True Health: Body Image

Body image is a huge topic of importance. We want to combat the following patterns of thinking associated with self-doubt and critique to recognize and combat our automatic thoughts with truth – so that we don’t wind up believing them later on!

Types of Negative Body-False Thinking

All-or-Nothing | Model or Monster?

Seeing things as black or white. There are only beauties or beasts… Models or monsters. Average-looking  people don’t exist… Thoughts including “always,” “never,” or extreme thinking.

Examples of thoughts:

  • “With skin like this, I’ll always look totally ugly.”

Unfair Comparisons

If you have unrealistically high standards and focus primarily on the few people who meet those standards, you’ll find yourself inferior in comparison. Comparing ourselves to airbrushed models in mags or social media make us feel upset that we don’t look as good as they do.

Examples of thoughts:

  • “I’ll never look as perfect as that model on the cover of Cosmo.”


Should Statements

You have overly rigid rules about the way things should be in your extremely bothered if something doesn’t quite meet your expectations dots with must and have to and Ott fall in the same category but remember should is a useless word, it evokes shame and instead of saying should, say things like I’d like to or it’s my goal to…

Examples of thoughts:

  • “my hair has to be perfect”

Mind Reading

Mind reading is a form of jumping to conclusions without having all the evidence you assume that other people are thinking badly about your parents because you don’t like the way you look examples of thoughts I know she’s thinking out with bad people in my class will think I look ugly fortune-telling fortune-telling is similar to mind reading in that you were jumping to a conclusion without having all the facts the main difference is that fortune telling is predicting that things will turn out badly in the future it’s as if you have a super negative crystal ball

Examples of thoughts:

  • “I know I’ll have a terrible time at the party, no one will want to talk to me because I look strange.”


Catastrophizing is an extreme form of fortune telling predicting that things will turn out absolutely horribly without having any evidence for it examples of box I’ll always be alone no girl/guy will ever want to go out with me personalization self absorption you interpret all kinds of events as having something negative to do with you even if they actually don’t

Examples of thoughts:

  • “Everyone on the subway must be thinking how bad I look today.”

Emotional Reasoning

Believing that something is true just because it feels true feelings have become the evidence for truth, in the absence of any objective evidence.

Examples of thoughts:

  • “I feel so fat after eating this doughnut, I must look like an elephant.”


You call yourself bad names for example you might be calling yourself pale or freak these labels discount and put down yourself as a whole person.

Examples of thoughts:

  • “I look like a pale freak.”

Selective Attention and Magnification

Focusing more on certain negative part of your parents and other parts because you’re so caught up with these negative aspects, you missed the big picture. It magnification, you not only pay attention to your shortcomings, but you also blow them out of proportion. This is like looking at them through a magnifying glass. Also when you look at others you only notice the body parts you consider more attractive than your own.

Examples of thoughts:

  • “All that matters is my hair. My nice shoulders and scan don’t count.”

Discounting the positives

You disregard the good things you have going for yourself

Examples of thoughts:

  • “It doesn’t matter if I’m smart, loving and have great friends, all that matters is how big my thighs are.”

Things to Think when you Get Negative:

  1. Is this thought helpful right now? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of thinking?
  2. is there an alternative/more advantageous point of view?
  3. What is the evidence for my thought? What is the evidence against it? Which is more convincing?
  4. Is my thought logical? Is there another more rational way of looking at that? Is there another explanation for…?
  5. Am I really 100% certain that… Or is this just one of the many possibilities?
  6. So what if…?
  7. What’s the worst that could happen if my fears came true? Could I live through it? Would really change the big picture? But I still care about it a few years down the road?
  8. What’s the best that could happen?


Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to your dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you—running, dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.

Keep a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Memorize that list. Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about yourself.

Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin deep. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look like a supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.


Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you–as a whole person.

Surround yourself with positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking yourself just as you naturally are.

Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a “bad” person. You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you.

Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work with your body, not against it.

Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these messages: mentally talk back to the image or message

Do something nice for yourself–something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.

Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.


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