‘The Body can change within itself, through its own Body Intelligence’’.
Body talk is the conversation we have with ourselves about our body, or the experience we are having of our body! It is very subjective and is influenced by our mental construction of our body in our minds eye. Hence our body talk is not based on an objective evaluation. Body Image is multifaceted and is a complex set of idea’s, judgments, attitudes and feelings toward our body. As body image is central to how we feel about ourselves, a major part of our self esteem is connected to it. Our body image is influenced by several aspects… past and present experiences, weight, shape, negative attitudes, media, feedback etc…
It is not uncommon for an individual to lose a lot of weight , and still maintain a negative body image. There can be several reasons for this, one being they still maintain the mental image of how they looked in their mind and they are still identifying with this image, despite significant weight loss. This can be a negative motivator and needs to be addressed for weight loss to be maintained. Another reason can be the person is still not happy with their body shape and hence body image dissatisfaction remains. Either way the real problem here is the individual’s identification with their body.
When you stop identifying with your body, the felt sense you have of it changes also. Remember you are not your mind, you are also not your body. Those of you who know me will be familiar with the following scenario as I mention it on my training courses and body image workshops.
It is a story about Mary who is overweight. She is sitting at the breakfast table with her husband, having breakfast and he turns to her and says… ’Do you really need to have breakfast? Don’t you think you are already fat enough ‘.
Then that evening she is sitting down relaxing after a very long day and he says ‘do you not think you would be better off going our for a walk instead of sitting down?’. Finally Christmas week he says to her ‘ I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to accompany me to our Christmas party as I don’t want my work colleagues to see how fat you are!’
So my question to the group is what would you say to her husband ??
The answers range from… I’d poison him, I’d divorce him, I’d kill him, I’d would not speak to him ever….
Now for a moment let’s look at the same scenario only its not her husband making these comments, but Mary herself ! Its her own body talk… I don’t need breakfast, I’m fat enough, I shouldn’t be sitting down I should be out walking, I shouldn’t go to the Christmas party because they will all see how fat I am !
See how different the reaction is. It’s as if its acceptable because its her inner dialogue about her body and she feels she is right so its no big deal. This is all to common among the overweight and its automatic and becomes the norm!
The Body Heals when you are not looking at it !
So how do you foster healthy body talk?
You can start by becoming aware of the fact that your body, no matter how much you weigh or how you look, is the most precious thing you have. It is about honouring and working with what you have. You need to make peace with your body in order to let go the weight. Once you accept you are living in the body you are meant to be in, to have the experience you are having, then your perception changes. This awareness changes the felt sense you have of your body and then you can address weight loss solutions as you are no longer focused on your weight as being the problem. You can learn to connect, and live in your body without identifying with it. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others. Whether you wish you had longer legs, or bigger boobs, smaller hips or whatever , appreciate and accept you have the body you are meant to have for the life you are meant to live. Working with your body and not against it will be very liberating. As you start to adopt self care strategies you begin to transform from within. You active the bodies natural healing ability. Self care involves not just taking care of your body but eating a healthy balance of food. If you eat crap , you will feel crap !
Start to love your hunger and satisfy your appetite for life !
When you look at your body without the interfering judgments of the mind (body talk) or even recognise these judgements for what they are , this activates powerful healing in the body also. Body awareness anchors you in the present and stimulates and strengthens your immune system.
Deepak Chopra refers to our body as a ‘unique pharmacy’. He suggests that no matter what our body develops, we have the ability within to heal it. I know this to be true and every body holds huge possibilities for recovery and regeneration. When we activate the healing ability within the body, amazing physiological changes produce profound results. For as long as our body talk is negative, we will have power struggles with food.
Make peace with your body and give yourself the gift of self appreciation. Finally in regard to how you look….
Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind, don’t matter !
Suzanne ~ 087 2056560