My Body, Myself 

teen-age girls

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.

Over the last 3 years I was able to travel to France a number of times; my son Jake was living in Paris. I fell in love with many things about French culture: their parks, their museums, their clothes, their food, but especially, their French eating habits. I was fascinated to see that the average French woman doesn’t have the same issues around eating and body image that the average American woman has. While French society definitely puts pressure on women to be thin, your average French woman does not dislike her body, does not diet, and is not struggling with the same obsession and anxiety around food that the average American women experiences. 

As my French cousin Martine explained, “We enjoy good food every day, and we move on to other pleasures in our lives. We are not obsessed with eating.” I wanted to figure out what was going on in the minds of French women that could account for the way they successfully navigate their body image and eating. We clearly could use some French Eating Lessons on this side of the Atlantic!

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.  

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.