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Accepting the Body You Have

By the third week of January, many New Year’s diets have been broken, and it’s time for some sound advice on achieving a quality lifestyle instead. Ninety-five percent of all women don’t have the ideal body type portrayed by the media, and up to 60 percent of all women and girls eat in a dysfunctional fashion.

Men and women both experience pressure to achieve an unrealistic physical ideal, while the $30 billion diet industry profits from our national preoccupation with size. This year, choose to celebrate Healthy Weight Week and focus on feeling positive. Accept and enjoy your remarkable body—just as it is! Here are some suggestions:

Stop dieting

Instead of dieting, start eating normally. What’s normal eating? Eating when you’re hungry, listening to your body and stopping when you feel full. If dieting leaves you unsatisfied and frustrated, try eating regular meals (typically three) at the same time each day and snacking once or twice if you’re hungry.

Focus on the total person

You are more than individual body parts. Instead of focusing on particular physical features, remember that you are a unique person with a range of special gifts and talents. Do you have a knack with computers? Do you enjoy singing in a choir? Find time for the activities that make you feel good about yourself.

Enjoy your body

The greatest lifestyle improvement is for sedentary people to become active. Treat your body well. Instead of exercising to reach a target weight, savor the joy of movement for its own sake. Spend a few minutes walking with a friend each day or look for small opportunities to become more active: Take the stairs instead of the elevator or deliberately park as far as possible from the entrance to a store. Have fun being physical without worrying about weight.

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Practice positive thinking

Positive thinking is an essential part of healthy living, directly affecting our physical and mental well-being. Can’t take a compliment? Practice by complimenting yourself each day. Focus on your achievements, skills and lifestyle choices. Establish a support network of positive thinkers, and avoid those who remain focused on physical appearances. Accept who you are, and be proud of who you are!

Respect others

One of the best ways to celebrate Healthy Weight Week is to respect all people, regardless of size. Think positively about yourself, and remember to think positively about others. Accept each other at any size; compliment behavior, ideas and character instead of appearance and develop more self-acceptance, self-appreciation and self-respect.

Accepting the Body You Have

Lynn Ponton, MD

APA Reference
Ponton, L. (2020). Accepting the Body You Have. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Jan 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Jan 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.