Thursday, June 14, 2012

Accepting your Body Image: Introduction

The above picture shows the various body images that exist.  There's not one gal there that is a size 0.  Notice that?  

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about body image (one excerpt from this entire article) "A person's body image is thought to be, in part, a product of his or her personal experiences, personality, and various social and cultural forces. A person's sense of his or her own physical appearance, usually in relation to others or in relation to some cultural "ideal," can shape his or her body image. A person's perception of their appearance can be different from how others actually perceive him or her."

I have a personal story to share but before I do that (I think I'll wait til we open this up to questions and comments from all of you) about a bad body image from the time of high school until present day.  Something happened to me in high school where I was teased so much from a boyfriend of my best girl friend that when I went to college I became bulimic and then transferred colleges and was anorexic.   I maintained a healthy weight for years until I was diagnosed 17 years ago with depression and fibromyalgia.  And then 10 years ago with degenerative disc disease and osteoporosis.   I'll tell you more about that in days to come.  I want to see how this discussion progresses and what we need to cover before I get too personal about this.  I can just tell you that there is nothing that would shock me that anyone tells me about themselves and body image.  Even though I have the most loving and understanding husband with crazy unconditional love for me, I still struggle today with this.

It's hard to watch tv without seeing what Hollywood wants us to accept about body image.  For women it's a size zero and for men it's a six pack.  And many of these actors struggle themselves with body image.  Many have gone into hiding while dealing with problems while others have taken a public stand about the issue. 

The Bible has much to say about body image and accepting ourselves as we are.  But I do want to say that we should strive to be healthy, no matter what weight we are.  

Found a great blog entry about loving your body!  Here it is

I have started a group for those of us who struggle with this.  And if I do and you are interested in being in it as a fellow struggler, please email me to get the link to the private group.  Please don't ask to join the group to promote weight loss products or preach to us.  I am going to be very careful of who I allow in the PRIVATE group.  Thanks for reading!  If you have a teen who needs a group like this, please let me know.  My email is and you can email me.  No need to write your email address in the comments.  Thank you!

What would you like to discuss about body image?  If you don't want to write a public comment or question then please feel free to write to me in personal email at and for those who are wondering, cavies is the official word for a guinea pig.  I used to have a guinea pig rescue and love them to this day!  One day I'm going to blog about them.  I can put your question or comment in a blog to come without identifying you.  I am not a clinical physician and do not pretend to have anything but personal and current experience in this area.  

Let's chat!


Clancy Cash Harrison MS, RD, LDN said...

I teach lifestyle behavior change in worksites. Participants come in with weight loss as the number one priority. I have to change their thinking. They use the word skinny all the time and want to lose weight in a week. I am teaching them to value you themselves first. To want health and functional health. They need to learn to be accountable to themselves and say NO to additional stresses women put on themselves. It is a hard concept to teach. The word skinny drives me crazy b/c we will never be "skinny" enough but we can be valuable to ourselves. It is the small changes of a long time that make weight change permanent but even that weight change is for health not appearance.

kerry said...

Great article and I liked the top image.

Danielle Simmons said...

It has taken a long time for me to finally be happy with my body. But once I did life became a lot easier.

Sure I still wake up some mornings and wish I were this or that but for the most part I'm good now.

Shopping Tips and Tricks said...

Having girls, I hate what the media tells them their body image should be! So, we don't watch TV! I truly think that has helped my girls not be so concerned about it as other girls that I have seen who just struggle with that. Know what your kids are seeing on TV & guard their exposure to what the world says they should look like & that will take them a long ways to loving & accepting the body God gave them.

My SoCal Life said...

people need to be healthy not skinny. hopefully, parents and teachers and hollywood can help teach about healthy images

royalegacy said...

I homeschooled all of my girls. They are now young adults in their 20s. They never had the peer pressure to have that super skinny bony body. They are at a healthy weight, and I am totally proud of them.

Kelly said...

I'm so glad that you got help and that you are sharing your story. I do compare myself to other body type but as I get older, I'm just happy to be healthy.

Grace said...

I think lots of people do fall into the trap of wanting the fashion model figure. I've seen heavier women who dress very fashionable and embrace who they are and it shows. Being happy with your body and accepting what you can change and what you can not are important lessons to learn.

Nanny Anna said...

I have struggled with my body image since I was a little girl. My mother (a horrible woman) began telling me how I was so fat and needed to lose weight so I would be thin like her and my 'baby' sister when I was about age 8. 40+ years later and I am still dealing with this. I have never been anorexic or bulimic, my mother would say I wasn't because I was never motivated enough!

I have however been on just about every diet known to woman. After 35+ years of yo-yo dieting I finally just gave up. I have not 'accepted' my weight nor love my body, I have just resigned to it I guess. For the past 5 years I have maintain an extra 20-30lbs (according to what someone my age and height should be). I have started doing more exercise and I try to eat healthy but I have promised myself "No More Dieting!" If I am healthy and still carry an extra 20lbs then I guess I am just suppose to.

I am going to go visit that website you included and I look forward to reading future posts about this subject.


april said...

great article. I hope someday I can be happy with my body and how I look. But all of the people you see on TV especially Victoria Secret models in the catalogs and commercials really don't help at all. It gets so overwhelming sometimes try to be careful of everything I eat and always trying to lose weight. I don't know know if I ever will be able to look in the mirror and like what I see

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is sad to see this day in age so many focus on weight and an healthy weight at that. I think being healthy is the most beautiful! Everyone needs to read your post!

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