WOMEN
12/10/2013 08:51 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Reimagining Your Perfect Body

© Rick Elkins via Getty Images

Sure, most of us pine for thinner thighs, well-toned arms or a firmer backside. But if you launch into a self-deprecating tirade every time you glimpse yourself in the mirror (my butt is too big, my hips are too wide and my arms look like flabby chicken wings), it’s time to shift your focus.

“Women are their own worst enemies,” says Leslie Goldman, MPH, author of "Locker Room Diaries: The Naked Truth About Women, Body Image and Re-Imagining the 'Perfect' Body." “We’re constantly judging ourselves, drawing comparisons and trying to measure up to some impossible media-driven ideal.” And it’s not just women: Studies show that men can be as self-critical and self-deprecating as women.

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