Is Your Body Image Suffering? 3 Ways To Stop the Hate.

Think about your body. Right now.

Wait! Did you catch that? Why did that negative body image thing just happen? 

What made you roll your eyes or cringe? Why did you shy away from thoughts of your body altogether? 

What is causing your body image to suffer? 

And what if you really could accept your body the way you it is right now? Does that bring up fear, relief, or confusion?

Sadly, these days, it’s rare to find anyone with a positive body image. And who could blame us? 

Perhaps you’re one of the many women hiding in your clothes, exercising excessively, or feeling frustrated by the pressure to be perfect. Where is this pressure coming from anyway?

Thankfully, you can take back your mind and learn to show your body the affection it deserves. 

How?

While working with women as a psychotherapist, I have learned many ways people are choosing body love. From the inside out.  I’m hoping these powerful strategies will help you. Let’s take a closer look:

The difference between body love and body hate. 

It’s not our fault we body hate. Currently, 80% of women in the US are unhappy with their appearance. Messages everywhere bombard us, telling us we are not good enough and need to be better.

Here are 3 of the most common ways my clients have learned to stop the hate:

1) Understand where these hate messages originate in the first place.

Once women realize big companies are making loads of money off their misery, they want to fight back. 

2) Refuse to be disrespected.

This includes by you. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

When you stop beating yourself up with negative self talk, you will expect the same positivity from others. Try bringing some mindfulness to how you talk to yourself. 

Maybe the things you tell yourself are not even your voice.

3) Practice asking yourself, “What if I’m okay with my body the way it is right now?”

Notice what comes up. 

Don’t try to change the way you feel, just notice and start from there. You don’t have to wait until you achieve the perfect body to start enjoying bodily sensations and pleasure. They are our birthright!

Be kind and gentle to yourself as you start to bring mindfulness to what is keeping the hate alive. Get curious!

Consider two examples: A body hate response and a body love response

Body Image Hate

(Unfortunately, I probably don’t need to give an example. We all know this one very well.)

“Why did I decide to eat out with coworkers for lunch– instead of eating the healthy lunch I brought? Now, I’m so bloated! I am not sure how I can even be effective at work. Why would anyone want to take my advice. Look at me, I’m a slob! The fat is growing on my thighs. I seriously can feel it! All I want is to hide, not feel my body or be seen by anyone…”

Body Image Love

“In the spur of the moment, I was invited to have lunch with my coworkers. I was hungry and ate what I wanted. I really enjoyed the conversation. Once I was full, I went back to being effective at work. Now, I’m looking forward to getting home and doing something that will make me feel good tonight…”

Notice: nothing was added to the body image love example. The only difference between the two? One is negative and the other is not. 

You can learn to make the positive choice.

Of course, having supportive and like-minded people around is critical when choosing body love. Take time to build a protective community of positive, body loving folks around you. You won’t be disappointed!

If you would like some extra support and are looking for a psychotherapist, please contact me here for a free 30-minute consultation to learn about how I can be of service.

To find out more about my services click here: Eating Disorder Treatment

About The Author

April Lyons, MA, LPC is a somatic psychotherapist and currently owns a private practice in Boulder, CO. She specializes in PTSD, eating disorders and child counseling. April is trained in TRAUMA INFORMED CARE and is certified as a Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapist. To find out more about April click herePsychotherapy Boulder.

 

 

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