Next time you are watching a television show, pay attention to the commercials. How many do you see in a one hour time frame that tell you that you’d be happier if you changed your appearance in some way?

Messages from the media (and from one another) often tell us that we should want to change in order to look more beautiful, skinnier, or younger. If we don’t, we fear falling target to someone else’s body shaming comments.

Body shaming is the act of criticizing yourself or others based on some part of physical appearance. 2014 was a year in which we saw many different instances of body shaming.

We live in a society that has the power to make us believe that there’s a perfect body that we need to attain in order to be worthy of love, respect, or praise. Meet Caitlin. When a picture of her went viral, strangers mocked her for her weight by posting hateful comments. Instead of accepting the cruelty, she fought back by messaging those who wrote the hateful comments and sent out copyright violation notices.

Instead of judging yourself or others based on their weight, physical features, or something you’ve deemed a flaw, refuse to engage in body shaming. It might be difficult at first; it can be easy to look in the mirror and say “I’m too pale” or “I wish my shirt didn’t fit this tight.” But the best way to develop a healthy relationship with your body and with food is to stop shaming and start affirming your healthy habits and what you’re doing right.

Promote healthy living by getting to know your body. Live a healthy lifestyle in regards to exercise and nutrition. If you’re concerned about being overweight or underweight, consult with your doctor about a nutrition plan that will work best for your body.

Having a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean that a person is thin, or toned, or perfectly shaped. Many other factors come into play when it comes to body shape. Someone might be following a strict diet and exercising daily, but could still struggle to lose weight because they have a disease. Someone who is really skinny may be working with a therapist to overcome an eating disorder. Your comments to either of these people would be damaging to their self-esteem.

Take a look back at our blog post from September on overcoming body image issues, and reasons why a therapist might be beneficial if you suffer from negative views of yourself.

If you’d like to set up an appointment to talk to Reka, she can be reached at 402-881-8125. You can also email her at  Make sure to follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: This Is A Wake Up Call via photopin cc