So my Dad sent me this article from Yahoo! News. A recent research study shows that women who have a normal perception of body image based on psychological screening tests still have brain scans that reveal they are concerned about getting fat. In fact their brain scans are similar to women with full blown eating disorders. On the other hand, the brain scans of men showed no indication that they were concerned about body image.
What’s the difference between the sexes? Social pressure. Women spend so much time fretting about their physical appearance because we are expected to look a certain way. What a waste of energy and time that could be spent in more productive and worthwhile pursuits!
So ladies, next time you have an obsessive body thought come in to your mind, here are some alternative thinking patterns that may help you get on a healthier track:
1.) I’m not entertaining this thought, I have more important things to think about, like (fill in the blank).
2.) Rather than obsessing about how much I weigh, I’m going to focus on doing positive things for my body like giving it nourishing food when it’s hungry, sleep when it’s tired, a hot bath when it’s sore, and exercise when it’s sluggish.
3.) Instead of berating myself, I’m going to list 2 positive things my body has done for me today (then list them).
I know this sounds awfully cheezy, but we have got to stop this body hating obsession. Negative body thoughts do nothing to improve our appearance, physical health, or emotional well-being. But learning to speak to ourselves in a positive, loving, and healthy way can improve all of those things. And it’s just one positive thought at a time.
If you feel consumed about body fearing and body hating thoughts, you may want to think about getting some support. I have a list of resources. To get you started, my friend and colleague Deb Schachter has an upcoming workshop to help you improve your body image on May 8th. Contact her for details!
Your dietitian in Cambridge,