Body Image 

Negative body image may not seem that unusual in today’s world.  We hear many boys and girls or men and women, describe their bodies in negative ways.  Its not unusual to hear someone say, “  I feel so fat!”, or “ Do you think I look fat in this?”, or talk about the latest diet or exercise program they are doing.  

Body image disturbance may occur as part of an eating disorder, as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (a preoccupation with an imagined defect in our appearance), or as a result of living in a society that perpetuates the notion that we should all be thin to be healthy.   Negative body image becomes a serious issue when our bodies become the focus of negative attention on a daily or even hourly basis, and can impact our ability to function normally in our daily life.

Negative body distortion means we begin to see our bodies in distorted and unrealistic ways.  We may think we are fatter or thinner than we really are, or have obsessive negative thoughts about the size or look of specific body parts .  We may become so self-conscious about our body that we begin staying home more, fearing what others think and say about us, resulting in less and less social involvement and more and more isolation.

When feelings about your body become a reason to stop doing things you previously enjoyed, if you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others and feeling like you don’t measure up, or you begin excessively exercising or restricting food in an effort to change how you look, your negative thoughts and behaviors are significantly impairing your life.  

Creating a more positive body image is a process of healing that involves being at peace with your body and developing a healthy lifestyle that allows you to focus on creating positive relationships with yourself and others and doing the things in your life that bring you pleasure and joy.

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© Terryann Sanders,  Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, 1361 S. Winchester Blvd, Ste 101, San Jose, CA 95128  408 410-9370, All rights reserved.