Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Q&A with Amy!
Q: I am still really struggling accepting my body. I don’t like what I see in the mirror, and I can’t let go of the idea that if I lost a few pounds I’d feel better about myself and happier. I need to eat less, exercise more, and when I reach my goal weight I know I’ll feel better about myself. I know you’re going to say that I’m wrong. Why?
A: First and foremost, the problem is NOT your body, but how you perceive it and what your expectations are.
Your perceptions are what you believe to be true. Right or wrong, perceptions are stored as truth in your brain. So if you look in the mirror and say, “my thighs are huge,” that’s what you’re going to believe to be true.
Is it possible for you to consider that your perceptions may be off-base?
Your expectations are what you think should be true. When there is inconsistency between your perception and your expectation, this creates conflict. For example, if you think “my thighs are huge and they should not be this way!” this is a real conundrum!
Your body is mainly the result of your unique genetic predisposition. Five, ten, twenty years from now, there will be a new “normal” that you see in the mirror. Are you going to continue to hate and rant about what you see? Can you imagine an entire lifetime of this?
What would happen if you looked in the mirror and said to yourself, “this is my body today, and it is what it is.” No judgment, no expectation. That is what I mean by acceptance. I’m not telling you that you need to love or even like your body (although that would be fantastic!). Let’s start with being neutral.
Listen for the judgmental self-talk and the language you use with yourself that is enslaving you to your eating disorder. Remind yourself that this moment is all you have to make the most of. How do you need to be with and treat your body right now? Be kind and compassionate. Work on losing that diet mentality and exercise your body because it’s important for stress management, health, and overall well-being. Happiness comes when you sincerely connect with others and when you are engaged in meaningful activity. Weight has nothing to do with it. It never has, and it never will.