Loving your body and your life is a hard thing to do for first world people and loving your body or not affects your life. Thinking about your body size and shape being "right" or "wrong" began in North America when an insurance company devised a height/weight chart. Before this, when people dieted, they spoke of feeling better for changing the way they ate. After this height/weight chart was made and used for insurance purposes, dieting grew to become focused on changing one's body size and shape.
You don't have to have an eating disorder to struggle to like your body. Women are constantly asked to evaluate if their body is fine the way it is, from the top of their head to the tip of their toes, by advertising companies. And indirectly women are told, each body part they are asked to evaluate, is inadequate, and therefore they need to spend money to fix the body part.
Kind of hard to like yourself after regular doses of this message.
This makes it easy to begin thinking poorly about your body but what do you think your body thinks of all the negativity??? Maybe you should ask it. Ask your tights or stomach how it feels when you put it down. Thinking negatively about your body has been known to hurt your physical health and you can begin living less authentically by making choices that protect you rather than help you fully live.
Sometimes this is the beginning of an eating disorder, where unconsciously, you begin to manage life's difficulties that you don't know how to fix or cope with and instead begin thinking about your body and "fixing it", because that seems like something you can do. At the very least, it is creating anxiety, that keeps you from living in the present, which allows you to create/maintain living.
Getting back to loving your body and your life begins with being aware you are having these thoughts towards your body and that they hurt both your physical body and your life. Track your thoughts. It is surprising how many thoughts go unnoticed. Then you choose your response. You can decide not to agree with these negative thoughts and instead, choose to think well of your body and your life, and live in self-love. It can help to understand no one is forcing you to hate your body, it's the people wanting to make money off of you are suggesting/encouraging it. You don't have to agree. Then, shift your focus. Engage in your work, your hobby, go for a walk, get together with a friend, you know, actually live your life.
Learn to become friends with your body as you go about your life. It allows you to live and breath and move. You can work, have a hobby, and get together with friends because your have a body. Doesn't that elicit some appreciating for your body? When you find this hard, do something good for your body. It is powerful to act against the negative thoughts. Avoid comparisons. Beauty is much broader than the media's message, and accepting your body allows you to let go of the struggle. Taking these action steps will become easier each time you do it, so keep it up and you will win the love and living battle.
Karen Cook Counselling & Therapeutic Life Coaching
Eating Disorders and Women's Issues Specialist
This is your season to learn, grow, and develop a full and deeply satisfying life.