keep your muscles in motion every day doing things you like: swimming, brisk walking, running, skiing, or skating.
Whether you are below, right on or above your healthy weight range, exercise is vital to get fit and look good. Exercise raises the rate the body burns calories not only during exercise, but for hours afterwards. As a result, fat is burned for fuel and your lean body mass is increased. Muscles are toned and have better definition. Continuous aerobic exercise where your limbs move rhythmically through air or water for 20 – 30 minutes a day, 3 – 4 times per week, will help maintain a healthy heart and lungs.
For a top quality body, inside and out, balance sensible eating with regular exercise. You will look good, feel great AND be the “Best You Can Be."
Take Care of your Mental Health
Be accepting, kind, easy to forgive yourself. How would you treat a good friend who needed some TLC? Take every 3rd "I should" out of your vocabulary and say "no" at least once a week! Reasonable expectations. This doesn't mean the end of motivation or working hard. The point is to stretch yourself, not break yourself. Set limits if that is what you need- overindulgence is not nurturing either.
Get enough people in your life, that you can laugh with, share that pizza with, talk to seriously when an occasion comes up, who respect you and don't expect you to do all the work of keeping up the friendship or relationship. Do a variety of things for fun and stimulation, some that you can do with others, and some to do alone. Having trouble coming up with an idea? Remember things you liked when you were a child, but have long ago given up. Get the creative juices flowing? Paint, draw, get out the hammer and nails and construct something.
Don’t forget the Spiritual Part
Develop a practice that exercises your mind and soul. However you define that. Whether it is a routine of prayer, meditation, attending services, that build up your spirit and faith with like minded others, exploration of yourself that helps you to identify your values and priorities, reading wisdom literature and discussions with others that deepen your knowledge of yourself and the universe, finding a way to contribute to the well being of others.
The Counselling Centre offers individual and couples counselling to help with these issues. For more information, call The Counselling Centre at 902-420-5615 or drop by our office on the 4th floor of the Student Centre.