“What people think of me is none of my business” – Anonymous
I love that quote. It resonates with me, because even at 50, I struggle with it. Much less so than when I was younger, but the push and gravitational pull of others expectations can be very powerful.
One of the biggest insecurities we have is often associated with how our body stacks up to what we perceive to be an accepted standard of beauty. This unrealistic comparison can do many of us in. However, building a better body image is paramount if we’re going to begin down the road to healthy weight loss.
Changing a negative body image and learning to be comfortable and content in our bodies is possible when we understand how we’ve learned to judge ourselves based on criteria that is impossible to achieve.
“A negative body image interferes with weight loss,” says Mimi Francis, MSN, behavioral health therapist at Green Mountain at Fox Run. “When our motivation to lose weight is appearance, it doesn’t hold up. It works against us because we get depressed. We think we have too far to go, or things aren’t changing quickly enough. When we compare ourselves to others, we’re likely to give up right then.”
“Other people’s comments hurt the most when they fit with what we already believe about ourselves,” says Teri Hirss, MEd, therapist in health psychology at Green Mountain. “It’s up to us to choose whether we’re going to take on what others say, or brush it off and get on with living our lives the way we want to.”
Here’s a great article by Sophis Dembling, of the Dallas Morning News, on this very topic – how bonding over poor body image is a no-win proposition.
The Skinny On ‘Fat Talk’ – It’s A Way To Bond, But Is It Healthy?
“Guys know better.
When the woman in their life asks, “Do I look fat?” guys respond, “Gosh, I love you more every day, honey,” or “Now would be a great time for me to start painting the kitchen, don’t you think?” or, “Hey, is that a UFO up there?” Anything to avoid fat talk.
For women, however, fat talk is social currency.”