Ever wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and wonder who in the world that is starring back at you?
What is your first reaction upon stumbling upon this stranger looking back at you?
Excitement? Horror? Sadness? Disdain? Meh?
It’s safe to say that our culture is obsessed with youthfulness & body image. Fit, healthy, energetic, happy are just some of the characteristics of a young person. They are also adjectives that are often used to describe a youthful person, no matter what their age!
What is YOUR body image?
Body image is defined as the way we see our bodies and the comfort level we have with what we see, our perception.
Unfortunately, a significant portion of the US population carries extra weight and a corresponding negative body image.
Body image affects more than just overall confidence, it often affects relationships, both intimate and general. A 2013 study of 50 women who saw themselves as obese reported it as the barrier to both physical and emotional relationships. In other words, they avoided being in intimate relationships because of their self image.
This study may have been comprised of women, but the effects are the same for men. Feelings of discomfort, shame, reluctance to be open to a relationship are all effects of a poor body image and low self esteem.
Yes, ladies, men are just as affected by their body image as well, and share very similar feelings.
If you spend a lot of time watching TV or on social media, you are bombarded with images of men & women who seem to have it all.
I'd like to pause here for a minute.
Think of your own social media page(s), and think of the images you've choose to share of yourself.
How many have you had to go through until you FELT is was an "OK" picture to post of yourself?
We ALL have a perception of ourselves, and we like to portray ourselves as such, otherwise we just don't share.
We have no problem sharing our achievements, our successes, or tries far more than we'd ever care to share our "shortcomings" or "fails".
Because we care.
Call it egotistical, call it "being all about me", call it whatever you want, the fact still remains somewhere within us we care.
Something to keep in mind as well as those that are portraying themselves as "having it all together", are not 'ON' at all times. They, too, have the same feelings and thoughts about their bodies as well. The degrees and ways of dealing with them may just be different.
If you've been struggling with your body image or your weight or maybe even your hormones are needing some support, consider the following to improve how you feel about your image?
Open up. If your self image is holding you back from an intimate relationship, social gatherings, eating out with friends or even getting physical activity, consider working with someone who can help you a gain you confidence. Increased confidence builds your self worth, which attracts healthy relationships. Also, when you feel confident about yourself, the opinions of others become irrelevant.
Engage in body-positive activities. Notice I didn’t say start working out! Start by finding something that is fun to you, and do more of that! This doesn’t have to mean a ‘weight loss’ activity like traditional exercise, but an activity that brings you joy and helps you connect to your body. Activities like yoga, swimming, and dance come to mind. You may love flea markets or wineries, perhaps a long walk with your dog or finally joining a theater group. Really anything that creates happiness in your life and allows you to connect with others will help you feel better about yourself. Once you begin to shift from a negative, or lonely, mindset you feel more worthy and desirable.
Support your system. By our mid-twenties our pituitary gland begins diminishing the hormone known as Human Growth Hormone which is pretty active when we are growing. However, our growth hormone secreted by our pituitary gland has an incredible opportunity to support as as adults. This master gland has the ability to be re-stimulated and produce the HG hormone necessary to support the healthy functions of our other existing hormones, along with supporting our entire system. How incredible is that!!! Here is a link to a video with more information. If this is something you feel would be of support to you, then here's a link for ordering.
Talk to a professional. If you have a supportive partner, that is a great place to start. If you aren’t in a relationship or have a close friend you can confide in, seek outside help. Working with a partner always makes things easier, it provides accountability and camaraderie, which greatly increase the likelihood of lasting success. A professional counselor, therapist or mindset coach can help you identify the root cause of your feelings and create a plan to help you address your self image and health issues.
Join a support program. If you feel you would like to be with others who share similar thoughts about themselves, who also want to focus on healing those thoughts they have around their body image, in a healthy, non-judgmental, inspiring way, I have a group called, "Take Your Health Back 2019". It's an online community geared towards building confidence, releasing limiting beliefs, and empowering you to live vibrantly.
If you have any questions, comments or would like additional help or information, please contact me. I’m here to help.
Until next time, so much love,