This topic was discussed with Janki Rana, who is a pharmacist, nutritionist and an online fitness coach. She resides in Mumbai and tells us how fitness helped her overcome the self-image issues, social anxiety etc.
The age of puberty:
- It is the time when teens are more concerned about their self-image in front of others including looks, body shape etc
- An ill effect on self-image can cause significant damage to teenagers or more to become adults.
- They tend to choose people with the same body shape, size, colour so that they don’t get a feeling of inferiority.
- Hence, Self-image issues should be taken care of right from the prior age so that one can stay mentally healthy.
What are the problems faced by people with large/extra small body size? Or even dark complexions?
- Minimum social interactions
- Avoiding making any friends
- People assume you to be an introvert
- Constant anxiety is present about the issue
- Confidence is degraded
- Stage fear – no assurance to present yourself in public
- Relatives or family making fun or taunting which is not approved.
How should one build up a good self-image?
- Weight lifting – it builds up your confidence, makes you realise your strengths and capabilities.
- Gym – regular gym keeps you active and healthy throughout the day, also it helps bring a glow on your skin instantly after a few days.
- Diet – following a proper diet given you by a professional will help a lot to boost your metabolism and lose/gain weight.
What are the changes one will definitely see in their self-image after taking care of fitness?
- Before: negativity in thoughts, over feeling or being very self-conscious about looks and shape, some tend to hate themselves for how they are, minimum social interaction, less confidence.
- After: positivity and energy throughout, start loving yourself for how you are, confidence levels are boosted, social interaction increases, motivation to do other work.
What should one prioritise, mental health or physical health regarding self-image issues?
- It is considered excellent if both mental and physical health is taken care of, hand in hand.
- But, one should prioritise mental health before physical because one who is mentally healthy can convince himself/herself to give a physical performance.
- One should be mentally ready to focus on developing his/her image for himself/herself and not for people.
- Regarding physical health – take proper education from a professional to succeed in the right way.
Overall advises on the development of self and self-image:
- Always consult professionals regarding fitness or diet or exercises schedules.
- DO NOT starve for weight loss. Achieve goals by healthy practices only.
- Be confident in whatever task you do. Do it for yourself and not for the sake of others.
- Trust and thrust yourself daily to keep yourself motivated throughout your journey.
- DO NOT compare yourself with others like friends, actresses etc. Your only competition is your self, compare yourself only with your past for betterment.
- Keep clicking yourself in front of the mirror to see the changes. Functional changes will definitely motivate you to do better.
- Never stress on your diet. Diet happily and healthy.
- Take small steps, one at a time towards your goal. Things don’t change in a few days.
- Don’t take pills/medicines or detox for anything. Keep it natural always.
- Keep changing your lifestyle to a healthy one step by step.
If you are a parent of a child having self-image issues because of obesity or skinny body:
- Understand your kid, don’t demoralise him/her in any way
- Try to improve and make efforts together.
- DO NOT degrade their confidence by your words, they are the closest to you and hence will affect them mentally.
- Don’t force them to get into shape against their will but try to improve their lifestyle, diet accordingly.