Many women do not have a positive body image. But did you know that a negative body image can actually be harmful to your health? It can lead to depression, anxiety, a feeling of not being good enough or not belonging?
We can try blaming our challenge with negative body images on the media and we can try to blame it on society, but I think we need to look a little closer to home. We need to take a close look at the person in the mirror (and I don’t mean your spouse, child, or pet standing behind you!).
Many times the focus on body image is applied to teenagers–especially girls. Experts talk about the changes a girl’s body is going thru as she develops breasts, starts her period, and hair grows where it didn’t before.
Women our age also experience body image challenges as our once perky breasts sag, our waistlines expand (even if we have not gained any weight!), and our hormones wreak havoc with our sense of femininity when our reproductive system closes for business.
I encourage you to remember that our body image is not necessarily what we see in the mirror. It’s not necessarily what other people see when they look at us either. Our body image is what we see in our head and feel in our hearts.
In each of the pictures below, I had a positive body image. I loved how strong I felt when I was out on the trails. My body carried me up mountains! It carried food, water, and clothes in a pack upon my back! My weight and body size did NOT keep me from loving my body.
In My Head, I’m Thin, a one-woman show by Susan Poulin. In this performance Susan shares thoughts and experiences as they concern body image. She takes a light-hearted look at a serious topic.
Episode 001: Inner Voices – how to retrain yourself to think positively and overcome the negative inner voices from your past (and present).
I love this quote from Fitday.com – “Self-acceptance allows you to make reasonable changes in order to improve yourself, but it doesn’t ask you to hate yourself until those changes have been made.”
I failed to mention the following 10 Steps to a Positive Body Image from the National Eating Disorders Association in my podcast. Oops! But I wanted to share it with you anyway, just in case you find it helpful.