A Whole Person

When you look in the mirror what do you see? Remember the mirrors at the fun house when you were a kid? You laughed and giggled when you saw your body as short or wide and a little distorted. But as we come up in age sometimes in real life we may feel awkward or uncomfortable in our bodies.

As fitness expert and lifestyle fitness coach, I often work with individuals who sometimes come to me with a picture of a movie star, or model or someone that has an entirely different genetic body type than what may be realistic. They say, “Suzie I want legs and arms just like that.”

There’s nothing wrong with desiring a shapely or fit body, but the reality of how we are made can often prevent us from being real with who we really are and accepting that genetics, medical conditions and other physiological factors play a role in how our bodies literally take shape.

The key to feeling good about your body is to learn and respect our natural shape. We must get rid negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. We can do this by learning more about the physiological factors that may influence the result of your training efforts and desired outcome.

Body Image is…

  • How you see or picture yourself.
  • How you feel others perceive you.
  • What you believe about your physical appearance.
  • How you feel about your body.
  • How you feel in your body.

It’s been studied, that people with negative body images have a greater likelihood of developing an eating disorder and are more likely to suffer from feelings of depression, isolation, low self-esteem and obsessions with weight loss.

One list cannot automatically tell you how to turn negative body thoughts into positive body images, but a few tips can help you think about new ways of looking more healthily and happily at yourself and your body.

  1. APPRECIATE all that your body can do. Everyday your body carries you closer to your dreams. Celebrate all of the things your body does for you: running, surfing, stand up paddling, dancing, breathing, climbing, laughing, dreaming, etc.
  1. KEEP A TOP-TEN LIST of things you like about yourself that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often. Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about yourself.
  2. REMIND yourself that true beauty is not simply skin-deep. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether or not you physically look like a supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.

No one is a perfect “10” but you can see yourself as a whole person. When you look in the mirror next time, see yourself as you want others to see you; as a whole person.

Suzie Cooney

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2 Comments
Meghan

November 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

Easy for you to say! 😛

Seriously, though, thanks for the encouraging words!

Teri Hansen

November 11, 2010 at 9:05 am

Thanks so much! I wish more women would realize those pictures of celebrities with arms, stomachs, or legs they are aspiring to look like are actually digitally altered, and are likely iches smaller than what is humanly capable. It’s sickening that companies make us strive for the unattainable. Let’s start loving ourselves and our bodies and trying to be and feel healthy instead of trying to look like someone else.

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