What it feels like to heal your body image

I am a therapist who specialises in helping women to heal their relationship with their body. One of my favourite things about my work is hearing clients express the wonderful benefits they are enjoying now that they are no longer at war with their body. Healing our body image takes time, patience and work, and this list of commonly expressed benefits is why people persist. Here’s what healing your body image can achieve…

  • You truly choose what you want on the menu with freedom, joy and no guilt afterwards

  • You no longer speak critically about your body to others

  • You choose your physical activity according to what you feel like on the day, rather than exercising according to what you’ve eaten or how many calories you ‘need’ to burn

  • You take rest days when you need them, and don’t feel guilty for not exercising

  • You no longer strive to prove your ‘enoughness’ via eating, exercise, or weight loss attempts

  • You can’t remember the last time you stepped on a scale and you don’t even have any at home anymore

  • You find it annoying or boring or sad when people start talking about their new diet regime

  • You start noticing how much people talk about weight and diet

  • You let go of pouring over old photographs comparing your past body to your body now

  • When you look in the mirror you see a human, and the whole picture, rather than examining each ‘problem area’

  • You no longer keep checking whether your body has changed

  • You don’t tally what you’ve already eaten for the day/week

  • You don’t feel guilty about what you’ve eaten

  • You allow yourself to purchase larger clothes when your body changes, rather than feeling terribly uncomfortable in clothes that don’t fit

  • You don’t think about food as calories

  • You no longer judge foods as “good” or “bad”

  • You are well aware that life’s problems can’t be solved by a diet or weight loss

  • You’re no longer looking for a ‘solution’ in the next diet or fitness program

  • You realise that there will still be days where you feel bad about your body, but you now have tools to deal with the difficult feelings - you no longer turn to a diet to deal with those feelings

  • You realise that there will still be days where you feel bad about your body, but you know these feelings will pass and trust that you’ll be kind to yourself until they do

  • You realise that there will still be days where you feel bad about your body, but you know now that your body is not the problem, our culture is the problem

  • You no longer see your body as a problem to solve

It is possible to experience the freedom of body neutrality in the body you have now. Healing your body image takes time, and may need the assistance of a professional. If you would like to explore and improve your relationship with your body, I’d love to work with you.

 

by Jodie Arnot

Jodie is a registered counsellor with a Masters in Counselling from Monash University. She provides counselling via telephone, Skype, and in person, and is passionate about helping women to improve their relationship with their body so they can enjoy the freedom to live a life they adore.

 

Body imageJodie Arnot