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Session 1

Body Image and Healthy Eating

Session 1

Introduction to body image

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Welcome! For anyone who may be struggling with negative body image, pressure to look a certain way, and food or eating. Start your journey towards body positivity by learning that your value as a person is more than appearance, weight or calories. Develop your self-esteem, question beauty standards and diet culture, and learn more about your body’s energy and nourishment needs.

Feeling comfortable in your body

Intuitive and balanced eating

Breaking free from diet culture

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Brought to you by

East London
NHS Foundation

NELFT NHS Foundation Trust

Body image is not a 'vanity thing'

How we think of our bodies inside our minds

What is body image?

Changing your body does not necessarily
change your body image!

Body image is the way we think and feel about the way our body looks and functions, and the way we behave and treat our bodies. It's about how we evaluate our appearance, and how we relate to our bodies more broadly.

We can’t always see the extent of somebody’s body image struggles. It can be linked to so many aspects of oneself, as the body image iceberg shows!

Warm up!
Guess the celebrity!

Can you guess the celebrities in the image? Enter your answers

The Rock
Serena Williams
Kim Kardashian
Taylor Swift
Michael McIntyre
Question 1 of 7
What is body image?
Why did you select this option?
Question 2 of 7
What is the average woman’s dress size in the UK?
Why did you select this option?
Question 3 of 7
The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by less than _% of females. 
Why did you select this option?
Question 4 of 7
What percentage of teenage girls are NOT happy with their body? 
Why did you select this option?
Question 5 of 7
What percentage of teenage boys are unhappy about their body?
Why did you select this option?
Question 6 of 7
When following appearance-based accounts, and comparing yourself to those accounts, how many minutes on Instagram per day can make people feel worse about their bodies and impact self-esteem?
Why did you select this option?
Question 7 of 7
We've heard of various fad diets, that are offered as quick ways to lose weight... but how often do they fail? Between _ and _ percent of the time!
Why did you select this option?

Quiz result:

Positive body image vs Poor body image

  • Your appearance does not define your value as a person.
  • Accepting your body regardless of whether it meets societal beauty standards.
  • Feeling connected to your body and being able to listen to it more.
  • Feelings of gratitude towards your body.
  • Does not mean being vain/showing off. Vain = happy if meeting ideals of beauty.
  • Dissatisfied with appearance.
  • Being obsessive and preoccupied with your appearance.
  • Worrying about how you look and are perceived.
  • Low self-esteem.

Here are some descriptions of positive body
image that other young people gave

Being happy with how your
body actually is

Not letting your appearance rule your life

Recognising that who you are as a person is more important than how you look

Believing how healthy your body is to be more important than how it looks

Feeling comfortable with your body

Realising that the perfect body does not exist

Accepting your body for how it is

What does negative body image mean to young people?

Thinking that how I look matters more than my health

Worrying that my friends are negatively judging my appearance

Feeling like my worth is based on how others see me

Feeling uncomfortable in my own skin

Feeling like there is something wrong with my body

Being constantly aware of what might be wrong with my appearance

Being very critical towards my body

Pretty is a lie – Nikita Gill

What if I told you the word pretty is a skin deep, 6 letter prison they put you in.

They say if you lost some weight you’d be so pretty.

If your skin was clearer, you’d be so pretty.

But what they really mean is, if only you looked like our mass produced ideal, you’d be so pretty.

Let me tell you a secret, they do not want you to know.

Nothing about you is pretty, nor will it ever be so. You see pretty is too small and simple a word to capture the exquisitely complex human phenomenon that you are.

Every atom of you was plucked between the quiet between supernovas and stars. A carefully chosen palette of your skin, your eyes, your muscles and bones from sunsets and skies.

Myths and misconceptions

There are many misconceptions about body image; these can be triggering and maintain your negative body image thoughts. Let's review some common myths...

Clean the social media lens

Serena Williams

You all can judge my body all you want, but at the end of the day it’s MY body. I love it and I’m comfortable in my own skin.

Simone Biles

You define beauty yourself. Society doesn't define your beauty.

Lady Gaga

Clean the social media lens

1. Remind yourself to see your body as an instrument, not an ornament.
2. Consider a media cleanse. Choose to reject objectifying posts, unhelpful accounts and toxic conversations.
3. Take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions.
4. Join forces with friends and family to see more and be more!

Good accounts to follow

  • @the.wellness.psychologist
  • @danaemercer
  • @antidietriotclub
  • @bodyimage_therapist
  • @laurathomasnutrition
  • @bodiposipoet
  • @pixienutrition
  • @drcolleenreichmann
  • @thebodylovesociety
  • @beauty_redefined
  • @nudenutritionrd
  • @tallyrye
  • @meganjaynecrabbe
  • @foodandfearless
You’re empowering.

I like your voice.

You’re strong.

I think your ideas/beliefs matter.
I’m so happy you exist.
You’re a very warm hearted person.

It’s nice seeing such kindness.

You’re very down to earth.

You have a beautiful soul.

You inspire me to become a better person.

You’re intelligent.

Your confidence is refreshing.
You’re great at being creative.
You’re so talented at ___.

You have great taste in ___.

I wish more people were like you.

Compliment yourself on your strengths!

Write down 2 compliments to yourself,
other than your appearance.

Think about your qualities (caring, kind, loving, honest), your
ambitions, what your friends or family might say about you.

Choosing to highlight traits unrelated to appearance
helps to reinforce the idea that self-worth is based on
so much more than appearance.

Where does negative body image come from?

From a young age, it is imprinted into us to look a certain way.

What role do media, advertising, corporate enterprises play?

How are body image problems caused and maintained?

Why do we have such a problem with body image?

Question the root of society’s body image issues and challenge unrealistic beauty standards…

Negative body image develops over time. It’s not something we begin life with.


When does body image begin to worsen? What affects how we feel about it? What may have impacted your body image?

Identifying these things allows us to think about best next steps to work towards positive body image.

What factors influence our body image?

From a young age, children may begin to develop an idea of what the 'perfect body' is. This may include thoughts about being a particular weight.

If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?

Dove Real Beauty sketches | You’re more beautiful than you think



Well Done!

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References or Creators Credit


My Notes

Supporting Videos

The Fight, Flight, Freeze Response

If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?

Mindful Eating