Improving Your Self-Image

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Self-image has two facets: the ideal self-image or what we want to become and the perceived self-image or what we think or observe as whom we are. The key to a healthy lifestyle is bridging these two together to build a strong self-concept and learn to accept and love our selves.

There are two ways to achieve this goal. First is to adjust your ideal self-image or expectations to fit who you are in reality. The second option is to match who you are with who you expect to become. The primary and hardest hurdle in achieving your goal is self-acceptance or recognition. How do you accept who we are?

Love your body.

Physically, this is who you are. Strip down and look at yourself in the mirror. Know your contours, your scars, your moles. Accept your beauty and imperfections. Only then can you move on and find ways and means to improve your body.

Take care of yourself.

Do not abuse your body by drinking too much alcohol, smoking excessively, or eating unhealthily. Learn to exercise, eat right, and constantly feed your mind by reading or talking to people.

Improve your attitude towards yourself.

More often than not, it is not your body or you which have the problem. It is your perception of beauty and your loathing for yourself for not conforming perfectly to that standard. This is the reason you do not like who you are. Improve your outlook to improve the way you look.

Acceptance is the key.

Accept how people react to you. Create a space where their reaction will not affect how you see yourself.

Be confident.

There is an ongoing power play between your self-image and your actual self or your physical appearance. And it is your self-image which should be winning this battle. Have confidence in your appearance and capability. Do not be thrown off-balance by other people’s standards of beauty and personality.

Most importantly, do not feel guilty about self-appreciation. The best judge of who you are is you. Learn to validate yourself. Do not feel guilty about saying that you did a great job.

The essential vitamin E is gaining popularity these days because people associate it with youth, beauty, and healthy skin. However, vitamin E can do more wonders for your body, other than make you pretty and healthy outside.

Vitamin E, which is often believed as a fertility vitamin, is fat soluble and acts as an antioxidant. It protects the red blood cells, essential fatty acids, and the vitamins A and C from damage by free radicals. Vitamin E contains a family of 8 antioxidants, composed of four tocopherols and four tocotienols. The only form of vitamin E that stays in the human body is alpha-tocopherol. This is the reason why alpha-tocopherol is the form of vitamin E found in the largest quantities in the blood and tissue.

Also, vitamin E functions in our body as a fat-soluble antioxidant. All throughout the body, it is located in tissues containing fat, even the protective membranes surrounding cells and their nuclei. It protects cells and other body components from the attacks of free radicals. Take note that when left unchecked, free radicals damage cell constituents, particularly those containing polyunsaturated fatty acids. In the end, this could lead to mutation that may be carcinogenic, inactivation of proteins and enzymes, and even cell death or changes in the response of cells to hormones and neurotransmitters

It has a direct chemical function by inhibiting the conversion of nitrites in smoked, cured, and pickled foods to nitrosamines in the stomach, which strongly promote the growth of tumors. It regulates gene expression and is believed to control the proliferation of smooth muscle cells involved in the development of atherosclerosis.

Studies indicate that those with high levels of vitamin E have shown lower incidence of infections because it inhibits cancer initiation through better immunocompetence. It could also lessen the gravity of prostaglandin-mediated disorders like premenstrual syndrome, circulatory irregularities, and inflammation.

Deficiency in vitamin E leads to various illnesses like beriberi, pellagra, scurvy, rickets, premature infants, fibrocystic breast disease, night cramps in the calves, and fat malabsorption syndromes to name a few. Over a long time, insufficient vitamin E has been linked to degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer.

However, one has to be careful in taking vitamin E since over dosage could lead to toxicity.

Bottom line is, one need not overlook the benefits of vitamin E. Remember, health and beauty is not complete without “E”!