5 Ways to Help Improve Your Gay Body Image

5.26.2005

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5 Ways to Help Improve Your Gay Body Image

1) Put a variety of body-centered photos in your home or on your desktop. It's great to have a shirtless hunk on your bulletin board or stuck to your refrigerator, but that creates an unrealistic view of physical shapes that most of us cannot attain. Having different shapes -- skinny with no abs, manly with some love handles -- is a positive reminder that healthy, attractive people come in a variety of shapes.

2) Wear clothing that enhances the body you have, not the one you wish to have. If your goal is to lose weight or add muscle, that's great, but if you're not quite there yet, you don't do yourself any favors by thinking you are. If you have a healthy mid-section, for example, low-slung, tight-waisted jeans are just going to reminder people that you have a gut.

3) Do exercise that makes you feel good in your body. If you hate the treadmill but love dancing, then go to a disco, or take a two-step class. Forcing ourselves to do something just because everybody else does is not a recipe for satisfaction.

4) Don't weigh yourself every day. Even if you're on a diet, and want to know results, weighing yourself is psychologically fraught: you may get an ego boost, or you may get a great big dose of reality. A weigh-in once a week should be sufficient.

5) Find one part of your body that you like, and remind yourself about it the next time you're tempted to deride yourself for a physical "flaw."

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