With a myriad of diet pills, weight programs and slimming products on the market, its time we truly understand our OWN body and come to terms with what we consider our ideal weight. We all know that mass market diet plans don’t work in the long run..the reason being because we are are quite unique in our own skin. As an avid reader, I am currently enveloped in a wonderful book by Deepak Chopra called Perfect Weight, which gives a much more realistic perspective about what our ideal weight, body size, and body image should be based upon the Ayurvedic (science of life) body types (doshas).
In the early sections of this book, Deepak writes about the skewed object referral definitions of weight (especially for women). He notes the insurance company height/weight data tables as one example and other examples set by exceedingly thin fashion models/celebrities or other media spokespersons touting exercise equipment, diet pills and more. The point is, we need to redirect how/what we think about our body and move our perspective from object referral based to SELF referral based. Essentially, we need to REFRAME our thoughts about our own physical image. I am not suggesting that we be content with being overweight/underweight or unhealthy..but I AM suggesting that we redirect our perspective toward OUR own body type and what feels “good” for each of us. When you are at your ideal weight, you have have come that much closer to reaching homeostasis. My friend, creative visionary and change leader, Rae Luskin, will help you gain a better understanding of how this works and its implications:
Confidence, Body Image and Shame (by Rae Luskin)
When you look in the mirror what do you say to yourself?” WoW! Gorgeous.. you look great” or “Oh my god.. look at my jumbo thighs !” When our bodies fill us with disgust, it affects our ability to be the best we can be. It can affect our ability to love, be fully engaged and connected in life.
For example, If you have an overbite you might not speak up in a meeting and share a brilliant idea. If you are very overweight, you may take a menial job that does not require you to mingle with the public. If you are embarrassed by your heavy legs you might avoid playing in the pool with your kids. Your fear and shame can affect how you parent your children.
A recent study indicates that 65-85% of adult women in the United States do not like their body. In A Glamour study of 300 young women of all different shapes and sizes 97% of them talked negatively about their body 13 to 100 times a day.
Brene’ Brown, who is a shame specialist and the author of Daring Greatly talks about the shame of having our bodies betray us. “We often conceptualize “body image” too narrowly— it’s more than being thin. It can be physical illness, mental illness or infertility. When we begin to blame and hate our bodies for failing to live up to our expectations, we start splitting ourselves in parts and move away from our wholeness— our authentic selves.”
To reduce the impact of body shame we need to be honest with ourselves. Keep a journal and record what you say to yourself for a week. How has it impacted your personal and professional life? For every negative comment, look for a different story.
For instance, after lunch you say “My shirt is too tight. You look like your busting out of your top. My supervisor Tom is going to make a bad joke? Oh I hate myself, what was I thinking eating that piece of cake?” To turn this negative spiral of self loathing around you need to create a better story. “I love this shirt my husband bought for my birthday. The color just makes me feel pretty. I always seem to make a big sale when I am wearing it.”
To develop confidence and reduce the voice of shame you have to be aware and look for a better story. What is your better story?
More about contributor Rae Luskin:
Rae Luskin is a speaker, author and change leader who supports individuals and organizations as they discover their passion, purpose and possibilities. Rae has a diverse work place experience with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, A Masters in Urban Planning and a PhD in life experience! Through her creative and playful lens she has helped hundreds of individuals gain clarity and focus around their vision. In her new book, The Winning Adventure, She brings together a remarkable collection of insights and wisdom from over 100 change agents and heart centered entrepreneurs. You may also contact her at www.raeluskin.net.