Negative body image has become a widespread problem among women and is a constant issue that I work on with clients. Did you know 9 out of 10 women dislike their body? This statistic saddens me. Not feeling comfortable in your body has an impact on how you live your life and how you truly feel about yourself. Therefore, having a major impact on your happiness.
I was one of the 9 out of 10 women that disliked their body. I hated my body and didn’t treat it with the respect it deserved. I fell into the trap of dieting, bingeing, emotional eating and over exercising to punish my body. It was such a painful experience filled with such self-hate and shame. I couldn’t live that way anymore, so I set out on a path of self-discovery and healing.
My journey led me to become a certified health coach and eating psychology coach. So I can help women transform their relationship with food, body and more importantly themselves. Seeing the light shine from my clients’ eyes as they come to a realisation and positive changes being to occur is one of the best feelings. For a woman to reconnect with her body, be unapologetically herself, love all of who she is and allow the shame and the guilt to melt away is amazing to witness.
But it is no wonder women are struggling with their body image. Everywhere you turn you see images of unrealistic body shapes flashed across the media, in films and on the television. These images constantly bombard you, and it gets ingrained in your subconscious that to be loved, accepted and seen as ‘beautiful’ you have to have the body that you see in the media. This way of thinking takes you away from yourself. It disembodies you, and it enables the war to rage on between yourself and our own body.
What exactly is body image I hear you ask? Body image is how you view and imagine your body. You believe what you imagine.
What does a problematic body image look like? Your idea of what you want your body to be can leave you in suffering and disembodiment.
What does a healthy body image look like? You accept your body as it is and how it looks. You treat it with respect and kindness.
Having a negative body image has a very negative impact on your health. With a negative body image comes a constant stream of negative thoughts and feelings. These negative thoughts and feelings create a huge amount of stress in your body. This increase in stress chemistry leads to a decreased metabolism, digestive and calorie burning potential is severely diminished, immunity is affected, and your mood is compromised.
The stress of body hate also leads to imbalanced dieting, food deprivation, macronutrient imbalance, binge eating and over exercising. You can see where I am going with this.
It is time for you to fall in love with your body and with yourself. If you are operating from the toxic belief that ‘If only I could loose the weight then I would be happy/loveable/enough then healing your body image is something you have to commit to. Healing body image is a journey that you have to relax into. Slowly you will return to your body and start to feel comfortable in the skin that you’re in. You cannot create self-love and a loving body image by ‘hating yourself into it’ through a forced diet, punishing and lifeless exercise and hurtful thoughts.
Keep a look out for part 2 of my article on healing a negative body image, where I share 4 tips to create embodiment and a love for your body.
Download Lydia’s FREE ebook “Break Free” for your 5 step plan to end emotional eating today to starting healing your relationship to food now.
To find out more about Lydia visit her website or our contributors’ page.