Mental Health Awareness – Body Image

Being in a fighting sport my whole life, I pride myself on being “strong” and that feeling down is “stupid” and that I need to “just suck it up and get on with it”. I thought admitting that I was finding things hard was weak and I preferred to deal with things myself… Speaking to others isn’t a sign of weakness but of strength. Having the courage to be ok with your feelings is the first step to any challenge.

This year’s Mental Health topic is Body Image so I wanted to share some things that I think are important in regards to appearance and health:

1. Comparing yourself to images you see on social media isn’t fair. Social media portrays an image that may not always tell the true story. The app also takes you from a 2 to a 10 with a few edits.

2. Genetics: Everyone is born their own shape & size so wanting to be exactly like someone else is a waste of energy. Your body is capable of amazing things, so why not work on improving your strength and functionality. Thrive with what you have and push to be the best you.

3. You can have the “ideal” figure, but feel like crap: Body image means nothing if you have no energy to live, or you’re always ill from eating 50kcal a day to “fit in”

4. Caring about your appearance is great, but letting it take over your mood is much less attractive. Work on your happiness and health and the rest should follow

5. Sport & exercise should be fun, not a chore: Exercise should be used as a form of mental health not just for a six pack (Nutrition does 90% of that anyway). Exercise decreases stress hormones like cortisol and releases endorphins, as well as serotonin (the body’s natural feel good chemicals).

6. You are not defined by your appearance or by a number on the scale!
You are worth more than that, and you are never alone!

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