Mirror, mirror on the wall

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My mentor, Marc David, teaches that body image is what we imagine our body to be. 

 

 

By Mindy Gorman-Plutzer

True freedom from an unhealthy relationship with food cannot happen without our ability and willingness to connect to and inhabit our bodies.

When we let our bodies speak and we actually listen, we’re naturally drawn to behaviors and foods that help us to thrive, be and feel nourished. This connection is known as embodiment.

As we look forward to spring, putting the winter doldrums behind us, let’s take a few moments to imagine what life would be like if we were simply at peace with the body we have.

You can wish to make your body healthier, leaner and stronger, but could you do that out of love and respect for yourself? Could you begin to treat yourself with kindness, to limit the negative self-talk and reconnect with your inner wisdom? It would mean celebrating, instead of punishing, your body.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Body Image is Key

My mentor, Marc David, teaches that body image is what we imagine our body to be. Imagination is a tremendously powerful force in the human psyche. What we imagine about ourselves drives our emotions, our metabolism, our thoughts and our behaviors. A negative body image is ultimately, in his words, a lack of imagination, meaning our capacity to imagine something whole, positive, real and loving about the body is stunted.

Mindy-web-150x150On a deeper level, David teaches that a negative body image says, “I reject the body given to me. I am no good. I am waging a war against myself. I am unlovable as I am.” Those struggling with negative body image are convinced of the accuracy and validity of this self-contempt. They look to heal their negative sense of self by changing the body to what most often proves to be an impossible-to-reach standard.

You can heal your body image, not by changing your body, but by creating a new relationship with it. Dr. Sara Gottfried writes about the “beauty myth,” the obsession with perfection that traps a modern woman into a vicious cycle of hope, self-consciousness and self-loathing.

I hope these messages remind you to think of all the intelligence, creativity and time you spend judging and wishing your body away. Who would you be and what could you accomplish if your beautiful mind wasn’t used this way?

As we age and take stock of the changes we both feel and observe in our bodies, it can be challenging to resist and dismiss the negativity. I know — as my 61st birthday approaches, I relate to the challenge to accept and be grateful for all my body does and the gifts it has given me. I choose to embrace those gifts and make empowered choices so this body will keep on giving.

Honor Your Body

Constant emphasis on the external makes us discount the great presence and intelligence that is housed by the body. It makes us forget the magic of our internal rhythms and fail to acknowledge the beautiful bodies we have. When we fail to honor our bodies, take action to make them go away, we diminish who we are meant to be; we become small in our worlds, limiting the greatness we are all capable of accomplishing and feeling while on this blessed earth.

The body you have right now is incredible. It never misses a heartbeat, it maintains itself and miraculously digests whatever you put in it. It is your very own instrument for expressing your creativity, intelligence and love. By focusing on what you wish was different, you may be ignoring the very important parts about your body that are beautiful, unique and delightful.

What can you let go of so you can appreciate the abundance in your life as it is now?

Do you exercise to honor your body or in an effort to make it go away?

Don’t lose the weight so you can love yourself. Love and honor yourself so you can lose the weight.

Be the change you want to see. This is the Fifty Plus Life.

In addition to being a board-certified health coach and nutritional consultant, Mindy Gorman-Plutzer is a Certified Eating Psychology Coach in Manhattan.  She is the author of The Freedom Promise: 7 Steps To Stop Fearing What Food Will Do TO You and Start Embracing What It Can Do FOR You (Balboa Press). For more information, go to www.thefreedompromise.com

 

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