10 “Will-Powers” for Improving Body Image

10 “Will-Powers” for Improving Body Image
Written by: Michael Levine, Ph.D., and Linda Smolak, Ph. D.

Taking care of your body and doing things you enjoy will enable you to enjoy a happy, participatory life.

  • Twice a day, every day, I will ask myself: “Am I benefitting from focusing on what I believe are the 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.
  • 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 comfortable in my body.
  • I will list 5-10 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 seiously 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 myself-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.

I will choose to take care of myself and my body.