“We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” ~Carl Jung
Although its importance is often underestimated, maintaining a positive body image is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy, sexy weight. It’s imperative that you gain confidence in your unique body physiology, so you avoid engaging in the negative self-talk and body control behaviors that impede weight loss.
The following are specific ways in which poor body image can torpedo your weight loss efforts (and conversely, how a positive body image can facilitate weight loss):
- Feeling badly about your body becomes self-fulfilling in that the worse you feel about your body, the worse you treat your body, including making poor food choices and failing to engage in regular self-care. Haven’t you noticed this? It can be very difficult to treat your body well when you dislike it.
- The stress inherent in having a poor body image (I.e consistently saying bad things about your body & feeling like your body isn’t good enough) activates a stress response in your body, making weight loss more difficult.
- Your perspective is your reality: the better you feel about your body, the better you feel about your life. And the better you feel about your life, the more inclined you are avoid emotional eating — which often leads to weight gain.
- The more unconditional love and acceptance you have for your body, the easier it is to focus on eating for health and vitality rather than eating to lose weight — which so often involves deprivation followed by binge eating and weight gain.
- Having a poor body image leads to the myth that only once you reach your ideal weight can you be happy, taking a lot of the fun and joy out of life. Not to mention being patently false.
- The better your body image, the more motivated you are and the greater you fall in love with the journey of self-discovery that is naturally a part of any successful, long term weight loss.
- The better your body image, the more empowered you become to listen to your body’s natural hunger signals, creating a peaceful, mindful relationship with food (and within all other facets of your life as well).
Therefore, moving forward, as you approach your weight loss efforts, challenge yourself to come from a place of body love and acceptance, rather than self-judgment and ridicule. Right now, in this present moment, you are worthy.
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