Body image is often framed, incorrectly, as a black-and-white issue: Either you feel good about your body, or you don’t.  The reality, however, looks more like a spectrum, eating disorders specialist Riley Nickols, PhD, CEDS says.

An unwholesome body image is often distorted and contributes to feelings of distress. You may fixate on your flaws, and spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about the ways you need to change your diet, exercise routine, or other habits to fix them. “Disproportionate” can’t necessarily be quantified into a number of minutes or hours, but rather entails “the degree of interference it has on your thoughts, actions, and behaviors,” he says. A healthier, more wholesome perspective, meanwhile, means accepting your natural shape and size, feeling secure and comfortable in your skin, and recognizing that your appearance is just one small part of your identity.

Read the entire article in Women’s Running Magazine.

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