Ever catch yourself gazing at your daughter, mother or lover with pure affection and admiration? It’s something you never question– quite simply, you feel that this person is amazing, awe-inspiring and completely unique. Why then, do we not feel the same way about the reflection we see in the mirror?

“Loving your body means appreciating and respecting your body for the amazing gift that it is,” says Jacquie Sharples, fitness and wellbeing coach, co-founder of Carpe Diem Wellbeing and author of If Your Body Could Talk. But unfortunately, only a minority of us achieve this in a lifetime, she says.

“Having coached both women and men it is clear that the way women view their body is very different,” Sharples says.” This doesn’t mean that some men don’t struggle too, but generally women seem to have more body image issues.”

There are a lot of studies and statistics about percentages of women and men at different ages who have body image issues, and the numbers are always higher for women. Worryingly, this is a growing concern for our youth – a 2013 Mission Australia Youth Survey revealed that body image was the one of the top three concerns of 14,000 young males and females.