Again – most of us will promise ourselves to achieve the ultimate new body in just few weeks as our New Year’s resolution. And again we’ll repeat the promise before the next event. Yes, yes it is very important to keep up with health, nutrition and regular exercise. However the expectations to look and feel sexy can ruin your day.
Here it is: New Year’s celebrations, or your birthday, anniversary, or sister’s wedding. You think; this time I’ll do it. I’ll diet and exercise and this time I’ll get myself the new sexy body I always wanted.
Obviously, very few of us can actually achieve and maintain the desired new body by the next calendar event. Are we doomed to feel we have failed?
Well, when our happiness is tied in feeling good about our appearance; it is healthier to change our body image than to physically get a new body…
Since I have witnessed my clients doing this dance every year and every season I am sharing here my experiences and observations.
o What is body-image?
Body image is a perception we hold in our mind of our physical body and this perception also includes our feelings, expectations, comparisons, thoughts, likes and dislikes.
o The divide between mind and body – what we see as opposed to what’s really there.
Our generation is showing the largest disconnect, discontent, disappointments and on… in the gap between what we have/own and what we desire.
Let me put is in terms of what we read in beauty/fashion/cosmetic magazines: We’ve been bombarded with looks, styles, procedures and advice of how to look sexy. Millions of us have tried it all and have achieved the promised look! Anyone can walk into a fine American department store/beauty salon and come out looking sexy.
Alas, so many of us do not FEEL sexy, even when we had achieved the look.
The sexy look has very little to do with the feeling we expect it to produce: just because the perfect looking and ‘hot’ people on TV look happy and smile, but it does not reflect on their reality, intimacy skills and happiness…
We live in a strange misconception that the perfect body will bring perfect life: perfect friends, spouse, happiness and even perfect children.
o How does one develop a negative and/or distorted body image?
Negative attitudes show up in behaviors and feelings when we cannot accept reality: aging, natural attributes (size and shape), disability and diversity. Some of us are obsessed with fashion, comparisons and competitions.
Here are several factors that help to initiate negative body image:
First: One of the most popular factors is the power and influence of the massive media (electronic, print etc.) emphasis on perfect bodies.
Second: The combination of low self esteem, peer pressure, jealousy, shame and weakness of character could result in poor body-image.
Third. We may observe a generation of mothers who have poor body-image and raising girls and
boys who reflect mothers’ attitude and predicament.
Forth. Because we are now able to change our physical body through cosmetic procedures, many feel that they are not ‘good enough’ until all options are exercised, even extreme makeovers. We change our body simply because we can!
Fifth. This factor is the most important one to me and it is the core of body-image issues: Most people in our culture do not know their body, its boundaries and its potential for pleasure. Therefore, many who suffer from poor body-image have no appreciation and respect to own body’s marvel.
The human body and our normal healthy life cycle is a miraculous journey. The smart ones among us understand how the body works and appreciate it own wisdom.
o Healthy attitudes towards one’s body.
Healthy attitudes have to do with respect and a healthy sense of reality.
By sense of reality I mean: know your body, love your body and do not expect it to follow your social needs.
For example: if you are tall or short (in your perception), these facts of life will not change even if you will/wish them. So you have ‘learned to live’ with your height. Even if you don’t like how tall you are, the lessons learned here are valuable: we live with it with small improvements. Do not drive yourself crazy and that is healthy.
Other body attributes are not treated with same respect; we are brutally negotiating the shapes, sizes and weights of all our body parts…
When the rest of the country is making their New Year’s resolutions for a new sexy body; be smart, make your resolutions for new sensual body-image, and get the joy, pleasure and fun your real body can reward you. As stated before: For this New Year’s;
Don’t get a new body; get a new body-image.
Need help and coaching regarding body image relationships?