Does this sound familiar to you about your body image?
Laura truly believes she will be happy once she gets to a certain number on the scale. If she could only change her weight and her looks, everything in her life would be great. She would be happier in her relationship and even like her job more!
Who among us doesn’t believe that, with just a little tweaking, we could be alright — self-actualized and self-helped to “perfection?”
Of course, in our culture, that means changing our size and shape – to smaller, so we can “feel” better in our skin. But, the problem for many of us is that all the diets, books, self-improvement tips, and positive affirmations don’t seem to make us any happier or have better body image. The minute we “change” through weight loss and “fix” one part of ourselves, we usually end up regaining the weight, and another problem rears its head and starts screaming for attention.
When does self-help become self-hell?
What would happen if we simply started by realizing that we are awesome just as we are?
Focusing on the ways our body serves us and how we can serve it helps us to accept – yes, even like – our bodies and stop obsessing about our appearance.
Here is a short quiz to help you find out how well you like your body. With practice, we can improve our opinion of ourselves, which in turn, influences others’ opinions of us much more than we realize.
True or False
- I appreciate that my arms enable me to hold someone I love.
- I wear comfortable clothes that I really like and that feel good on my body, rather than trying to hide or camouflage my body or to follow uncomfortable fashion trends.
- I judge myself as a whole person, not just as a body.
- I do things that let me enjoy my body – dance, take a hot bath, walk, get a massage.
- I notice that many people I admire come in all different shapes and sizes.
- I do things I enjoy and don’t let my weight or shape keep me from it.
- I tell my body at night how much I appreciate what it has allowed me to do throughout the day.
- I exercise to feel good in my body, not to lose weight.
- I think of my body as a source of pleasure.
- I listen to my body and take its needs and wishes into consideration when making decisions.
If you find that at least 6 out of 10 of your answers were false, then it means you have some additional work to do on improving your body image. But don’t worry…you are not alone.
We may find ourselves more satisfied with our bodies and body image if we aim for “lifestyle” mastery, rather than mastery over our body, weight, or appearance.
Another way to describe this lifestyle mastery is called Health at Every Size.
Health at Every Size means:
Focusing on day-to-day nurturing behaviors that support mental and physical wellness. Letting go of the pursuit of weight loss as a goal, so our bodies can settle into their “just right” weight. Developing our unique gifts and potential, expressing ourselves, developing meaningful relationships, learning how to solve problems, establishing goals and contributing to life.
Health at Every Size is weight neutral.
Our bodies and minds can be “healthy” across a wide range of body shapes and weights. This is something that can be hard to understand, and is why I am hosting a free session to help you understand this message.
Eat Live Nourish™ Support Circle
This group program we offer gives you time each month with Erica, a Registered Dietitian and Eating Disorder Professional, along with training and guidance to help you transform your life and habits by making peace with food and your body image.
The Support Circle program gives you full access – instantly – to an entire library of training videos, handouts, and resources to help you AND three (3) opportunities each month to work with Erica for support, training and questions. You can learn more here and register right away. This program offers an alternative to one-on-one counseling OR a way to get added ongoing support.