Monday, February 18, 2008

Making Peace WIth Our Bodies

I had the privilege of being a guest on a radio show today, "Chat With Women" here in Seattle. We were discussing body image and how challenging it can be for women to appreciate and like their bodies, just as they are TODAY! They will have a downloadable MP3 file posted soon on their website if you missed the live broadcast on the radio or internet. Look under Archived shows for the Feb 18th broadcast. I'm the last guest on the show, about 35 minutes into the hour. Chat With Women Website

In fact, I was so excited about the show I forgot to post a blog article for this morning! Oops! Sorry about that! :)

My dream for every woman is that she look in the mirror and absolutely ADORE the person she sees there. As is… TODAY…. Assets as well as perceived ‘flaws.’

I have a goal on my personal goal list every year to “Adore and adorn THIS body AS IT IS TODAY.” This was also a theme for an entire year of my life. (I declare a theme every year, in addition to comprehensive goal setting)

As a former bulimic and someone who has struggled with body image issues and food addiction for most of my life, I have covered a lot of ground in my own recovery and healing, and I have helped countless counseling clients and teenagers with this challenge.

No woman born and raised in this culture emerges unscathed when it comes to body image challenges. We all have distortions in how we look at ourselves - especially our bodies. Many of us have challenges around food that manifest in conditions of overeating or other food related problems. We often equate our appearance with our worth as people. We must work to disconnect this erroneous and dangerous association. The rise of teenagers seeking plastic surgery to ‘fix’ their ‘flaws’ is a major reminder that this sort of inner war on the body is accelerating in our culture and affecting us at younger and younger ages. The way to freedom (and paradoxically the way to the bodies and physical appearances we yearn for) is through radical self acceptance of our bodies just as they are in this moment. From that place of respect and acceptance, we can actually change. We are often taught to hate ourselves for our flaws, and use that energy to whip ourselves into shape. This doesn’t work!! When we hate and fight against our bodies, we can never be free… even if we temporarily achieve the body or appearance of our dreams.

I know many thin, beautiful women who are still trying to ‘fix’ their physical appearance because they aren’t happy with what they see in the mirror. The inner landscape must be tended to and healed in order for us to be able to be free of the ongoing war with our sacred, magnificent bodies. I once heard a speaker (at a conference put on by Shape Magazine on Body Image) who said, “No woman ever criticized the size of her thighs after she climbed a mountain!”

I love to help women embrace their bodies, and their physical form as a precious and miraculous gift to be cherished. From THAT place… real change, for the right reasons… is not only possible… it is inevitable!

Check out my resource list on my website for some great ideas on how to work with body image and eating challenges: Making Peace With Our Bodies - Resource List

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