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Making the Most of My Unique Body Shape

November 1, 2010

We have been chatting quite a bit about learning to accept and love our bodies just the way they are over that last few months. Easier said than done, you might have thought.

Today I would like to share with you some tips on how to identify and work with your body type in order to make the most of it.

Gentlemen, this is not only for the ladies!

Gratitude Exercise

Write down everything you love about your body. Be very specific. Take a few moments to ponder the results. You should keep going until you have found at least ten, but preferably more things you are grateful for. Looking at a recent photo of yourself will facilitate the exercise.


Now make a list of the things you would like to change and things you dislike about your body. Look at your current photo and mentally change the things you don’t like about yourself.  Make a colour copy of your current photo. Take a pen and draw the changes you would like to see (it does not matter if you can’t draw well). You will see the ‘new you’ starting to take shape in your mind’s eye. Now set realistic goals to help you achieve your results.


How do I start making these changes happen? Start by making the most of those things you love about your body, to ‘shine the spotlight’ onto them, so that the things you don’t like become less important to you and therefore less noticeable to others (remember the ‘mirror’ principle).

Remember to deliberately shift your own focus from the things you don’t like about your body, to the things you’ve identified that you do like. By doing this you gradually train yourself to feel better about what you see in the mirror.

Your Unique Body Type

Now let’s identify your body type. Your body-lines and contours, height and face shape determine your body type.


Your overall body-line will determine which of the following categories you fall into:

  • Pear
  • Hourglass
  • Inverted Triangle
  • Linear
  • Apple
  • Diamond

Don’t think that the only way you can change yourself is by losing weight, or through cosmetic surgery. You can look your very best today by simply understanding your shape and learning how to show off your best assets and disguise the ones you dislike.

Bone Structure:

Measure your wrist with a tape measure, just below your hand. This will give you an indication of your bone structure. Then measure your height.

Fine bones                    –           14cm or less

Medium bones               –           14 to 16cm

Grand bones                 –           16cm plus

Petite                           –           under 1,6m

Average                        –           1,6m to 1,65m

Tall                              –           over 1,65m

Choose accessories to compliment your bone structure, height and overall body shape.


Ladies, measure the distance from underneath your bust to your waist, and then de-duct 5cm.  If the result is less than 5cm, you should avoid wearing a belt. However, if you are dying to wear one, try wearing it loosely, slightly below the waist, in a colour that does not stand out. If the colour of your belt blends in with the colour of your outfit, you will avoid creating a prominent horizontal line around your waist-area. If you have wide hips, don’t wear a belt wider than 4cm, no matter what the final results.


These are some of the most common body types for men:

Tall and Lean

Short and Stocky

Medium Build

Inverted Triangle


Men generally have bigger bone structure, but of course there are exceptions and you should always choose your accessories, like glasses and watches, to compliment your bone structure. If you are short, avoid wearing contrasting pants and shirt, but rather wear shirts that tone in with your pants. This would make you appear taller and slimmer.


Suzaan was born in Cape Town and has been working as an Image and EQ Consultant in Cape Town and Johannesburg since 1998. She uses a combination of modalities, such as Psychology and Spirituality, to inspire, effect positive change, and bring about psychological adaptability and spiritual growth in her clients. Suzaan has an Honours Degree in Psychology (University of Port Elizabeth), but firmly supports a holistic healing approach targeting body, mind and

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