Bringing healthy bodies to the fore and boosting body confidence

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 25 July, 2022

As women’s sport gains popularity worldwide, sportswomen are championing healthy bodies and banishing the myth that a woman's body should be a particular shape or size to be fit, strong and feminine.

Endeavour academic Skye Roxburgh is a Nutritionist and well-qualified to help women with disordered eating and weight management concerns. She welcomes the societal shift to a broader definition of healthy bodies.

“For many years, women have been objectified in media and society. Unfortunately, culture and societal norms dictated that women were valued for their form and external appearance, and women have internalised this stereotypical construct,” Skye explained.

“This construct of female beauty is unachievable for most women, so it only serves to feed shame, negative body image and self-esteem issues. Emphasis on external beauty makes many women self-conscious about their bodies and looks.

“As a society, let’s move away from the thin beauty norm and embrace body diversity that includes all shapes and sizes, and that is based on health, not appearance,” she said.

Skye is confident that if we can accept greater diversity of female body size, form and non-physical forms of sexy, fewer women will develop eating disorders and body image issues.

“Negative body image is strongly associated with the development of eating disorders and restrictive dieting,” Skye said. “The more severe version is called Body Dysmorphia Disorder. It is a serious mental health disorder and requires treatment with a qualified mental health professional.”

“The red flags for eating disorders include any drastic changes in eating and exercise routines or signs that women are examining their physical appearance obsessively. Another important red flag is extreme weight changes. Remember, a person does not have to be underweight to experience disordered eating or dietary behaviours that put their health at risk.”

Skye recommends three ways women can start boosting their body confidence.

Audit your social media feed

Remove any air-brushed, influencer-type social media pages that you follow. They may seem harmless, but research has shown a correlation between exposure to these pages and a reduction in positive body image. Replace them with pages that inspire you to be a more confident, strong and well-rounded person.

Upskill

Nothing makes you feel more confident and stronger than achieving a small goal. It doesn’t matter what you choose to upskill in. Pick something that sings to you and makes you feel more confident.

Re-train your brain

Start being aware of the silent critical voice. Remember, how we feel about our bodies will not be the same every day. Some days we have good days when we feel confident, and other days you might feel uncomfortable or even dislike parts of your body. When you catch yourself saying something negative about your body, start following it up with praise. Find one aspect of your body or non-physical attribute that you think is lovely and makes you smile. Replace that negative thought with a focus on an area of you or your life that you are happy with. Slowly you will re-train your brain to find more positives than negatives.

Interested in Nutrition?

Discover the world of nutrition through our practical, evidence-based courses. Find out more about our Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) and Nutrition Short Courses.


Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

Read more by Endeavour College of Natural Health

Related Articles