“I’d rather be skinny than at peace with food” she snapped back at me, after I suggested her new weight might be more appropriate given her genetics. “I used to weigh 105 pounds, and I cannot stand being 115.” But 105 pounds was when she was spending four hours a day exercising and being “too busy” to eat.
If you are at war with your body, and “cannot stand” your body fatness, I suggest you check out the following article reprinted with permission from Nourishing Connections(www.nourishingconnections.com) a website for people who struggle with food and weight.
"To be nobody but yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." ~E.E. Cummings
Reflections for Staying Attuned
Body hatred is a learned behavior. Have you ever met a baby who hated her body? Somewhere along the way, we learn to dislike, and even hate, our bodies. How did we learn this? To answer that question, let's consider:
• who teaches us to scrutinize our bodies?
• who teaches us to be critical of ourselves?
• who teaches us not to like our bodies?
• who teaches us not to like ourselves?
Start by taking a concerted look at the advertising world. It will become startlingly clear that advertisers want women to feel dissatisfied with themselves; the message is right there in the ad. But—lucky us—the advertisers’ products have the answer to the very dissatisfaction they are promoting.
Now consider prejudice. A woman who hates her body and is constantly concerned about food and weight will rarely break the glass ceiling. There is a great deal of theory about downtrodden groups, like women, and how the oppression they suffer becomes internalized. "Internalized oppression" occurs when people are targeted or oppressed over a period of time. They eventually internalize the myths and misinformation that society communicates to them about their group. For example, women frequently internalize the stereotype that they are not attractive (or smart, productive, happy) unless they are thin. This learned belief causes many women to regularly engage in what is a universally feared experience, living with hunger.
While learning body hatred from many different sources, we absorb and adapt to the rules of what is acceptable. When we begin to break free of body hatred, we are breaking the rules. Consider if a woman said, "Yeah, I'm pretty okay with my body." Many would eye her suspiciously. Why? Because she dares to break some very powerful rules!
Since body hatred is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned. Not easy to do, but worth the effort. Dare to break the rules. Decide to re-learn to like yourself inside and out. Reconnect with the body acceptance with which you were born.
Stay Attuned Tip
One woman, who typically made disparaging comments whenever she saw her reflection, made a commitment to herself to never pass by a reflection without saying, "Hello there, you Gorgeous Goddess." Sometimes she would pass by and try to ignore the reflection, but because of her commitment to herself she would turn around, take a peek, and say, "Hello there, you Gorgeous Goddess." This simple exercise was enough to change her perception of herself. She even began to carry herself differently. The change was dramatic (but not surprising, since neuroscience studies support this result of shifting from negative self-talk to positive self-talk).
So, just for today, whenever you see your reflection, say something powerfully positive to yourself. Take a minute right now to decide what that will be. Some examples are:
• “Wow, what a wonderfully powerful woman!”
• “Hey, bright and beautiful you!”
• “Those women at Nourishing Connections must be crazy, but I’ll give it a try—’Hello there sweet and wonderful person!’ ”
Stay Attuned Affirmation : "I am the exquisite woman in the window. "
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