Three Of The Best Body Image Tips (From a Body Image Blogger)!

No matter what your relationship to food and your body is, or  if and where you are in the process of recovery, body image tips are always useful! Today, we have a great guest post from Margarita Tartakovsky, a good friend of! Margarita writes the body image blog Weightless on and has her own blog on self-improvement called Self-ish. She also holds an MS in clinical psychology from Texas A&M University. Thanks so much for these great tips, Margarita! Enjoy!

The Best Body Image Tips

As a body image blogger, I’ve come across some fantastic tips for improving body image – and really self-image in general. I’m thrilled to be able to share them with the readers of

Without further ado, here are my top tips.

1. Let go of the diet mentality. I used to adhere to a variety of diet rules, and you know what? They didn’t help me lose weight. (Diets don’t help others lose weight either. Diets fail 95 to 98 percent of the time.) Or finally feel good about myself. They just made me more miserable, and confused: confused about nutrition – I feared that eating a second apple in one day would make me fat – confused about what I actually wanted to eat and confused about when I was hungry. Inevitably, I’d overeat and feel terrible about my body and myself.

Having a diet mentality derails your body image because you’re constantly bashing your body. You might think that all that time, tears and effort you’ve spent on counting calories and restricting your intake doesn’t even make you thin. So you blame your stubborn, stupid body.

How can you ditch the diet mentality? First, recognize it. In an interview on Weightless, Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel, authors of The Diet Survivor’s Handbook, said to pay “…attention to the way you talk with yourself.  When you are making decisions about when, what and how much to eat, notice your thoughts. If you’re using words like “should” and “shouldn’t,” “healthy” and “unhealthy,” or “good” and “bad” around your decisions, then you are stuck in the diet mentality.”

Second, discover attuned eating or intuitive eating, which includes listening to your body’s internal hunger/satiety cues and enjoying eating. According to Matz and Frankel,  “As you become an attuned eater, you will learn that it’s not about which foods you eat per se that allow you to have a healthy relationship with food, but how you go about making decisions as to when, what and how much to eat.  For example, you will find that you’re just as off if you eat a cookie when you want an apple as you are if you eat an apple when you want a cookie.  The ‘healthy’ choice is the food that best matches your hunger at a particular moment.”

2. Reconnect with your body. At best, I used to see my body as an annoying acquaintance that wouldn’t listen to me. At worst, I saw it as an enemy. Many of us see our bodies as adversaries that refuse to look like we want them to. Or we just don’t see them at all. We give our bodies the passive-aggressive silent treatment. Of course, all these things cause us to sever ties with our bodies, to feel disconnected from what’s clearly a vital part of us.

There are various ways you can reconnect with your body and boost your image. Try yoga, which truly helps you feel comfy in your own skin. Write a letter to your body like Sally McGraw of Already Pretty did. Tune in to your body. When we ignore our needs, we disconnect further from our bodies. So ask yourself how you’re feeling throughout the day and whether your body needs nourishment, exercise, sleep or some relaxation. I can’t tell you how many times I misinterpreted feelings: What I thought was me being fat and gross was really me feeling upset, anxious and exhausted.

3. Discover Health At Every Size (HAES). My self-worth and idea of being healthy were wrapped up in numbers. In clothing sizes. In the numbers on the scale. But it’s funny that at my slimmest, I was also at my worst health-wise.

So, instead of focusing on weight, size or shape and bashing ourselves when we don’t look a certain way, focus on adopting healthy habits and accepting yourself. That’s the philosophy behind the HAES movement. HAES also encourages intuitive eating and participating in physical activities that you genuinely enjoy. Here’s more about HAES on Weightless.

What are some of your favorite body image tips? Are you stuck in the diet mentality? Do you equate thinness with health? -Margarita

For a new food-sanity or body-sanity tip every single day, follow @hlthygrl on Twitter!

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13 Responses to Three Of The Best Body Image Tips (From a Body Image Blogger)!

