“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  —Theodore Roosevelt

This is a great quote when it comes to image education. Before you can do anything, you first need to take stock of what you have. This is not a time to be critical of yourself. All you need to do is identify. It’s like going to the cupboard to see what you have before you create a recipe: flour, sugar, spice, etc.

Even if you are in the best shape of your life, you still have a natural body shape. While your natural body shape can be impacted by extreme weight changes and exercise, small changes in weight usually do not change your natural shape.

Take a moment to think about the following paradox: When you gain weight, you usually gain it in the same place; when you lose weight, you usually lose it in the same place. Unfortunately, the two don’t match! Those who gain weight in their hips first usually lose it in their bust area first. (For those of you over 40, you usually feel you gain weight in your tummy first and lose it anywhere else first.)

Body awareness is not about making judgments or decisions. We are just identifying. This is not about how you “should” look, it is about how you “do” look.

Let’s start with the outline. That is what people usually see first. You approach from a distance and they see the outline of your shape. We are going to compare the width of your shoulders to the width of your hips. Take measurements wearing clothing that is not too bulky or too tight, as that would skew the comparison. Using the diagram below as a guide, take your measurements. While it is possible to measure yourself, most find it easiest to have a friend help.

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Coming soon . . . identifying your shape.

May you always look good!