Suggestions for Boosting Body Image

Cancer is one such disease that does not come alone and is rather accompanied with quite a few issues. The disease and its treatment can prove physically, mentally, financially and emotionally challenging. One major challenge that most of the cancer patients and survivors have to deal with is body image.

images (9)We have already discussed certain issues related to body image that may arise during cancer treatment.

What is Body Image?

Body image is one’s perception of one’s body irrespective of what others think.

Body image may be positive or negative. As discussed in the article ‘Body Image and Cancer Patients‘, a negative body image can trigger a variety of negative emotions like anxiety, being self conscious, shame, insecurity, uncertainty.

Dealing with Negative Body Image

Every cancer patient and survivor has a different way of dealing with issues related to body image. While someone may be open to moving around with a bald head another person may be completely averse to it. It is important to remember that all cancer treatments may not result in loss of hair. Weight, scars from surgery, loss of a body part, body shape there are so many issues that a cancer patient and/or survivor learns to cope up with.

A negative body image is completely understandable but the idea is not to get embroiled in a negative thought process and rather replace them with positive thoughts. A negative body image can be devastating if you feel necessary do not hesitate to take help of a professional for the same. In this article we discuss a few suggestions that can prove helpful in boosting a dwindling or a low body image.

Suggestions for Boosting Body Image

  • Ask for what to expect

First and foremost it is important to know and understand what to expect. It is only after this that you can prepare yourself for the same. Ask your surgeon, oncologist and radiologist what to expect in terms of body image.

  • Take your time

Knowledge about what to expect will only help you understand the changes to expect. You will have to make a conscious effort to accept yourself and the changes your body is going through. Take your time. If you feel like crying go ahead and do it. It may take a little longer in some patients and survivors while others may be completely fine with the changes that their body may go through.

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  • Talk and Prepare

 Talk with other patients in order to understand how and what they did to deal with specific issues. They may be able to offer some interesting and useful suggestions that can prove helpful. You can also ask for stores and sites that provide the various accessories like headscarves, ear rings, prosthesis etc.

  • You are the same person

Do not forget that the change that your body is going through is only an external aspect. You are still the same person who was before the disease was diagnosed and treatment was started. People know you for what you are, they like you for what you are and your physical appearance. People around you may initially be curious about your appearance but will eventually come to accept how you look.

  • Accept the new normal

It is important to remind yourself and accept that this is the new normal. images (7) Accept yourself in the new avatar, be it super slim due to weight loss or a little round shape due to gain.  Acceptance of self will make you happy with yourself. A happy self will be relaxed, confident and ready for the new challenges.

  • Love yourself 

Love yourself and be good to yourself. Irrespective of what you think of your body image, it is important to take care of yourself. Eat healthy and nutritious, exercise to stay fit.

Body Image

Love Yourself Always

Be regular with your medication and work for your holistic health. Stay happy and positive from within you will automatically see a positive change in your BI. You will see how people are complimenting you and you will start loving yourself.

  • Have a strong will

All that you need is a strong will power. If beauty could win hearts then all the attractive people on earth would be in happy relationships.  Concentrate on the assets that god has gifted you with rather than thinking about the physical features that you never had.

The Positive

Cancer may not only bring negative body image with it. There are people who may report of positive changes also. Cancer treatment often encourages people to go through a complete change in lifestyle which has a positive impact on their overall appearance. Regular exercise,  limited intake of food and alcohol, relaxation techniques go a long way in adding to your physical appearance and persona.

Author
  • dhiraj-photo
  • Dhiraj
  • A periodontist from KMC Manipal currently Associate Professor at RB Group