Body Image

- POSTED ON: Aug 13, 2011

                         

 

                           

Learning to love ourselves as we are
is important for our mental peace,
and often helps us move forward successfully in life.

Body image is what one believes
about their physical appearance,
and how one feels about their body.

When body image is healthy, it is positive,
appreciative and reasonably accurate.
Negative body image involves inaccurate self-perception,
shame and negative self-judgment.

So what can one do to improve one’s own body image?
The diet and fitness world has many suggestions.
Some of these were helpful to me,
and some were personally unhelpful.

While I was obese, I implemented many suggestions that I found personally helpful
and found that, indeed, doing this did improve my own body image.

I’ve spent a lifetime yo-yo dieting,
with a lifetime high weight of 271,
so I’ve been up and down, fat and less-fat many times.
This created many appearance problems, temporary and permanent.

 I’ve been maintaining a normal weight for almost 7 years now,
and despite the fact that my body does indeed have many flaws,
I feel very good about it, and I feel I have a very positive body image.

One of the things I found helpful …starting while I was still fat….
was to surround myself with large and full-length mirrors.
and look at myself frequently. I did it fat, and I do it now.
I found this to be an extremely valuable tool in my quest
to improve my own body image.

I put a full-length mirror on the door at the end of my hallway,
where I see myself anytime I travel toward the bedrooms.
I have another on the side hallway wall where it intersects with my kitchen,
so that I see myself when I enter the hallway.
I have mirrored sliding closet doors in my bedroom;
other large mirrors in my path toward my bathroom;
and large counter-top-to-light-fixtures mirrors in my bathroom.

 I look at myself in the mirror inside my own home wherever I go.
This has an added side effect in that it causes me keep myself well-groomed
and dressed attractively, even if I’m not going to see another person
all day long, because that is the reflection that I prefer to see in the mirror.

Every day I dress in comfortable clothing that compliments my figure,
clothing that covers flaws and is styled to be flattering to my body type.
I do this because that’s the image of myself that I like to see.
I do this for me…starting when I was morbidly obese,
through the present time… at normal weight.

Every day, when totally unclothed and alone in the highly lit bathroom,
I look at my body in the mirror, and see the reality of what is there, both good and bad.

As a part of this experience, on a daily basis,
while I acknowledge the negative aspects of my body,
I focus on the positive aspects of my body.
There is no substitute for positive self-talk, for gratitude, and positive thinking.

Rather than judging my physical shape or size, I consider 
what my body does for me, and why I am fortunate to have it.
I see the fat deposits, loose skin, wrinkles,
but I also see attractive skin color, my feminine body shape,
and the other aspects of my body that I find attractive.
When I find myself involved in negative self-talk, I counteract those thoughts
by telling myselfpositive truths about my body. I remind myself of all the things
about my own body that I am grateful for.

These things are individual to each of us, but as an example,
…whether I am fat or thin…
I am grateful for my “petite” build; for my small wrists and small ankles;
for my relatively small waist, for my tendency toward an hourglass shape,
for the pinkness of my skin, for the shape of my relatively small breasts
and my broad hips; for my small neck and individual face and hair.
I am grateful that I can flex my hands and wiggle my fingers and toes,
that I can move my arms and legs, up, down, and around. I am grateful
that I can sit and that I can walk; that I can open and close my mouth;
that I can wiggle my nose; that I can blink my eyes; that I can nod
and shake my head.

 I take responsibility for myself ..both how I treat myself,
and how others treat me. I exercise my choice not to associate
with “friends” who place an emphasis on negative physical standards,
or judge me on my size or appearance. The people that I allow to be

in my circle of friends support me and love me for who I am.

I have chosen a husband who loves and admires me,
and yet I take responsibility of fostering his positive image of me.
He is one of my mirrors, and I see my reflection in his eyes.
 
It is my choice not to walk around in front of him totally unclothed in bright lights,
and during our romantic encounters, I choose to use low lighting and highlight
my “best” parts. For me, this practice is not due to shame, but due to my

own self-respect, and my choice to give the gift of visual pleasure
by presenting myself in the best light possible to my loved one.

This is my personal choice based on my own values and preferences.
In my opinion, most older women, even those who have never been fat,
and have always maintained a normal weight, are more attractive in modest dress.

Movies show that even Jane Fonda looks better...at present...with her upper arms covered.

I believe that the above-mentioned behaviors have helped me 
develop a very positive body image, and that they can be helpful to others.
My body is an valuable asset to me whether I’m fat or thin.
It carries the marks of time as a testimony of my life experiences.

Despite the propaganda of the modern media, …although I have the right
to choose to attempt to surgically alter my body’s appearance,…
it is acceptable…and even a good thing...to be and to look old.
I don’t need to look younger or thinner, or more fit.
I have no duty to surgically alter any part of my body and suffer
physical pain in an attempt to look younger or more shapely to others.

 I am alive, and have been living for quite some time.
I’ve been fat, and I’ve been normal weight.
This is simply a fact of my life, like my height and my age.
I like my height. I am happy to be my age.
I like being normal weight.

  I like how my body looks and feels at normal weight, and
….even thought I have the same greed for excess food that I’ve always had...
I choose to work very hard every day to make certain
that my behavior with food keeps me at a normal weight.
This is what I do at DietHobby. It is why I’m here.


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On Aug 14, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
One of the things I found helpful …starting while I was still fat…. was to surround myself with large and full-length mirrors. and look at myself frequently. I did it fat, and I do it now. I found this to be an extremely valuable tool in my quest to improve my own body image.*** I am still actively shopping for one. We have a Craftsman style house, I love my body, and so I want a specific style. In the mean time, I do look at myself, and enjoy it, especially full length mirrors. I did not realize how I had avoided doing this for years. Another aspect of denial for me and one I do not care to repeat. ***it is acceptable…and even a good thing...to be and to look old.*** Yes it is. Another aspect of truth. I will not erase the passage of time on my appearance as well. I do the best I can, as you obviously do too, but for me that does not include the drum beat for a mythical youthful appearance. ***It is why I’m here. *** I am so glad you are here!


On Aug 14, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thank you Karen. I'm glad you're here too.

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