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Body Image Discussion


Posted by Nirmala N.

I'm always interested in hearing about how people view their own personal body image, particularly among communities that appear to be conscious about things like health and wellness. So I have a few questions for you: 1) If you're part of a community that cares about health and wellness, do you still find that positive body image tends to be lacking? 2) How does a positive body image figure into your own personal health and wellness goals? 3) If you feel you have a positive body image, what are some of the things that happened or steps you had to take to get there? 4) If you're still learning to accept your body, what are some of the challenges you've experienced in getting there? How has your health and wellness routine helped you?
 
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It took me a long time to realize that what I was dissatisfied with about my body wasn't my weight but my shape. I'm short waisted and have long legs a narrow waist and wide hips. I'm a true pear shape. No matter how much weight I lost I still had the same shape. We can change a lot of things but not our skeleton. I finally learned to love my shape after all it's the one I've got.
I live in California where the culture and advertising are all geared towards thin and fit. I am anything but, so it does make things difficult when interviewing for jobs. Much of the time I have a skewed view of myself where I don't see myself being as heavy as I actually am (so I guess I have a somewhat positive self image and acceptance of my size). My sister (who is a size 10 and normal weight) is the opposite and always feels she is fat. We grew up and currently live in the same enviroment and came out of it with completely different body image issues. Go figure.
My bad. Ah, sorry, Kristen. I just noticed in your post that you said you are in a long-term relationship. My thinking is that if it's long-term, your partner obviously already finds you attractive. I've known a lot of people who lost a great deal of weight who fear that they're going to put it all back on, so I kind of understand the fear. You mentioned that you think the fact you didn't have a long-term relationship when you were heavier has something to do with your feelings, but my guess is that your confidence probably increased a hundred-fold when you lost weight, which is why you attracted a partner. I've known lots of heavy people who've never had trouble scoring a date, but that had to do with the fact that they thought they were worth a million dollars--so everyone else did, too!
Pressure to look good. Kristen, are you in a new relationship? I think I've read studies before that women definitely feel a stronger pressure to look good when they are in new relationships (up to six months). I don't think I necessarily felt a pressure to look good when I met my fiance, but the desire to be desirable certainly fit into that equation. :) Now that we're practically like an old married couple, that dynamic has changed a bit. I guess it depends on where you feel the pressure is coming from. From my experience, it's seldom other people who are insisting we look our best--the pressure usually comes from within.
Body Image "confusion". I guess that's the way to describe my situation. You see, about three years ago I was 40 pounds heavier than I am right now. Back then, I knew I was overweight, but wasn't too concerned about my image and was fine with the way I looked, from what I can remember. When I started feeling tired and sluggish all the time, I knew it was time to get moving and start exercising. It took me about 1 1/2 years to lose the 40 pounds, and now I'm at a fairly consistent weight that is much healthier and makes me look better, I think. Yet, at this point, I seem more worried about my weight and looks than I had been before. I'm in a long term relationship, which I didn't have when I was heavier, and I'm wondering if the self-imposed pressure to look great for a loved one has something to do with it. Any ideas or suggestions?
Body Image. 1. I like being part of a health community because it reminds me that taking care of myself is important. --- this will be hard to answer - I can't see your question any more in this window. So, I'll answer in general.... 2. I had a great body image til I moved to LA - people are obsessed about their looks here and it's very easy to get caught up. 3. I'm getting back to having a good body image because I know I'm taking care of myself and working to look my best without being obsessive. 4. I can't remember this question at all but thanks for asking it - this is a good topic. Overall, I think it's important to love yourself for who you are and not what you look like, but on the other hand, to be certain you are caring for yourself as much as you can.
body image. In terms of body image and well-being, there is a lot to say! Feeling like your body looks good ultimately gives you confidence in every area of your life. You feel better and therefore act kinder; you become a better friend, lover, wife, mother because you feel like you are doing what is right and appreciate yourself more. It is not about having a great body image when you are clearly overweight...people say love yourself and your body even when you weigh 200lbs and I don't think that should be the case. Right now I am 20lbs over weight from over eating while pregnant. I don't hate my body image of course, but I feel totally just in saying that my body image is lacking and will become better as I make the right choices to be healthy.
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