“Re-thinking Body Image”
Join us for a Journey to Love your Body
I used to believe the food I ate and the exercise I chose would help me feel better about how my body looked. I counted calories, starved myself, and chose only exercise that would burn the most calories.
I have experienced my share of challenges related to body image and self-confidence. It was only after a journey to work on loving myself that I finally found my anchor and my love and appreciation for my body.
So much changed when I stopped focusing on the number on the scale and shifted my focus toward living a healthy and fulfilling life:
- I had more energy. Do you realize how much of our precious energy is spent on the mental battle we wage against our bodies? When I dropped my obsession with my weight, I was suddenly free to think about and focus on my marriage, my kids, and creating work that I truly love. No longer drained, I felt more vibrant and alive. I want this energy and focus for you too!
- I actually became healthier and more fit. When my exercise focus shifted from weight loss to feeling stronger, more radiant, and energized – I began to see the results of my time in the gym in ways that truly empowered me. I want this radiance and vitality for you too!
- I began to relate differently to my body. No longer in a war against it, I came to experience my body as an ally, as a trusted companion who could tell me what I most needed – if I was willing to listen. There are days when the wisdom of my body tells me that I don’t need a hard workout but a brisk walk instead. I listen. There are days that, even though I practice intermittent fasting, my body tells me that I need I don’t hesitate to feed myself well because I listen to my trusted companion – my body. There are nights when I dine out with a friend, and a few glasses of wine feel totally aligned with what my body and soul really need. I listen, and I enjoy – free of guilt and shame. I am certain that this beautiful relationship with my body came about when I decided, “No more scale!” Free from the burden of the “number,” something beautiful began to blossom between me and my body. I want this blossoming to occur for you too!
My vocation is to help women love and admire themselves and their bodies – just as much as they love and admire others. I am crazy passionate about it. Ask my clients.
I am constantly thinking of ways to help women like “Kate” below, whose struggle to embrace, accept, and love her body, is strikingly similar to the struggles of hundreds of women I’ve worked with.
“I am 55 years of age, and my happiness is still tied to the number on the scale, the size of my jeans, and the shape of my belly. After carrying and birthing three beautiful children, running a successful business, and having an incredible family and friends – I have at least fifty thoughts or more each day about how unhappy I am with the shape, size, and appearance of my body. My midsection is an embarrassment. Everything I do to shrink it seems to backfire. The clothing I wear each day hides a body that has lived a full life – but is also a body about which I carry great shame. Still.”
Kate is definitely not alone in how she thinks and feels about her body.
Body image refers to our perception of our bodies, and as you know, perception is most often experienced as our reality. How we perceive our bodies, whether accurate or not, impacts how we think about ourselves, how we feel about our bodies, how we treat our bodies, and how we relate to others with our bodies. Historically, body image for women has been very complicated. At some point in their lives, many women struggle with body image. This might have started in middle school when we began experiencing hormone-induced changes in our bodies and were not yet old enough to understand what was happening. Many of us have had the experience of growing fully into a woman’s body in our mid-teens, yet very much still feeling like a little girl. For some, our experiences in college brought about an entirely new set of body image challenges related to watching other young women around us suffer or feeling pressured to show up as a woman in a certain way. Sexual intimacy, pregnancy, post-pregnancy, and hormonal changes at mid-life all challenge the way we feel about our bodies.
For many, struggles with our body image are still as prominent as they were in middle school, high school, or college. Those of us with daughters worry about passing along our flawed image of ourselves and our bodies.
At Alexandria Wellness, I work with many women like Kate – smart, successful women who seek to experience an enhanced sense of well-being. Time and again, I notice that some women remain frustrated with and disappointed in their bodies. The dissatisfaction they feel can create a negative mindset that sabotages their efforts toward whole health. The old way we used to “fix” the thoughts about our bodies – dieting and over-(cardio)-exercising are either temporary or just don’t work. What most of us don’t realize is that the most important step in transforming our body image is cultivating a healthy relationship with ourselves.
So, where do you begin?
Join me and my colleague, Dr. Christine Kiesinger, for an information session revealing our new, 4-week signature program – Body Love – brought to you by Alexandria Wellness. We will explore what body love is, why it matters, and how you too can find peace – even love – for you and your body.
We will begin our journey together with baby steps. We will begin by remembering that it took a long time for us to come to feel the way we feel about our bodies – so it will take some time to undo our perceptions. We will learn to relate to ourselves in kinder, healthier ways.
Next week I will explain the role self-talk plays in body image and how mindfully watching our thoughts, challenging them, and changing our inner monologue can do wonders in enhancing our relationship with ourselves and our bodies!
In the meantime, sign up for our informational session and our Alexandria Wellness newsletter below.