Nearly 25% respondents in a recent survey conducted by Elle/MSNBC over a two-week period in February 2006, said that a "negative body image prevents them from feeling sexy." As Janet Lever, a sociologist at CSU at Los Angeles and one of the developers of the study, "It's not just that women feel bad about their bodies. It has a distinct carryover into their sex lives. Even if their partner finds them beautiful, the women still don't feel attractive enough to take off their clothes and have sex."
So how do we feel better about our bodies? It begins with making a shift in how we treat our bodies. If a woman spends time and energy treating her body with care, she will naturally begin to feel better about her body. On the other hand, if a woman ignores or abuses her body, she is reinforcing her belief that her body is unworthy of her attention. The mind is powerful: if you begin to have any positive thoughts about your body, you will begin to feel differently (i.e., more positively) about your bodies. And the more positive thoughts you have, the more positive feelings you will have. This power of thought to shape emotion is well documented scientifically.
But you've got to start somewhere. The next time you are aware of a negative thought about your body traipsing its destructive way through your head, stop. Become aware of your thought. And then consciously choose to have a positive thought. This could be as simple as, "I think I will treat myself to a massage tonight." This positive intention will make you feel better, even before your body is treated to the massage. The more frequently you choose positive body thoughts over negative body thoughts, the more likely you will grow to love, accept, and feel good inside your body - whatever its shape or weight.