Posts Tagged body image

The Meaning of Food: An Overview

Happy-Group-of-WomenDon’t you wish you could go back in time and ask Eve why she ate that apple? She was surrounded by lush beauty and all the food she could ever want or need. What was she not getting from living in Paradise? What wasn’t she getting from Adam? What couldn’t she provide for herself?

The whole spectrum of problems that you have with eating may be more about the nature of your hunger than about the food you consume. Some essential part of you besides your body is starving. Some need is not being met. Some potential is not being realized. Perhaps something painful is crowding out some of the joy and purpose in your life. Food, in its broadest sense, is what heals you. Food redeems your understanding of yourself.

How you feed yourself involves far more than the choices you make every day about the substances you put into your body. Certainly you need energy to carry out your thoughts, purposeful acts and support the structure and functioning of your incredible human body. Most likely you understand food to be the organic matter that maintains life. Of course, you are correct. By now, you are familiar with the terms defining major nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. You may know a great deal more.

But you are a lot more than your body. Your mind and your spirit are vital aspects of the whole of your being. Expand your concept of food to include much more than the wholesome substances that go into your mouth to feed your body. Your mind needs constant nourishment. Your spirit can be ravenous.

Your body, mind and spirit are fluid and intrinsically interrelated and their “appetites” ebb and flow. Every aspect of you experiences hunger, needs feeding and has its own unique food requirements. It’s up to you to recognize what part of you is hungry and determine the kind of food that will best satisfy that hunger. Keep in mind that if it nourishes your body well, enlivens your mind or expands the reach of your soul, it is food…..

 

“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children”

How many of you who have been struggling with your weight since childhood (regardless of what you weigh now), know this little girl? It is time to pay more attention to all the body image issues our daughters and granddaughters must face today.images.jpglittle girl

A Message To Ourselves and Our Children

“Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”        Leonard Cohen

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Do I Look Too Fat? 3 Insights to Transform How You See Yourself

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Thinking about your body in terms of how “fat” it is can erode your self-esteem and keep you at a distance from your real beauty. Here are three insights to help you reframe how the word “fat” operates in your life by changing the focus from body image to self image:

1. When you say “I feel fat,” what precisely do you mean? This is an important question because “fat” is a word many women use as a stand-in for a wide-range of authentic emotions. What is the feeling, the mood or the experience that is the driving force behind your “I feel fat” statement. Do you feel undesirable or socially anxious? Do you feel inferior or unlovable? Are you sad or hurt or angry and don’t quite believe that you belong in the world today? Shift your focus from chronic preoccupation with your body’s size and weight to what you are really feeling about yourself in the moment. 

2.  “Do these pants make me look fat?” How often do you suppose this question is heard in women’s dressing rooms? How many times have is asked it yourself?  Realize that no article of clothing makes you look fat. Your clothes do reveal other important information about yourself. A dress can emphasize how gracefully you age; a pair of shoes might say something about your sense of humor. But most often, the clothing you choose to wear is a statement about how you feel about yourself:

“I feel pretty” or “Don’t look at me.

“I’m comfortable and secure” or “Go away.”

“I’m a winner” or “I’m hopeless.”

“I mean business” or “Shoot me now.”

The colors, patterns and fit of your clothing can draw attention to you or help you hide, but no article of clothing “makes” you look fat. See if the clothes you feel drawn to give you insight about your internal landscape.

3. When you stand before the mirror, shift your attention from the critical eye perpetually judging the relative size and shape of your body. Remember that the amount of space you occupy is not a reflection of your self-worth. The size of your backside is not in proportion to your capacity to give and receive love. Your body’s silhouette does not limit or increase your integrity or your courage. Keep in mind that even the most dramatic weight loss does not promise an increase in self-esteem. A shift in your self-esteem, however, can support anything you want to accomplish.

 

 

Don’t Feed A Starving Spirit Bread

images9TADCVNWSpiritual starvation is often self-inflicted. It has different degrees of severity as can all forms of mal-nourishment. When our spirit is starving, the symptoms are the same as when our mind or body is starving; lethargy, weakness, confusion and irritability. When we are not in touch with our heart to remind us we are enough and have enough, the quality of our lives diminish. Spiritual lethargy clouds over all aspects of our being and we are vulnerable to feelings of emptiness and loss.

A starving spirit can affect our immune system, making our bodies more susceptible to illness. When we cannot access the love in our hearts, we can be very hungry, indeed. Traipsing around, outside our hearts, makes it difficult to retrieve enough of the spiritual resources we need to overcome our most powerful urges to eat that are not biological in nature.

There is no “quick fix” to developing a healthy relationship with food or with yourself. The ultimate solution is a matter of maturity, introspection and spiritual discernment. It is a lifetime endeavor. We learn better ways to take care of ourselves over time. Fortunately, there is enough love and deep appreciation in our heart’s pantry for how we chose to live our life. We have enough courage to get through our physical and emotional problems and our soul’s struggles with feelings of worthlessness, shame, loss and grief—and all the accompanying pain. We find enough wisdom to know the truth and strive for wholeness.

For the spirit….. “Enough is a feast.”     Buddhist Proverb