With so much emphasis on how women's bodies appear to others in our Kardashian Culture it seems almost impossible maintain body confidence. The following four blogs discuss how to develop a positive body image in our crazy world.
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA’s) defines positive body image:
- A clear, true perception of your shape--you see the various parts of your body as they really are.
- You appreciate your natural body shape and you understand that a person’s physical appearance says very little about their character and value as a person.
- You accept your unique body and refuse to spend an unreasonable amount of time worrying about food, weight, and calories.
- You feel comfortable and confident in your body.
We are not aware of most of our thoughts about our bodies. They live deep down, close to our idea of who we are at our core. When I lead Body Confidence Workshops, I ask attendees to go excavating: What are you saying to yourself when you look in the mirror? What about when you see a picture of yourself? What thoughts come up in when you are getting dressed, going to shower, or working out? Most women find they focus on one or two aspects of their body that really bother them.
We all know physical appearance is just a part of who you are. Clearly too much emphasis has been placed on appearance in Kardashian Culture. So, if appearance says little about your value as a person, what does say something about your character and value as a person to you? How do you define yourself? Is it in terms of being a loving mom? A kind friend? Capable at your job? It's probably a combination of these things that make up your whole you.
Many women spend the healthy years we have being alive distracted from living because we feel shame about our bodies. Many women engage in a tremendous amount of self-judgment and self-punishment around food and weight. Time spent being disappointed in yourself can be a remarkable time-sink in a person’s life. Research shows that the average women spends 31 years of her life dieting. How much time have you spent in past decades telling yourself that your body was flawed?
People with body confidence feel comfortable in their skin. This is a tall task today; to do this you actually have to believe your body is not flawed. How can we feel believe we are not flawed if 75% of us women in Kardashian Culture believe that there is something wrong with our bodies? Most of us believe deep down that we are only lovable or acceptable at a certain weight that we either maintain by living in food prison or that we hope to get to someday when that diet actually works?