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Learn more about the results we get at Within

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10 body image affirmations

Eating disorders are often recognized by their physical symptoms, but some of the most harmful aspects of the conditions can take place in the mind.

Many people who struggle with eating disorders will repeat negative thoughts to themselves, about their body or eating habits. Unhelpful and nearly always untrue, these ideas can become deeply ingrained, and intrusive. And often, they serve to maintain the disorder by encouraging low self-esteem and depression.1

Learning how to use positive affirmations against negative self-talk can be a healing part of treating and recovering from an eating disorder. Body-positive affirmations can act as an antidote to hurtful self-talk, offering a technique to create and maintain a healthy body image and a way to relearn self-love. 

 minutes read
Last updated on 
June 29, 2023
Body image affirmations
In this article

The power of positivity

The idea of looking at oneself in the mirror and repeating positive thoughts may sound more self-care than science to some, but there’s actually a powerful psychological effect behind the action.

Studies have shown that repeating positive affirmations to oneself can actually light up areas in the brain tied to the reward center.2 That’s because it’s been shown that thinking about doing something can actually show up similarly in the brain as actually doing that thing.3

When it comes to body positivity, the brain will start interpreting these statements as facts. And the power of neuroplasticity—or the brain’s ability to make new connections as it learns new things—only helps reinforce this notion.

With neuroplasticity, repetition is key. The more frequently a connection is made, the stronger it becomes in the brain. But eventually, it will almost be like second nature to accept these good thoughts as truth, creating a sense of body acceptance.4

In fact, creating this literal path to acceptance in the brain is the goal of many types of therapies developed to help people with eating disorders, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and cognitive remediation therapy (CRT).

Using present tense makes positive affirmations more potent.

How to use body affirmations

While it’s generally helpful to tell yourself positive affirmations, there are a few tips that can help make these words even more powerful.

Using the present tense is one of the best ways to make these statements more potent. Starting affirmations with phrases like “I am,” “I have,” or “I do” can help influence the way you feel about yourself right now, in the present moment, and start making the positive changes you wish to see right away.

It’s also important to come up with affirmations that feel true to yourself, and unique to your goals or current situation. A more general affirmation is fine, but something that speaks to what you need to hear right now will feel more powerful.

And while staying positive is key, it’s also prudent to stay grounded. Keeping affirmations on the realistic side will help them feel more achievable, allowing them to retain their positive powers, rather than seeming like a list of far-away goals that may set you up for disappointment or stress.

Two people touching hands

10 positive body image affirmations

Practicing positive affirmations is essential for building body positivity and keeping negative body image thoughts at bay. It may be helpful to say these phrases to yourself for as long as five minutes, up to twice a day, at first. That means repeating each affirmation up to 10 times, and really focusing on the phrase, and its meaning, each time.

Incorporating affirmations into your daily routine, such as repeating them in the morning and before you go to bed, can also help keep the practice consistent, which is another way to help make it more effective.

Most importantly, it’s essential to be patient. All change takes time, and healing on such a deep level can take even longer. But the process—and result—will be worth it.

To start your practice, here are ten positive body image affirmations you can tell yourself:

  1. My body deserves love and respect, just as it is.
  2. My body holds me and cares for me and wants me to succeed.
  3. I unconditionally love and accept myself.
  4. I am perfect and whole, just as I am.
  5. I am blessed to be here, in this body.
  6. My body shape is not my identity. My self-worth is not my weight.
  7. I choose healing and love over self-harm and self-hate.
  8. Weight is just a number. How I feel is what’s important.
  9. I thank the food I am eating for nourishing my body.
  10. I am grateful for what my body is capable of doing.
Help is within reach

Remember that change is always possible, especially with the power of positive thought. If you need help with treating an eating disorder, reach out to Within for compassionate support.

Call (866) 293-0041

Disclaimer about "overeating": Within Health hesitatingly uses the word "overeating" because it is the term currently associated with this condition in society, however, we believe it inherently overlooks the various psychological aspects of this condition which are often interconnected with internalized diet culture, and a restrictive mindset about food. For the remainder of this piece, we will therefore be putting "overeating" in quotations to recognize that the diagnosis itself pathologizes behavior that is potentially hardwired and adaptive to a restrictive mindset.

Disclaimer about weight loss drugs: Within does not endorse the use of any weight loss drug or behavior and seeks to provide education on the insidious nature of diet culture. We understand the complex nature of disordered eating and eating disorders and strongly encourage anyone engaging in these behaviors to reach out for help as soon as possible. No statement should be taken as healthcare advice. All healthcare decisions should be made with your individual healthcare provider.


  1. What are eating disorders? American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved May 2022.
  2. Cascio, C. N., O'Donnell, M. B., Tinney, F. J., Lieberman, M. D., Taylor, S. E., Strecher, V. J., & Falk, E. B. (2016). Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(4), 621–629.
  3. Your brain on imagination: It’s a lot like reality, study shows. (2018, December 10).  ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 2022.
  4. Kimberley, T. J., Samargia, S., Moore, L. G., Shakya, J. K., & Lang, C. E. (2010). Comparison of amounts and types of practice during rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury and stroke. The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 47(9), 851.
  5. Quittkat, H. L., Hartmann, A. S., Düsing, R., Buhlmann, U., & Vocks, S. (2019). Body Dissatisfaction, Importance of Appearance, and Body Appreciation in Men and Women Over the Lifespan. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, 864.


What are body image affirmations?

Body image affirmations are statements that you write or speak to yourself, and repeat to yourself. They should encourage love and appreciation for your body, and everything it does for you, in an effort to rewire your brain to feel confident and promote self-love.2

Why is body satisfaction important?

Body satisfaction, generally, is the sense of feeling comfortable or happy in your own skin. In many ways, it's the foundation of how you go on to treat yourself: If you feel good in your body, you're more likely to show it the love, care, and support it needs.

Conversely, body dissatisfaction can be powerfully negative, leading to the development of eating disorders, chronically low self-esteem, or other mental health disorders.

Working on developing body satisfaction through reciting daily body positivity affirmations can help create a healthy relationship between mind, body, and spirit, and help with eating disorder prevention, and recovery.5

Can positive affirmations heal your body?

Yes. The power of words—whether positive or negative—can have a deep impact on mental and physical health.

When it comes to positive affirmations, these phrases have been shown to help reduce stress levels, which can lead to a number of positive physical effects.2 When done regularly, affirmations can also increase someone's overall self-worth, which can help encourage more healthy or positive physical habits and actions.

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Further reading

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