Archive for the Body Category

Junk Food Landscape

images7GE7Z3V1“Junk food is everywhere. It is in the cereal aisle in the supermarket and sometimes in what we listen to on the radio or watch on television. Some of our daily interactions, routine regrets, or work that has become pointless and boring can also qualify as junk food. Whatever or whoever introduces toxicity into our bodies or our lives can fall into the category of ” junk food.”

On examination, some of the content in our closets, bookshelves and computers might be obvious examples of junk food we can best do without.  A friendship, a family member or a co-worker that routinely leaves us feeling guilty or worn out hardly nourishes us. Just like junk food in our diets can pose harmful consequences for our health when we eat it regularly and in large quantities, a stressful relationship, an uninformed belief or self-deprecating behavior can upset our system and cause all kinds of unhealthy cravings.

Fear, impatience and intolerance, towards ourselves or others, are prime examples of junk food. Harsh judgments bloat our egos and weigh us down. Feeding ourselves with nutritional and personal integrity keeps  our lives original and satisfying.  Junk food in all its forms can sabotage our health. We can recognize junk food by the way it makes us feel before, during or after we take it in.

What might qualify as “junk food” for you? 

 

 

 

 

 

Body Love In The Nude

untitled.png nudeIn early January, 2015, a What Part of You Is Hungry? client shared a transformative experience. Robin is in her sixties, and like many of us, has long struggled with her body image. In working together, we explored her hungers and her lingering feeling of emptiness. Here’s her story in her own words: 

Sunny Kruger is a miracle worker.  When I first telephoned her, it was about wanting to shed pounds. She knew from the start it was about more than pounds.  That’s her unique gift.  Our sessions took me deeply into myself and finding someone who was beautiful and worthy. Sunny gently guided me through my tempests, past my tantrums, into my hidden tales. And I lost the desired weight, gaining insight instead about what filled my empty places besides food.     

Just the other day I was asked by my artist-photographer friend to pose for a photo shoot for a project she is creating for the Women’s Museum in downtown Asheville. With hardly any hesitation, I said “Yes!” I couldn’t wait to tell Sunny. This was no ordinary photo session. I had agreed to be photographed in the nude!”    

Robin’s photograph debuts this fall. Undoubtedly, the courage to pose nude marks a real personal victory. Robin is more comfortable in her own skin, but in sharing the photograph with others, she invites other women to look at their bodies with more acceptance, too. We all might not pose in the nude as the ultimate expression of coming to peace with our body. But feeding her empty places led Robin to a place of courage and commitment about living the rest of her life with a spontaneity and freedom she never imagined possible. 

Hearing Robin’s story made me wonder about other ways of stripping down old fears and anxieties to claim an authentic body love. Maybe donning a swimsuit for the first time in twenty years is your moment of authentic body love. Perhaps wearing sleeveless shirts in the summertime again or riding a bike on a trail requires a kind of bravery from you. For me, the first time I dared to make love with the lights on was a momentous experience.  Is there a moment that represents your moment of claiming body love? Please share below, and let’s learn from each other.  

How to Improve Your Body Image in 3 Easy Steps

 

If we can’t experience the reality of our innermost beauty, losing weight won’t bring us any closer to recognizing how lovely we are.

320756_2545702681966_1101898257_nMany of us have struggled with body image for most of our lives, but this battle doesn’t have to define our future. Transforming our body image may not be an instant fix, but beginning the process is far simpler than many of us realize.

Here are 3 doable steps that will undoubtedly improve your body image and lead to greater self-love.

1. Rethink Your Flaws.

Often there’s a body part that steals our focus. For some of us, it’s our thighs. For others, it’s our stomach. Many of us are preoccupied with a part of our body we’ve designated a “problem.”

Yet, the very fact that we see our body as a problem tells us more about the state of our mind than the state of our body. Often our lens is shaped by popular culture and fashion trends. Start working on your perspective. It’s the one that matters most.

Do some investigative work and find a culture or a historical period that celebrates round stomachs or thick, full thighs. It may make a difference in how you think about your own body parts. When you find yourself focusing on your “flaws,” remind yourself that seeing your body as a problem is simply a matter of perspective.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/perfect-female-bodies-no- such-thing_n_4726196.html

2. Go Grateful

Feeling truly grateful for our body heightens and reinforces connection with ourselves and with others. Our amazing body manages a legion of complex human functions and interactions to maintain its balance and health with loyalty and resilience. We depend on our body to make courageous efforts to compensate for physical and psychological maladies as they occur.

