A Poor Body Image & Learning How To Change It
When I think about my body, it is such a love-hate relationship.
One the one hand, I love my body. I take a lot of time and effort to eat organically, avoid GMOs and toxic pesticides. I make almost all of our household products (body wash, lotion, toothpaste, laundry detergent, etc.) in an effort to avoid absorbing harsh chemicals and toxins. I exercise regularly to maintain cardiovascular health and release endorphins. If I didn't love my body, I wouldn't do those things.
Then why, when I look in the mirror, do I think, "Ugh, I hate my body. My stomach is flabby, my arms are big, and my thighs are bulky." WHAT?! The rational side of me wants to slap the emotional side and say "GET A GRIP!" It has NOTHING to do with what I think other people might think of me. I know I'm thin. I don't think that Eric thinks I'm fat, and I don't think that other people think that either. This 100% an issue inside of myself. Last year when I was anywhere from 105-108 pounds was the most comfortable I've ever been with my physical appearance. People told me all of the time that I didn't look good and that I needed to eat a cheeseburger. It was extremely conflicting and I took that to heart. I felt comfortable with myself, but I felt judged by others. Fortunately, iboga gave me the insight and power to release the idea of caring about what others think I look like. I thought I had the whole body image issues solved.
However, since returning home, I've gained a little bit of weight...healthy weight. I've put on muscle and my body probably loves me for the extra pounds it is now carrying. I've realized though that it makes me uncomfortable. It's completely crazy, and I know it. Eric constantly tells me that he thinks I look great but it's not about that. I don't care anymore about how other people think I look. I want to love my body. I want to love my body for me, regardless of what that looks like to other people. To achieve this, I've been spending so much time thinking about different hacks (things like ketogenesis, specific exercises, etc.) that will flatten my stomach while thinning out my legs and arms. Then I saw this below video on Facebook. It was a five minute video that made me cry and left me with a massive epiphany. There's a part when she finally achieves her perfect body and realizes she STILL did not love her body. It was at that moment I realized that I don't love my body because of a mental/emotional barrier inside. It has NOTHING to do with my physical appearance. I can tweak my body fat percentage and the number on the scale all day, but I will never have a positive body image until I remove the block within my mind. This was hugely transformational in my approach to solve my body image problem.
If you're reading this post, you don't need to text or email me that you think I am beautiful. While I do appreciate those words, the love needs to come from within myself. While I am still not there, I am SO grateful that I have learned the route I need to take to overcome something that has been challenging me since middle school.
I really do believe that society and media creates this poor image within us. How can someone that is 5'7", 115 pounds with 12% body fat have SUCH a poor body image? We don't even realize it but our subconscious is bombarded all of the time with makeup ads, weight loss ads, and all types of things to "fix" our problems. We are conditioned to think that we need external products to make us beautiful. You may think you are immune to it, and you might be aware of it consciously. But subconsciously, your brain is just recording all of the things it sees and hears and is unable to decipher what your conscious brain can. Your brain is operating subconsciously significantly more than your conscious brain, so it's no wonder why we feel like this.
In my significant effort to improve my body image, I have decided to eliminate the radio, magazines and televised "programming" to rest my subconscious from all of the subliminal messaging that is put out towards "improving" our lives, especially women. I'm looking forward to improving my mind and reaching a positive body image and will definitely post anything that I have learned that has helped me! We are all beautiful, we just have to learn how to believe it within ourselves. :)