Ways to Strengthen Runner’s Body Image and Positivity

As runners, we need to make sure that we’re protecting our body image and promoting body positivity. Acknowledge that all of our bodies are different, setting aside judgments, opinions, and expectations of what our body should look like as runners.

Know that all of our bodies are incredible and capable of so much.

They can go ultra distances, but on a cellular functional level they are more impressive. Appreciate, love, and respect that. All abilities of bodies are impressive!

Self-care is obviously very important. Appropriate recovery and nutrition, among all of the other ways that we support our bodies.

We have to check our negative and distorted thoughts about our bodies. What kind of thoughts are you having about your body? Are you flipping the script of those thoughts? Using words of kindness?

Positive affirmations, caring thoughts, embracing ourselves how we are in the moment, and focusing on the resiliency of our bodies are a few ways to go about promoting healthier and more realistic thoughts.

Remember, thoughts are just thoughts, what you choose to do with them is what matters! We all have negative thoughts.

It’s okay to want to improve our bodies and become sharper athletes. Make sure you’re going about it in the right way and not causing harm or injury.

Be present and content with how you are because our bodies do so much for us, they change day-to-day, anyway.

Give thanks to your body, even the challenging parts.

Forgive yourself for things that you have said or done to your body that you shouldn’t have.

A good way to do this is to look at yourself in the mirror and repeat these things, allowing them to settle into your heart. Let yourself heal. Mirror Work activity here.

When hurtful words and actions come from other people, we don’t have control over that. We choose to control how we react. Have some sort of comeback or body positive affirmation in your back pocket for when this occurs. Protect yourself, stand up for yourself.

Many people out there will have something negative to say about your body. It sucks, it shouldn’t happen, but try to not allow it to take a hold of you. You’re better than that and you’re worth it.

Plain ignoring the person is fine, but it feels better saying something positive about your body. To top that, say something amazing about the part of your body that they are judging or criticizing. Use your strength and take a stand.

Usually, when someone says something bad about us, it is to try to gain something for themselves. They could be trying to make themselves feel better about how they look or are feeling insecure or have a lack of confidence in themselves. It’s not necessarily about you, their behavior is about them.

You know what’s best for your body, but if you’re honestly struggling with body image and eating, reach out for support. Strengthen yourself through people who are there to help you. It’s alright to need any level of help with something.

You could contact a professional mental health counselor, someone who specializes in body image and eating. Dietitians and nutritionists. A running coach, maybe even one who is certified in nutrition. For a good shot at getting the best support for you, make sure that they are a good fit to work with.

As a running community, let’s continue the conversation, sticking together on issues like this, and lifting each other up.

More body image and running content

Body Talk Activity for Body Image

Body Image Journal Prompt for Athletes

Activity – Body Appreciation and Positivity

Dear Active and Runner Moms Who Experience “Mom Guilt”

Body Image Journal Prompt for Athletes

Breakneck Falls, McConnell Mills State Park

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One of my many goals is to help endurance athletes (of all abilities, newer to sport, and retired) strengthen their mindsets and level up their mental well-being, so that they can finish stronger in their race and in life.

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7 thoughts on “Ways to Strengthen Runner’s Body Image and Positivity

  1. Beautiful photo of Breakneck Falls, McConnell’s Mills aligns nicely with the thoughts of your blog, Shannon!

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