How do you feel about your body?

Words: Nicci Talbot

I spoke to Nina Grunfeld recently, the founder of Life Clubs, 90-minute weekly self-development workshops that take place all over the UK and beyond. I’m interested in several of upcoming workshops including ‘body image’ and ‘making relationships work’ so asked Nina to tell me how it all works. ‘Each of our workshops is incredibly interactive and great fun,’ she says. ‘We’re all about mental health – i.e. keeping your mind healthy.’

Here’s an outline of next month’s workshop on body image.

26th July 2011 – From The Outside In

Our self-image has an effect on most parts of our life. In this workshop you will work on the way you feel about your body and how that affects the rest of your life. Plus make an action plan to achieve a positive self-image in the future.


Understand the benefits of having a bad self-image

Learn eight ways to improve your self-image

Understand what you’d gain from having a positive self-image

Nina points out that our self-image has a knock-on effect on most parts of our life (relationships, health and fitness, self-worth and so on). The workshop includes a visualisation exercise in which you look at yourself critically and then with praise so you can evaluate the difference. How difficult is the latter? She believes that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ‘We’ve all seen beauties almost apologising for their presence, and we’ve all seen ‘uglies’ glow from within and become gorgeous.’

Here are some tips from Nina on how to achieve that inner confidence so take some time out today and go through your body from top to toe. I suggest pinning this list up somewhere you can read it regularly as it’s inspiring. It’s about taking time and being kind to yourself. Simple stuff but easy to overlook.

  1. In bed in the early morning, stretch 10 times and then drink your first glass of water.
  2. Make bad hair days a thing of the past.
  3. Smile at yourself in the mirror and use positive affirmations: ‘You look great’.
  4. Keep your thoughts positive to avoid frown wrinkles – enjoy the wind and the rain rather than scrunching your face up against them.
  5. Exercise your brain – absorb new things do brain teasers and grow as a person.
  6. Use goals to give your life purpose and direction.
  7. Believe in yourself – do one small thing a day and notice your confidence growing.
  8. Get enough sleep – have cat naps if necessary.
  9. Make sure you smell good – wash thoroughly and use cologne or perfume to lift your spirits.
  10. Find friends to laugh with and watch comedies on TV.
  11. Floss every evening.
  12. Listen to other’s closely. That’s real communication – learn from them.
  13. Choose underwear for yourself as if you were buying it for your best friend.
  14. Stand and sit up straight.
  15. Be grateful for everything in life –  including your body.
  16. Breathe rhythmically and deeply to regain your energy and stay calm.
  17. Eat slowly and consciously and as healthily as possible.
  18. Be aware of your fears and conquer them one at a time – keep challenging yourself.
  19. Do some work for others – giving makes one feel good.
  20. Have a cold shower after a hot one to close your pores and invigorate you.
  21. Find the good points of your physique and accentuate them.
  22. If you can’t find any good points – change your physique.
  23. Find your own style and take the trouble to look good – even if you’re not seeing anyone, you’re seeing yourself.
  24. Enjoy yourself and others will enjoy you.

Laugh more. Love more. Play more. Earn more.

Nina Grunfeld is the author of The Big Book of Me and The Big Book of Us (Short Books) and has columns in several newspapers. She runs Life Clubs in companies, such as First Capital Connect, UBS and Diageo and regularly talks to groups such as entrepreneurs at Sheffield Technology Parks, self-help affectionados at Alternatives and students at the Royal College of Art as well as running her weekly Life Club in Westminster.

In 2010 Nina’s The Life Book (Prentice Hall) was published as well as How To Get What You Want, a book for young people (Walker Books).

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