How to set realistic body goals

The growth of social media and a new kind of digital celebrity culture has given rise to an unrealistic and often unhealthy notion of ‘the perfect body’. Whether you’re scrolling through your news feed, catching up with the latest stories, watching television or flicking through a fashion mag, chances are that you’ll be confronted with picture-perfect representations of an idealised body image that are often wildly inaccurate and unattainable. If you’re struggling with your own body image or you’re looking for a more realistic and healthy way to set goals for yourself, consider these factors when you look in the mirror:

Body Image Today – Whether it be the so-called ‘hourglass figure’ or the recent trend for ‘size zero’ models, the fashion industry has always presented an idealised version of the ‘perfect bod’, especially when it comes to women. The fact is, the trending body shapes often championed in glossy mags and by social media influencers are usually achieved through the use of photoshop software, makeup and even surgery. When setting goals for your own body, try not to take airbrushed images as inspiration – these often unnatural images are not representative of real women. If you do feel the need to replicate the body image trends you see in the media and online by opting for surgery, ask yourself beforehand: is it really worth it? Always consider the health risks associated with surgery and crash diets before making any drastic decisions when chasing your body goals.

Unrealistic Celebrity Standards –   If you’re struggling to set reasonable goals for your own health and body image, take into account the fact that even the most famous celebrities may have the same worries, whether that be the Kardashians allegedly paying paparazzi to doctor their pics or models undergoing surgery to achieve their dream look. Always remember that we all suffer from insecurities, regardless of our income, profession or status. The next time you see an idealised representation of a woman on your screen, ask yourself how realistic the image really is.

Look After Your Mental and Physical Health – While it’s important to be confident in your own body, never let yourself prioritise aesthetics over health and fitness. Failing to look after yourself and holding unhealthy attitudes towards body image can lead to a decline in your well-being and even lead to serious conditions such as body dysmorphia. By sticking to a healthy diet, staying hydrated, exercising regularly and taking the time to look after your mental health, you could find that your body goals are achieved more quickly than you ever imagined, or realigned altogether. Always stay positive and take one step at a time when setting goals for yourself – try to set realistic SMART targets that are easy to measure and achieve.

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