Our bodies are first and foremost functional. Our legs are our primary means of support and movement. Our torso protects vital organs. Our hands help us complete the essential tasks of every-day-life and embrace our whole world.

When we’re focused on what we “don’t like” about our body, we miss out on one of its most remarkable aspects – Our body is a “communication specialist” bar none. It takes in and responds to everything we think, say and do. Everything takes place in our body. It maintains a continuous stream of communication-whether we are aware of it or not.

There is a powerful, inseparable connection between our minds and our bodies. The more grateful and kind our inner dialogue is, the more positive the corresponding physical responses. We can linger in our bodies longer and feel safe in them.

Make a gratitude list featuring your body. Describe the abilities you treasure, the ways your body supports you, the health you savor. Take an inventory of your senses and appreciate each one for how it enriches your life. Close your eyes and listen to your body’s extraordinary language. It can be an unprecedented meditative experience for as long as it lasts.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Learn-to-Listen-to-Your-Bodys-Signals#ixzz3TtwRoZPz

3. Treat Your Body As A Dear Friend.

Poor body image can lead to incessant internal unrest in which our mind, body, and spirit are disconnected and adrift. When we’re in conflict with our body, we are far more likely to succumb to unhealthy behaviors. Instead of thinking of your body an adversary, try treating your body as a dear friend. Try to embrace a spirit of hospitality and kindheartedness on its behalf. Nothing is closer to you than your own body.

11532_20120923_193954_dandelionsWould you prepare a beautiful and nourishing meal for a dear friend who came to dinner, or would you pass them a paper bag from a drive through restaurant? Would you rush a dear friend through a story, or would you be patient and empathize? Imagine what your daily life would look like if you treated your body as a friend and listened to the messages it gives you with compassion and warmth. Transforming your body image isn’t going to happen overnight, but never underestimate your capacity to change your perspective from one moment to the next.

Every subtle shift in how you perceive yourself can transform how you see everything else. Seeing your thighs as too fat or your upper arms as unattractive is more likely to prescribe your behavior on the beach trip, not your appearance. Can you relate?

What Overeating Is Telling Us

images.jpg XBeing more generous with ourselves lays the framework for maintaining a healthy weight as much as making healthier food choices does. Too often, overeating is the other side of the scarcity we impose upon ourselves. Do we often eat uncomfortably large quantities of food because we allow ourselves too little affection? Do we work very hard and make a lot of money but never spend much on ourselves?

If our relationship with food is wounded, we can be sure that woundedness spills over into other areas of our lives. Many of us find it easier to feel guilty than to forgive ourselves. Many others say more than “thank you” when someone gives them a compliment. Our relationship with food mirrors the relationship we have with ourselves.
Chaotic eating patterns often reflect other internal storms. If you’re eating is chaotic, in what other areas of your life is there disorder and confusion? What situations are causing you unhappiness and undue stress? Has an important relationship become unreliable, causing you conflict or grief? Where can you identify instability or growing concerns at home or at work?

The next time you overeat, instead of feeling guilty come up with a thoughtful and reassuring response to help you move on with a little more grace and a lot more self respect. What might that be?

 

The Reality of Weight Loss

The reality of a weight loss is often different than its promise. Generally, we are delighted to see different sides of ourselves emerge as we are in the process of losing weight or reach our “goal.” We feel livelier, move with greater ease and even breathe better. But living in a new physical space requires that we give ourselves enough time and constant support to adapt to a different physical, emotional and spiritual reality.

imagesAYYKH92QFor some, a change in body shape and dimensions is like learning to walk all over again, navigating through the world in a whole new way. Learning to trust and respect our body doesn’t happen automatically if we haven’t felt that way before. It takes time to see our bodies as truly sacred aspects of our being when we’ve rejected them for so long.

untitled.pngwwEven when we’ve become accustomed to a healthy diet, we still get hungry. We still get hungry when we are surrounded by temptation or dealing with too much stress. We still get hungry as our self-esteem and confidence (and dress size) is seeking new levels and our relationships change. When food has been our “default” for so long, we must remain vigilant of falling back into the habit of feeding our body when our hunger is coming from someplace else.

The proportions, symmetry and priorities of our lives keep changing and all the fine tuning is up to us. Weight loss is complex. Understanding our hungers and balancing the collective resources of our body, mind and spirit with our needs supports a truly healthy life. Our excesses and deficiencies are there to balance us, not diminish us.

imagesIRQ03P8MWhat challenges have you faced once you have been successful in losing weight? What insights can you share with someone else who is about to reach her goal weight?