What Body Shaming Does for You
I took a photo of the tree in this post this past weekend at our lakeside cottage. While looking at the tree’s curvature, I couldn’t help to notice it was different. But what really struck me was how a tree can grow as it did on the rock. How beautiful nature really is…and it reminded me of how women often view their own bodies and most importantly, what this does to their relationship with the people who care for them.
Hating your body or even parts of your body is a recipe for a joyless life for both you and your life partner. Therefore, men have the running joke “Never tell your wife you look fat in that dress” or “Never tell her why you prefer she not wear that outfit” because she will never stop asking you WHY? Most women are simply too hard on themselves when it comes to accepting their body shape. There is nothing wrong with bettering yourself but using self-deprecating words while on your health journey will not get you there quicker, in fact, it will halt your progress. What most do not understand is that this negative energy you hold within you changes your whole energy state which has downward negative effects not only on your physical body but on all those around you. Holding yourself ‘hostage’ in this imagined ‘perfection’ is as realistic as a Pixel production.
An informal survey in Glamour magazine in 2011 found that 97% of women dislike their bodies. They were either too fat, too skinny, too giggly, too pear, too apple, too butch, too weak, and the list goes on. Every woman has a vision in their mind of what a perfect body should look like… Note: SHOULD is the keyword. Where did you get the Should from? Societal norms. Studies show that the more reality television a young girl watches, the more likely she is to find appearance important. Similar studies document that students, especially women, who consume more mainstream media, place greater importance on sexiness and their image.
When paired with positive self-talk, visualization techniques are a powerful tool used in the program. The incorporation of these tools has proved to be effective means to shift my clients’ beliefs surrounding their bodies. The conscious mind projecting images on the subconscious mind combined with encouraging words will allow you to break out of the negative thought loops and see your body differently. When you calm your mind to see your body differently, that image will become your reality.
I was coaching a couple through their hardships when in an individual session with the woman, she revealed a life-long hatred of her body. She was an elite rower at University. Strong thighs and upper body were a must. Ever since she stopped the sport, she resented the fact that her body was built to be ‘strong’. She felt less feminine. To move away from body shame, I asked her to envision her body being strong and feminine right now. I asked her to buy special lingerie now, instead of wearing the old sports bras she had for years. From that place of self-love, we built future images, but all while using self-love. This loving energy carried through with her partner and her family. We did this all while taking a closer look at her diet and lifestyle. With more tweaks and persistent practice in building new thought patterns surrounding self-image, it was easy for her to create new behavioural patterns in order to lose weight.
If your emotional energy is low; if it is being sapped from you due to low self-worth of any kind, whether that be body image or any other failure, it will affect your relationships. If you can shift the thought habit loop to one of appreciating your body as it is right now, then this gives us a great foundation to build on towards self-improvement. If you believe you are someone that might benefit from moving through my 3-step transformation toward living in a body you love, please contact me for more information.