How BODY NEUTRALITY can lead to a better body image

In today’s post I will talk about body neutrality and how it can lead to a better and healthier body image.

Because many people think that unless they can’t love how their body looks they can’t have a healthy body image.

And maybe the idea of having to “love your body” to be body positive can seem too unreachable to many people. Especially when they come from years of dieting or eating disorders.

But there is another way to start working on building a positive body image and that is by focusing on body neutrality.

 

What is body neutrality?

Body neutrality means that, rather than either hating or loving your body, you can have a more neutral attitude towards your body. And the purpose of body neutrality is to reduce the focus on your body.

It means we are not giving thoughts about our bodies too much attention and instead we focus on other aspects of our lives – we find other interests, values, goals, and dreams to focus on instead.

And while, yes, our bodies ARE amazing and valuable… BUT the body-obsessed society has made our bodies into a project to constantly work on or made us believe that our bodies are the most interesting and valuable things about us.

body neutrality

We are either taught that there is something wrong with our bodies and we need to constantly “fix” our bodies…

…but we are also made to believe that our bodies need to be in the constant center of attention.

The problem is not that we need to feel beautiful every day to have a healthy body image, but the problem is that we are too obsessed and preoccupied with our bodies in general.

The problem is not that we need to feel beautiful every day to have a healthy body image, but the problem is that we are too obsessed and preoccupied with our bodies in general.

beauty redefinedA sign of a healthy body image is not about loving how your body looks, but seeing your body for MORE than just how it looks.

A healthy body image is not believing you are beautiful but knowing you are MORE than just beautiful.

And also seeing yourself and your life for MORE than just your body and rather turning the focus AWAY from your body to something else important.

Because while our bodies are definitely amazing in what they do and we should take care of our bodies, but our body is not supposed to be in the center of our attention either, whether in negative or positive ways.

Our body was supposed to be used as a tool for us to live our lives but not be the most important focus in our lives.

Our body was supposed to be used as a tool for us to live our lives but not be the most important focus in our lives.

You don’t need to “love how your body looks” to have a positive body image, but you rather need to see yourself and your life for more than just your body and your looks.

So here practicing body neutrality can be a much better approach to a healthy body image rather than feeling that unless you can’t love your body, you can’t have a healthy relationship with it.

So what are some ways you can practice body neutrality?

1. Honor your body’s needs

Start to honor your body’s needs.

Like giving our body enough food and nourishment. Eating regularly to make sure we have enough energy throughout the day. Making sure we drink enough water.

It may also include enjoyable movement with adequate rest and breaks. Giving our body enough sleep and also sunlight or daylight exposure is good for our bodies.

And managing our stress levels is also a very important aspect of our overall health.

Practicing all of these things makes sure you take care of your body without needing to focus on your weight or your looks.

2. Practice weight-neutral self-care

Weight-neutral self-care means that we take care of ourselves without focusing on our weight or on our appearance.

For example, we can focus on improving our mental health instead of our physical bodies. Also, weight-neutral self-care can mean feeling your feelings and learning to cope with your emotions in healthy ways.

It can mean developing some healthy strategies to deal with stress. Or we can focus on self-care practices like meditation or mindfulness.

Other self-care practices can be speaking to someone when upset or journaling your thoughts to deal with your feelings.

These are all part of self-care practices that have nothing to do with your weight or appearance but they all do promote health.

3. Focus on the function of your body

Next, rather than focusing on how your body looks, instead focus on the function of your body.

You may not like how your body looks but you can still appreciate what it does for you every day and what it ables you to do.

For example, you may become aware that your body is always working for your best interest. Your body is constantly working to repair itself, heal itself, renew itself. 

Also, your body is the vessel to your soul. Instead of focusing on improving your physical body what if you focus on your soul and becoming spiritually more in touch with yourself?

Your body also ables you to walk, hug a loved one, or play an instrument. It ables you to do your work or engage in your hobbies. It also helps you to take care of your family or your loved ones.

So instead of focusing on how your body looks, focus on other aspects of your body that can help you to see the function and true purpose of your body.

Your body was not meant to be in this world to be looked at, but it was meant to be for you to use it more as a tool to participate in this world.

Your body was not meant to be in this world to be looked at, but it was meant to be for you to use it more as a tool to participate in this world.

4. Respect your body

Remember to treat your body with respect.

Because you may not like how your body looks, but you can still treat it with respect – you can appreciate what your body does, you see the value in your body and you respect and honor your body for all those things.

This can mean that you speak to your body respectfully and kindly, not with harsh criticism.

You respect your body’s needs, like for adequate sleep and you give it enough food. And you don’t criticize your body for having those needs.

You also take care of your body with respect by not harming your body through either dieting or with any harmful coping.

And you do all of these things not because you necessarily like how your body looks, but out of respect towards your body.

5. Turn your focus away from your body

And the last one is to turn your focus away from your body. Because our bodies just able us to exist in this world but our bodies are not the most interesting thing about us or about our lives.

So instead of focusing on your body, turn the focus towards other things in your life – your work, hobbies, your friends and family.

Do what brings you pleasure and joy and find other interests and things to spend your time on that have nothing to do with your body, your weight, or your appearance.

Start to live your life outside of your body – use your body to live your life, but not to live your life with constantly focusing on your body!

Start to live your life outside of your body – use your body to live your life, but not to live your life with constantly focusing on your body!

And if you want to know more about recovery and how to do it step by step then please read my book “BrainwashED”

If you wish to work with me one one one, then I offer 12-Week Recovery Coaching where I can help you go through your recovery step by step and offer support and accountability. Read more and apply HERE.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

QA ebook

Sign up for my newsletter for a FREE ebook!

ebook "50 Popular Eating Disorder Recovery Questions Answered"

Scroll to Top