This is actually a re-post of an article that I did for the Dharma Lounge and the fabulous Amy Eyrie and on my website blog. Lately this subject seems to be coming up more and more and it seems that it is time to revisit this important subject. I hope you enjoy it and that you share it with those beautiful inside (first and foremost) people in your life. Namaste,
Your Oh So Beautiful, Body Type
Almost all of us have a distorted image of our body, often due to the importance our culture places on outward appearance and the onslaught of media images of airbrushed models and celebrities. Do any of these statements sound familiar? I’m fat, I’m too skinny. If I were taller, I’d look better, shorter, had curly hair, straight hair, a smaller nose, bigger muscles, smaller bottom, longer legs. On a daily basis, we talk to ourselves in ways we would never speak to another. Demeaning ourselves for not being “perfect” Imagine speaking to a child the way you speak to yourself about your body. It would devastate and squelch a child. Here is some BAD news; it actually does affect you similarly, causing stress and emotional pain in your body, which can make improving your health or losing weight even more difficult.
Consider this- women and their body parts, sell everything from food to cars. Women’s magazines are full of articles urging that if they can just lose those last twenty pounds, they’ll have it all—the perfect marriage, loving children, great sex, and a rewarding career.
Why are standards of beauty being imposed on women, the majority of whom are naturally larger and more mature than any of the models? The roots, some analysts say, are economic. By presenting an ideal difficult to achieve and maintain, the cosmetic and diet product industries are assured of growth and profits. And it’s no accident that youth is increasingly promoted, along with thinness, as an essential criterion of beauty. If not all women need to lose weight, for sure they’re all aging, and according to the industry, age is a disaster that needs to be dealt with.
The stakes are huge. On the one hand, women who are insecure about their bodies are more likely to buy beauty products, new clothes, and diet aids. It is estimated that the diet industry alone is worth anywhere between 40 to 100 billion (U.S.) a year selling temporary weight loss (90 to 95% of dieters regain the lost weight). On the other hand, research indicates that exposure to images of thin, young, air-brushed female bodies is linked to depression, loss of self-esteem and the development of unhealthy eating habits in women and girls. The American research group Anorexia Nervosa & Related Eating Disorders, Inc. says that one out of every four college-aged women uses unhealthy methods of weight control—including fasting, skipping meals, excessive exercise, laxative abuse, and self-induced vomiting.
So, what’s a girl to do? How about taking a moment to think of all the intelligence, creativity and time you spend on improving, altering and judging your appearance. Who would you be and what could you accomplish if your valuable resources weren’t used this way? Constant emphasis on the external makes us discount the great presence and intelligence that is housed by the body. It makes us forget the magic of our internal rhythms and fail to acknowledge the beautiful bodies we have.
The body you have right now is incredible! It never misses a heartbeat, it maintains homeostasis and it miraculously digests whatever you put in it. It is your instrument for expressing your creativity, intelligence and love. By focusing on the 1% you don’t like or wish was different, you may be ignoring the remaining 99% about your body that is beautiful, unique and delightful.
What would your life be like if you were simply at peace with the body you have? You may wish to make your body healthier and stronger, but could you do that out of love and respect for your body instead of the opposite? Could you begin to treat yourself with kindness, to limit the negative self-talk and to reconnect with your inner wisdom? Take a minute to imagine what that would feel like. It would mean celebrating your body rather than punishing it. It would mean nourishing your body rather than depriving it. It would mean a chance to watch your body flourish when treated with care and respect.
To your Health!
Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor, Board Certified, CHHC,AADP
E-RYT, Certified Yoga Instructor, YA/YE
Everything about My Sage Gourmet is intended to nurture and support you to thrive in every sense of the word. From the Kitchen Coaching, and my artisan kitchen blends to Nutrition Consulting, and the Tone and Sculpt Yoga and weight loss programs, My Sage Gourmet is here to support you!
As a Nutrition Consultant, I help men and women reconnect with their essential selves-the ground zero of who they are. No more putting their physical health and emotional well being on the back burner. As the mind shifts, eating becomes intuitive; movement becomes more gratifying as the body responds to the shift in perspective. Life becomes more joyful and bright!
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