Dis­cover how to like your body be­fore you love it

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Dr Matthew Anderson

How do you feel about your body right now? Do you have body love, or do you look in the mir­ror and see some­thing that you dis­like or even de­spise? You have a thou­sand ob­ser­va­tions that are re­ally judg­ments about ev­ery sin­gle as­pect of your body. You can’t imag­ine chang­ing your per­cep­tions even the slight­est. Feel­ing that way is com­mon and is easy to un­der­stand how peo­ple fall into this way of feel­ing about them­selves. But there is a new way to deal with this that may be help­ful to you. If we are go­ing to take bet­ter care of our bodies, we need to change our at­ti­tudes about them. We have to learn to love them as it is al­most im­pos­si­ble to change or care for some­thing we hate. Here are a few im­por­tant truths that re­late to body love:


Body love does not mean that you have to LIKE your body. Many weight-chal­lenged in­di­vid­u­als re­sist body love be­cause they think they have to like it be­fore they lose all that ‘nasty’ weight. How­ever, lov­ing your body is dif­fer­ent from lik­ing it and any­one can de­velop the abil­ity to have body love. Body like will come later.


Body love means that you have to learn to have some com­pas­sion for your body. For ex­am­ple, re­late to it as if it was an abused child that asked for your help. If you be­gin to see your body as an ob­ject wor­thy of your love (not like), then the en­tire process of car­ing for it will change.


An­other part of lov­ing your body is learn­ing to lis­ten to it. Most peo­ple who are over­weight stopped lis­ten­ing to their

bodies long ago. We (weight-chal­lenged per­sons) have learned that food would help us man­age our un­pleas­ant feel­ings. Once we dis­cov­ered this, we stopped lis­ten­ing to our bodies and paid sole at­ten­tion to our emo­tions. For in­stance, our anx­i­ety said, ‘Please help me feel bet­ter. I need pasta and bread to calm down!’ Then anger spoke up and said, ‘Lis­ten, I would kill for a French fry. Get it and

get it now!’ Af­ter that, sad­ness, lone­li­ness and hurt all com­bine to force us to eat tons of any­thing that will fill that ter­ri­ble empty space that those feel­ings cause. Pretty soon we have lost aware­ness of our body’s mes­sages of be­ing full or sat­is­fied and eat­ing be­comes al­most al­ways about feel­ing bet­ter. Then we get fat­ter. The truth is, your body is ac­tu­ally your friend and can tell you ex­actly what you need and want to eat and when you are full and sat­is­fied. You don’t have to like your body to lis­ten to it. But if you do lis­ten, you will dis­cover that it will be the best weight loss friend you ever had.


This is an­other way that will re­ally help you learn to love your body. STOP your body-crit­i­cism mono­logues. STOP the con­stant men­tal at­tacks on your body ev­ery time you hap­pen to look in a mir­ror. You would not tol­er­ate that kind of abuse from any­one, so de­cide to stop do­ing it to your own body. It never eases the sad­ness, lone­li­ness and pain and it usu­ally makes you feel so bad that you want to eat to make your­self feel bet­ter. Stop­ping your body-crit­i­cism will cre­ate a space in which you can lis­ten to and care for your body whether you like that body or not. Soon you may even no­tice that your body thoughts are be­com­ing a bit more com­pas­sion­ate and then you will be on the way to real body love.

Dr Matthew Anderson has a Doc­tor of Min­istry spe­cial­is­ing in coun­selling. He has ex­ten­sive train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence in Gestalt and Jun­gian Psy­chol­ogy and has helped many peo­ple suc­cess­fully nav­i­gate re­la­tion­ship is­sues. Dr Anderson has a best-selling book, ‘The Res­ur­rec­tion of Ro­mance’ and he may be con­tacted via his web­site.

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