One of the worst, self-defeating, things we do is to hate our own bodies. Even if they serve us well, are healthy, and are attractive to others, many of us don’t like our bodies. Look in a full-length mirror, do you like or dislike what you see? How you see yourself, and how you believe others see you, can say a lot about your mental and physical well-being. Are you someone who has an extremely negative or distorted view of your body? This negative body image can, and will, be detrimental to improving your health through healthy choices. It often causes low self-esteem, depression, sexual dysfunction, poor health habits, and sometimes psychiatric disorders. A poor body image can negatively affect feelings, behaviors, interpersonal relationships, decision-making ability, and day-to-day living. Everyone who wants to be a healthy person must develop an appreciation for their own bodies and learn to accept their body as a gift which needs respect and to be taken care of. This may take some practice. You must also understand that there are some things about your looks you can not control because of genetics.
Factors of Negative Body Image:
You’re not alone, if you have a poor body image. Studies indicate that approximately 56 percent of women and 43 percent of men are dissatisfied with their overall appearance. And two-thirds of the women and over half of the men were dissatisfied with their weight. Women tend to express most dislike for their hips and abdomen while men tend to dislike their chest and abdomen. However the number one concern was weight. Because of societal pressures and false concepts about health or beauty, people who don’t need to lose weight often believe otherwise. The factors which contribute most to a negative body image include:
* Media’s message that beauty and happiness come from being thin
* Cultural pressures
* Being in relationships where a loved one is disapproving
* Physical changes, such as pregnancy
* Chronic illness
* Childhood teasing
* Sexual abuse
Problems Which Often Develop From a Poor Body Image:
* Not asserting ones self at work and in relationships
* Limit social activities
* Find it hard to enjoy a healthy sex life
* May engage in high-risk behavior to gain acceptance
* Try crash diets
When your body becomes the center of your universe, it can have profound effects on you psyche and your health. In a worst case scenario, a negative body image can lead to psychiatric disorders and perhaps suicide. With anorexia nervosa - a self-starvation disorder to control weight, or bulimia nervosa - a bingeing and purging disorder to control weight, body image becomes grossly distorted. A vast gulf exists between the person’s actual size and how they see themselves. Psychiatric therapy is strongly indicated. One study estimated that half of American women overestimated the size of their bodies.
Improving Body Image
You must realize that much of your appearance is genetic! Your father’s nose, your mother’s pear-shaped bottom. Your height, your bone structure, even your susceptibility to some diseases are greatly associated with genetics. Your optimal healthy weight will not be the same as the movie star or model you admire most. It is essential that you strive for self-improvement, but it’s also important to be realistic about what you can change about yourself without hurting your health. You must learn to be happy and content with who you are and those things you should not try to change. Ask yourself, “Would I be happy if everyone looked the same, like the people I believe are successful and happy? Or would that take the diversity and spice out of life and make it boring?”
A positive body image isn’t just about losing weight or working with what’s on the outside. It begins on the inside! Enjoy your body for its good points; believe it or not, you have them! Look for the good, do not dwell on what you suppose to be the negative aspects of your body. Others may see those negatives as very positive; perception is a personal taste and view point. Learn to reset your negative perceptions if they are self-defeating.
Overcoming Negative Messages
The three most important things in improving one’s lifestyle are:
Exercise, Healthy Food Choices, Social Support
Obstacles in overcoming the negative come from society at large. Most diet programs perpetuate short-term thinking not life long habits. Do not allow yourself to be criticized or chided about your weight from friends, loved ones or the media. Change your attitudes about how you view obesity; don’t be sucked in to the false societal garbage. Stay focused on your goals to be healthier not thinner.
At Cedar City Chiropractic We have a team of chiropractic physicians and holistic health coaches that can help you to become your best self; it's not a crash diet or meal replacement bars its a comprehensive examination of dietary and other behavioral habits as well as productive lifestyle modifications that are meant to be permanent.
At Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, Doctors Josh Williams and M. Curtis Hobson have the solution to more than just your back. With professional, on-hand dietitians, health coaches, massage therapist, and Chiropractic physicians, we can focus on your overall health and wellness that will allow you to run FASTER, jump HIGHER, recover QUICKER, and will ultimately achieve your greatest wellness goals.At Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehab...We have MORE than just your back!