August 18, 2012

Your Body, Your Self.

Photo: Angela Parrish-Geyer

People that feel good about who they are act accordingly and sometimes it is our own behaviors that lead to that feeling.

Healthy self-esteem is confidence and satisfaction in oneself, based on understanding, accepting and liking the person that you are.

People with a healthy sense of self are enthusiastic, make friends easily, and are energetic. Those that struggle with a lack of self-esteem constantly compare their life to that of others rather than acknowledging their own individuality. One major issue of self-esteem for most of us is the appearance of the body.

“Fat Land” has become a descriptor for many parts of the globe where weight problems abound, causing a lifetime of poor health and a myriad of psychological problems.

The problem affects people of all ages. Overweight children become overweight adults. This cycle is difficult to break; however it can be done by:

1) Establishing healthy eating habits;

2) A consistent exercise programs;

3) Building a realistic healthy sense of self. Losing weight is not as difficult as repairing shattered self-esteem.

This is not to say that all people fighting weight problems have a damaged ego, because there is much about weight that is related to genetics. Nor does it mean that thin people all have good self-esteem.

Being thin does not mean that happiness and love are just around the corner. Being as thin as a model is difficult enough for the professional, and near too impossible for the layperson. Those who are thin can have body image issues, self-esteem problems, and unhappiness just as those who is overweight, because the issue is in that relentless comparison.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?” How difficult it is to actually see one’s own image and not to picture Snow White or the Evil Queen in the looking-glass.

Taking a few concrete steps to build one’s self esteem can be a real asset in stabilizing weight loss, as well as reducing stress over eating and weight.

1) Live your life while working on changing how you eat.

2) Don’t put things off until the weight is where you want it.

3) Buy some new clothes, even if they soon will be passed on to others.

4) Take up a new hobby .

5) Socialize with others, even when you aren’t fully happy with yourself. There is no sense hiding in a room for months on end.

6)  Take up volunteer activities. Keeping busy with positive pursuits and not obsessing about weight is powerful life changer.

7) Use a journal filled with favorite quotes, pictures, and examples of affirmations as a place to work through your progress. When writing in the journal try to set standards where the only competition is against oneself, and not the scale.

We all have limits based on many things and at the same time many possibilities. People young and old that suffer from the malaise of poor eating habits and a lack of exercise can become healthier for a lifetime.

Certainly it takes work to look clearly in the mirror and see our own image instead of one that we’ve been taught it should be or fear that it is. But, it can be done.

Editor: Lorin Arnold

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