Two things most people struggle with at one point in their life, is body image, and weight management.
Are you surprised to learn that?
How many times have you said to yourself,
"I need to lose weight." or "I wish I wasn't so fat" or even, "I need to get lean."?
Are you secretly afraid of not being good enough? Not being able to get a handle on your weight management? Aren't you tired of not liking the way you look or feel about your body? Tired of trying to be perfect?
There are whole industries built on your self loathing.
Now it's onething to want to lose weight because for health reasons, or even wanting to look better naked. If you take up the challenge to do that for you, then more power to you. That's not what I'm talking about. So what do I mean?
I'm talking about having your self worth as a human being directly linked to a number on a set of scales. Take a look at these two positions and see if you have occupied one of them.
Position 1: "I've lost weight, I weigh X amount, I feel great. I'm awesome!"
Position 2: "I weigh X amount, how have I not lost anything, I'm such a failure."
Can you relate to any of these?
Now you may think there is nothing wrong with the first position, and you would be right. There isn't, until there is.
You see, they are two sides of the same coin. You are not your performance. Your self worth is not determined by your weight loss, or your weight gain. Let me ask you a question, just because you lost a certain amount of weight within a given time frame does that make you a better person than the next? Of course not.
So just because you didn't lose a certain amount of weight within a given time frame, does it make you any less of a human being? Does it make you a failure? Again, of course not, right? (remember failure is an event, not a person).
When we identify with either position we can be locked into cylces of shame. Shame about who we feel we are. Our inner dialogue screams deafeningly that, I am not good enough, I'm not worthy, I'm a failure. I'm not good enough (sound familiar?)
In her book, Daring Greatly, Social Scientist Brene Brown PhD states that "Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience that we are flawed." Brown goes on to say that research has shown that shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, bullying and eating disorders.
How has your relationship to your body, and your experience of yo-yo dieting impacted you? I bet not in a good way right? Even if not overtly, no doubt you experience moments of insecurity gnawing at your brain.
So what can we do to improve our body image and shake shame by the roots? Brene Brown says there are several things we can do, three of which are,
1) Recognising Shame and Understanding It's Triggers. Shame is both biology and biography. can you physically recognise when you are in the grips of shame? Feel your way through it. Figure out what messages and expectations triggered it.
2) Practice Critical Awareness. Can you reality-check the messages that are driving your shame? Are they realstic? Attainable? Are they who you want to be, or what you think others need/ want from you.
3) Are You Speaking Shame. Are you talking about how you feel and asking for what you need when you feel shame?
[Brene Brown: Daring Greatly, Penguin: 2012: 75: ]
Now I know the last one may be a stretch too far for some of you, but I want you to remember that pride is shame's cloak. By speaking on it to those we trust, people who we know have got our backs, we can loosen the grip shame has around our throat, and the power to influence our behaviour. This last step by Brene Brown is an important one.
And I've got one of my own I'd like to through in the mix. Anyone who knows, will tell you that feeding your mind good information, clearing faulty programming is also an important part of the process. I've created free audio downloads for you to try out. There are 3 different tracks for you to choose from, each around 10 minutes in length.
The audio downloads have been carefully crafted to tackle different challenges around body image and weight management. So you are sure to find one that matches your needs. Take your pick. Just click below.