Self-Image and Body Image

Female looking into the mirror. Image: Pexels - Andrea Piacquadio

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said, “Wow! I am amazing!” “I look awesome” “I love my body.”

For most of us, the answer is never. But how would it change your day and the energy you put out to the world if you did?

“Physical appearance has little to do with body image. Who we are inside and how content we are, determine the degree to which we accept our body.” — Marc David, Nourishing Wisdom

How you feel about your body is directly related to how you feel about yourself and how you are living your life. Have you ever noticed that when you are feeling really good about yourself and life, you see your body differently than when you are beating yourself up and down in your life? In fact, when you are feeling good about yourself, you likely feel really good about your body. You likely enjoy your food, make conscious food choices, have more ‘on path’ moments, and use your food as a source of fuel so you have the energy to do what you love. You may even exercise out of joy, not because you have to or you should but because you simply love it.

We take care of our body with a much different intention than when our self-image is poor. When we are feeling bad about ourselves, filling our minds with negative self-talk, and not feeling fulfilled with life, food and exercise look much different. Exercise often becomes non-existent or used as punishment. Food is often used to soothe, comfort, and make us feel better about something that is not right in our life.

Two women working out together in a gym

The image we have of ourselves is reflected in our bodies, but we often see it the other way around. We try hard to change the body thinking if we do that we would just be happier. The truth is that it never works. The root of the problem is not how your body looks, it is how your inner world looks. If we work to change our self-image, it is only then that we can change our body image. When we struggle with body image issues we often force ourselves to workout, diet, and do whatever we can to change our bodies. Oftentimes our efforts are futile and short-lived. That is because the extra weight on our body is not why we are really upset — it doesn’t help, but that is not the root of the problem. The weight is a by-product of something else that is going on. It is feedback letting us know we are not living in alignment with our values, we are not living our full potential and doing what we love. It may be a reflection of unresolved stress, trauma, and conflict. Losing weight never fills a deeper void and the weight has likely only shown up because food has been used to fill that void.

The work has to come from the inside, not the outside!

If you have been struggling with body image and have dieted, restricted, and punished yourself to try to lose weight so you will feel happier about yourself, it is time to think differently. We have to go through the back door! Work to change the way in which you feel about yourself and your life first so you can bring lasting change to how you feel about your body. If we do the harder work of transforming ourselves from the inside, the outer change will be permanent.

When we do what we are most meant to do and live our lives with mission and purpose our body will find its rightful place. When we learn to manage our emotions we regulate our eating. When we resolve the stresses in our lives that trigger us to go “off path” we eat more consciously. When we eat for success and wellness vs weight loss we are more inspired about our body and our relationship with food. Working with a Mind-Body Eating Coach like myself, is a powerful way to explore the deeper dimensions in life that are affecting your weight and body image. You can transform your relationship with food, body, and self so you can wake up every day and look in the mirror and love what you see.

Amy Bondar is a leading Nutrition expert and Certified Eating Psychology Coach who is passionate about helping her clients achieve maximum health and vitality through personalized nutrition and lifestyle coaching.

Amy Bondar’s comprehensive skill-set, two decades of experience and compassionate approach have allowed hundreds of people to achieve the vitality we all desire, and deserve.

The days of generic meal plans, fad diets, yo-yo dieting and simple advice about calories and carbs are long gone. When you work with Amy you will have strategies and learn nutrition principles that are nourishing, doable, sustainable, personalized and that yield results.

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