Body Positivity Begins With You: How Health and Wellness Plays Into Self Esteem
Written by Tatiana Phillips on February 21, 2022
One of the hardest generational curses and learned behaviors to break is how one views their body, how they treat their body and how they allow others to treat them. Without self-respect, body positivity cannot show up. Unfortunately, many adults are dissatisfied with their bodies in some form or another, and because of this, teach their children to dislike their bodies as well. How we speak to ourselves, how we treat ourselves, and how we allow others to treat us are the examples our children see and inherit.
Some of the negative ways we allow ourselves to have poor self-esteem is through unhealthy eating habits, living a sedentary lifestyle, developing eating disorders, partaking in risky sexual behavior, allowing others to disrespect our bodies or speak ill of us, drug use or alcohol abuse and negative self talk. Unfortunately, these negative behaviors impact how our children will develop. Often, it leads to their own unhealthy behaviors.
Eating Disorders and Body Positivity
Did you know…?
Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media. Some even resort to eating disorders because of that. 28.8 million people experience an eating disorder at some point in their life. Eating disorders not only have damaging effects that can last a lifetime, but some even lead to death. (DoSomething, nd).
If you suffer from an eating disorder, call or text: (800) 931-2237
If you are in a crisis and need help immediately, text “NEDA” to 741741
1 in 5. That’s how many people in America have an STI according to the CDC. That’s roughly 68 million Americans. According to the CDC, in 2018 alone, there were 26 million new STI cases. Half of them were youth ages 15-24 years old. (CDC, 2021). It is estimated that $16 billion was the medical costs for STI related expenses. More than $1 billion were attributed to chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis combined. About 60% of these combined costs from chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were among young people ages 15-24 yrs. Nearly 75% of the $2.2 billion in non-HIV-related STI medical costs were among women. (CDC, 2021).
If you are seeking treatment or testing for an STI, call: 1-800-232-4636
Building Healthy Habits Now For Better Body Positivity
One of the best ways to flip the script is by consciously creating healthy habits. This can include things such as taking control of building healthy nutritional habits such as
- Learning what foods truly fuel the body including whole foods, fruit and vegetables.
- Developing a physical exercise routine. Exercising 30 minutes a day is helpful towards building a healthy habit.
- Mindfulness and meditation. Find a healthy way to channel emotions and process trauma and stress.
- Regular health screenings including being tested for STI’s. It’s important to have regular check-ups with your doctor to learn what preventative measures you can take to stay healthy.
- Taking time to process and communicate feelings effectively with family members to express boundaries and prevent negative body comments. Even if your children don’t hear arguments or negative comments, they get a ripple effect of how you receive those things.
Help break negative self-esteem by creating a healthy example for your children.
CDC. Sexually Transmitted Infections Prevalence, Incidence, and Cost Estimates in the United States. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/prevalence-incidence-cost-2020.htm
CDC. CDC estimates 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a sexually transmitted infection. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. 2021, January 25. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0125-sexualy-transmitted-infection.html.
DoSomething.org. 11 Facts About Body Image. Nd. https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-body-image.