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HEALTH & WELLBEING: Taofique Talks Body Positivity

I’m here to tell you that you are special, and your body is amazing, just the way it is!

Listen, I know it’s easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others and feeling like
we’re not good enough. But the truth is, our bodies are unique, which makes them
beautiful. Body positivity isn’t just about accepting our bodies; it’s about celebrating
them! It’s about loving ourselves, flaws and all, and recognising that our bodies are
capable of amazing things.

So, whether you’re feeling insecure about your weight, height, or any other aspect of your
appearance, I’m here to tell you that you are enough! You can create positive change in
your life, starting with how you view your body.

For gay and bisexual men, we face unique challenges regarding body image and social
expectations. The pressure to conform to a specific body type can be overwhelming, and
the typical emphasis on having a muscular and toned physique can create feelings of
inadequacy and self-doubt. As a result, many gay and bisexual men struggle with body
dysmorphia.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition where a person becomes
obsessed with perceived flaws in their physical appearance. Men with BDD may feel
insecure and preoccupied with their appearance, often focusing on specific features such
as skin, hair, nose, or body shape. They may spend a significant amount of time and
money trying to improve their appearance, engaging in excessive exercise, plastic
surgery, or grooming. It can also lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as disordered eating
or substance abuse.

There are several ways to combat body dysmorphia, improve one’s body image and learn
to love our bodies.

A. Seek professional help: It is crucial to seek help from a mental health professional,
such as a therapist or counsellor, who can support and guide you in managing body
dysmorphia. They can also offer treatment options such as cognitive-behavioral
therapy (CBT) or medication to help alleviate symptoms.

B. Practice self-care: Engage in self-care activities such as regular exercise, getting
enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet to promote physical and mental well-being.
This can help improve one’s self-esteem and overall body image.

C. Challenge negative thoughts: Recognise negative thoughts and feelings about your
appearance and challenge them with positive affirmations. For example, if you
criticise your body, focus on what you like about yourself instead.

D. Surround yourself with positive influences: Surround yourself with positive people who
support and encourage positive body image and self-acceptance. Avoid social media
or other media that promote unrealistic beauty standards and trigger negative
thoughts and feelings.

E. Practice mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga to
help manage stress and anxiety related to body dysmorphia. Mindfulness can also
help improve self-awareness and promote self-acceptance.

F. Educate yourself: Learn about body positivity and diversity to help challenge societal
norms and expectations around body image. This can also promote acceptance and
inclusivity for all body types and sizes. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of body dysmorphia, It is essential to seek help from a mental health professional.

Achieving body positivity is not always easy, and overcoming negative thoughts and
feelings about our bodies takes time and effort. Let’s strive for a world where everyone can feel confident and comfortable in their skin, regardless of their body type.

Remember, you are powerful, you are unique, and you are beautiful!
Taofique Folarin
@taofiquefolarin
www.folarinfitness.com

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