I know that an issue that concerns a lot of people is staying fit and healthy (or actually just looking good in a new dress slash when they're in their birthday suit). And a lot of people approach these two very broad terms I've thrown out there, in various different ways.
Some starve themselves, then binge, and feel guilty about it afterwards, some avoid certain foods entirely, some exercise too much (but with the wrong form and technique), and other don't exercise at all because they're not really sure what to do etc etc.
With so much information readily available already on the internet, in magazines, books, just ready to slap you in the face with the overload of it all, I thought I'd try and add in my two cents.
I know, I know, I don't have a degree in this, I cannot vouch to being some sort of expert in any of this, but personal experience, my bookworminess and a passion for the gym and group fitness has given me some in-sight which I can share with those who are interested.
I believe that the first step in towards any kind of health and fitness, is...wait for it...it's gonna blow your mind...
Changing your mindset.
A lot of women, and men!, have a very negative mindset about their appearance. It's common for women to complain to each other about their "problem areas". I have lost count of the amount of times I have been approached by various girls and women, asking me how to lose fat from certain areas. So this is where I have to start with the myth dispelling. You cannot lose weight from certain areas of you body. To make your bum smaller, your thighs narrower, your stomach flatter, your arms buffalo wingless, you need to lose weight overall. That's how serious this is, I'm using bold font. But back to how people perceive themselves; you are your own harshest critic. A lot of things you might dislike about yourself, nobody else will notice.
So first things first.
Search and destroy the issues. Why exactly do you dislike your bum so much? Is it because some jerk of an ex-boyfriend made some remark about it that one time, and now it's stuck? Really think about why you are experiencing low self-esteem in regards to your body, and try to resolve the issue. Imagine how unloved that part/your whole body feels when you look at it and dislike it. It's you! Why would you dislike any part of you? You're entirely unique, one of a kind, ain't no one else out there like you. It's something you should be proud of!
Put it into perspective. Be grateful. In order to gain a fit and healthy lifestyle, and to maintain it, it's going to be a lifelong dedication, and it's going to start with you looking at yourself with more positivity. Sometimes we all need to take a step back and really put it into perspective. You don't like the way your legs look? Hey, at least you HAVE legs which you can use to walk, run, jump, climb mountains with, etc., and there are others out there who don't and would give anything to have a pair, no matter what they look like. You don't like the way your face has too many blackheads/your cheekbones aren't prominent enough? Well, at least you have a face which hasn't been eaten away by acid, or been melted away by fire.
So put things into perspective. Be grateful you actually own functioning body parts.
Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. When you're standing there, looking at yourself in the mirror, and being super mean towards yourself, find at least 3 things you do really like about yourself and don't walk away until you have. It doesn't even have to be a physical trait, it can be something about your personality, or something you've done recently that you're proud of yourself for. And then think, it was this body that helped you achieve this positive thing, why demean it?
Everything has to start with a small step. Let that first step towards a healthier and fitter future start with positive thoughts!