  1. […] Please check out my guest post on the three best body image tips at I’m so honored to guest post on this fantastic […]

  2. Hi Morgan and Sunny! Just wanted to thank you so much for the opportunity to guest post! It’s an honor, and I hope HealthyGirl readers find the tips helpful.

  3. Hope says:

    I like this, especially what you said about reconnecting with your body. Oftentimes I convince myself that my body knows no healthy way of eating, that I am just destined to give in to temptation and consequently suffer with the extra weight it creates on my body. However, on days when I feel reconnected with my body, I am able to recognize that I am in control of what goes in to my body and there is no outstanding force deciding my weight fate. Acknowledging this is one of the most helpful reminders for my food sanity.

    Thanks for the post!

  4. […] Check out my guest post over at on the best body image tips. Also, I’ve decided that each day I […]

  5. @ Hope, you’re so welcome! Thanks for your comment. I used to feel exactly the same way, thinking that my weight was my body’s fault. That if I gave up my diet rules, I’d never stop eating. But once I started listening to my body’s cues, what I really wanted to eat and how I felt, it made a world of difference. We are absolutely in control. Being kind to ourselves and respecting our bodies are so important. So is focusing on healthy habits and nourishing ourselves.

    Again, so happy you enjoyed the post! :)

  6. Angie says:

    Hi, Thank you for this posting. I read it a few days ago and have spent some time working on some of the exercises to improve my body image. I feel so much better, but know I have to work on a positive body image every day for it to work. Also, thanks to you for Weightless and sharing Alexis’s story. I just discovered the site and find Alexis to be an inspiration. I really appreciate people in recovery coming forward to say it’s hard, but worth it. Angie

  7. Angie, thank you so much for your sweet words! It’s so great to hear that you’re working through the exercises and find them helpful! I think Alexis and all the other women who share their stories of recovery are amazing and incredibly generous to spread the word.

    I’m really honored to be able to post their stories.

    Please don’t hesitate to let me know of any other topics you’d like to see on Weightless.

    Thanks again!!

  8. Laura says:

    It’s like a light bulb went off while reading this article. I have had a diet mentality since I was 12. After goin up and down with my weight I thought that I would just give up and “deal” with how my body is. My body is healthy and I never view it that way. I have viewed it as just a couple of pounds being away from “just right”. I am definately going to start appreciating how fortunate I am to have a healthy and reliable and young body. Thank you Morgan for an inspirational piece.

  9. Hi Laura! I’m so glad you found the post helpful - and that you had such a fantastic and important realization! I never thought much about the diet mentality, until I started reading more and realized just how wrapped up in it I was. I just assumed that this was the only way to be “healthy” and thin. Fortunately, it isn’t. I’ve also started being grateful for my body - and how awesome does that feel! It does a lot for me - and has forgiven me many times for refusing to nourish it. Thanks!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Great Post!!
    I am learning to TRUST my body, and listen to it much more than I used to. Feeding it what it wants and needs when it is hungry-be that a food hunger, a love hunger, an adventure hunger. I am working on becoming much more Mindful of HOW i eat-not just what I eat.
    Thanks for sharing these suggestions!

  11. Thanks so much, Elizabeth! That’s so great that you’re learning to trust your body! I think you hit the nail on the head: It’s just as important to focus on how you eat as what you eat - and to nourish your body in many different ways, whether that’s food, love or adventure and everything beyond and in between. :)

  12. […] of a Compulsive Overeater is back to share about her foray into intuitive eating. We’ve talked about this philosophy at before, and it’s one I ascribe to myself. Day before […]

  13. Sandy says:

    I first started restricting my food when I was a teen, and kept doing it on and off with the newest diet book, well into my 30s. I had no idea what my ‘normal ‘ size or shape should have been, because the dieting interrupted my normal growth - no one told me that we don’t reach our full adult growth until we’re around 22. Trusting our bodies is hard lesson, but maybe one of the most important ones we’ll ever learn - especially since we’re really taught that we *can’t* trust them!

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