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What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

Approximately 80% of women want to lose weight.  Others want to do some type of plastic surgery.  Why?  

We are bombarded on all sides in media, billboards, and stores with images of "ideal" bodies and faces.  These ideal bodies and faces are often pictured or portrayed with smiles or doing fun activities.  In our minds, we maybe associating that type of body with happiness.  "If I can lose weight, then I will be happy."  "If my face looked like this, then I would be able to have fun."  

I have realized through helping my patients that our weight is actually in small ways a reflection of our genetics, but mostly a reflection of our physical and emotional health. Genetics can determine if your bone structure is large or small.  It can also affect other physical factors such as hormones, metabolism, and liver function.  Some of these genetic factors we can change by changing the types of foods we eat and our habits. 

Our physical and emotional health has the largest effect on our body composition.  If hormones are out of balance and stress if high, we will often gain weight.  If our body is burdened with toxins or toxic emotions, we retain fat.  One of these toxic emotions is shame associated with body image.  

How do you feel about your body?  Do you hate it or love it? 

I love Elizabeth Scott and the work of the Body Positive.  The Body Positive uses the word embodiment instead of body image. When we think about our body image, we are standing outside ourselves looking at ourselves in judgement.  We are viewing the size of our thighs, nose or ankles and comparing them to some ideal we have seen elsewhere.  Some have even called this viewing ourselves through “the male gaze.”  It causes us to look at our body as an object.

Our body is not an object.  It is a powerful tool created by a God who loves us.  If you think about your ancestors and ponder what they were able to do with this same type of body that you have, it is incredible.  They conceived and built, farmed and fed, battled disease and cared for others.  This body has incredible capabilities. 

Embodiment means learning to feel what your body feels like.  It means listening to your body and trying to meet its need.  It means taking care of your body because you love it.  It means listening to your hunger and honoring it.  It means looking at yourself and finding love instead of hate.  Embodiment is a part of Cherishing Your Own Course.  It is a part of learning to love yourself and the path you are on. 

For more information on embodiment, go the The Body Positive website. 

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