Do you feel confident in your body?
Do you feel proud and happy when you look in the mirror?
Do you feel comfortable moving in your body?
For most people, the answer to these questions is a resounding “NO”!
These are often some of the major reasons that people tell me they need to lose weight.
Losing weight is often seen as the answer for comfort in one’s skin.
Unfortunately, there are major problems with that.
First, people aren’t very successful in maintaining weight loss, and so the goal of feeling comfortable and happy in their body eludes them.
Second, changing our bodies doesn’t guarantee that body image will change.
Most people get the first one.
People who come to me have tried for years to lose and maintain weight. They are desperately seeking help in losing weight so that they can finally feel good about their bodies.
Their belief is that weight loss will give them a good body image.
That is a pretty common belief.
This brings us to the second problem with believing that losing weight will be the ticket for feeling comfortable in your skin.
Most people think that our eyes are like little cameras busy taking snapshots of the world, as we move through our days.
That when we look at something, we see it “just as it is.”
In fact, when each of us looks at something, we see something unique to our experience.
This is because our eyes cannot work independently of the rest of our brain!
When our eyes open and we begin to see, a multitude of neurons and synapses in the brain light up.
The information, coming in through our eyes, is interpreted through our past experiences, our beliefs, and our mood.
What comes up for you when you see this cat?
I chose a cat as most people have strong reactions to cats.
Either they love them, can’t stand them or are afraid of them.
So depending on where you are on that spectrum, that is what you most likely saw in this cat.
Was it a cute cat, just waking up from a nap?
Or, a scary cat that could pounce?
What we see depends on what we believe.
So, if I believe that my body is ugly and unacceptable, what do you suppose is going to happen when I look in the mirror?
Yep, that is what I will see.
What we see in the mirror has more to do with our feelings and beliefs than the state of our body.
This is why people of all sizes struggle with body confidence.
Changing your body won’t change your body image.
Changing your beliefs will change what you see and feel – or your body image!
So, here is the good news….
You can start to work on your body image right now, by working on:
- how you talk to yourself about your body and
- what you think and believe when you look in the mirror or try on clothes.
You can also start to rethink what it means to have a “good” body.
We are constantly bombarded with messages about how we are “supposed” to look.
Even before air-brushing, models represented around 1-3% of the population. They would have been the outliers or the abnormal individuals in our population, and that was before air-brushing.
Yet, most people believe that is how they should look.
In reality, we come in all shapes and sizes.
Body positivity is about rethinking what it means to have a good body.
It is also about changing how we talk and react to other people’s bodies.
It is about separating worth from size.
It is about celebrating the diversity of size and shape.
This is a hard one for most people.
Even people who have been the target of some pretty intense weight discrimination and prejudice share with me that they find themselves, not only judging themselves but others based on their size.
As a society, we have bought into the unreasonable expectation that somehow size is related to worth – intelligence – and a multitude of other qualities that have nothing to do with size.
These are the types of judgments that are often arbitrarily assigned to groups of people who are the targets of discrimination whether that is based on race, gender or religion.
Most people feel disgusted by that type of targeting for discrimination and yet when it comes to size; it seems to be an accepted form of prejudice.
What do you believe?
Do you believe that thinner means more than a thin body?
Do your beliefs support you or keep you waiting for a “thinner” day?
Are you ready to look in the mirror and smile?
Are you ready to heal your relationship with your body?
I would love to help you learn to be more comfortable in your own skin.
For more information about body image check out the books, websites, and videos on the Resource page.