Saturday, October 1, 2011

Body Image and Fear

My personal physician, Jocele, told me one time, "Embrace your body, not the disorder."

I'm taking a diet-free living class that's being taught by a registered dietitian that specializes in eating disorders. We get homework each week that's supposed to exercise our positive way of thinking. One part of this week's homework is to stand in front of a full-length mirror and pick out the parts that we like. As soon as our thoughts turned disordered, the exercise is done. Soooo....

I stood in front of the bathroom mirror after my shower. I tried to clear my mind of all thoughts and tried to ignore the fear that I felt. So I stared blankly at myself, hair wet and stringy, draping my face. I began to brush it and found the things that I liked. I then immediately stopped the exercise because I knew if I looked further south I would criticize myself harshly. We are not to criticize during this exercise.

I found it interesting that when something I do everyday seems so mundane, but when someone else is telling me to do it, I feel fear. Fear of what? It's the fear that maybe it won't be so bad and I'll actually be able to find that strength inside me to do it. The fear also stems from standing up to the eating disorder (ED). Negative self talk is extremely powerful, and for one moment I thought optimistically about myself.

I didn't think the topic on body image would be so difficult. Moreover, I didn't realize how much fear it would produce inside me. One step at a time. One exercise at a time. All at my own pace, and if I don't want to do it, I don't want to do it. No one says I have to. More importantly, I don't have to be afraid.

And neither do you.

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