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Body Image - the She Devil Within
Home Health & Fitness Weight-Loss
By: Emma James Email Article
Word Count: 1146 Digg it | it | Google it | StumbleUpon it


There are so many people for whom their body image is the one thing holding them back from the ability to be the person they want to be, dream to be and that absolute belief that they are not as good as anyone else in that room, being judged by others and have a total and clear picture of the person they think the others are seeing.

Body image not only stretches from what we see in the mirror ourselves, it's a 3 angle view. Body image revolves around the 3 aspects of our "self". 1. The person you see in the mirror 2. The person you think your family and friends and those whom you feel comfortable with see 3. The person you think others see who have never met you before.

If one or 1 or all 3 of those parts of you is negative then this can in fact filter through to your self esteem, self belief, ability to interact with others, the way you read situations and how you believe others are responding to you.

Body image goes far past the skin depth - it goes into the very core of our belief systems and if you interfere with those then your perception of the world can change dramatically.

The way body image is dealt with in main stream medical intervention is often with direct psychiatric treatment, some of which can be effective but for others it is dealt with in the manner of a "disorder" on its own.

Frequently there is a misconception that this is the presenting problem - the distorted view of one's self which then leads to paranoia and depression, eating disorders etc. However, in order to deal with body image issues you need to look at the root cause of the problem, the one aspect of which, if you deal with that then the entire system and pattern of negative imagery and thoughts will collapse.

For a number of clients over the years, the initial problem started as a minor doubt. The same thing that most of us encounter at some time in that when we are in a specific state of mind, then our own internal image of ourselves will reflect the way we are feeling at that time. We then project that when interacting with others and in turn we get a less favorable response which then convinces us that our sudden negative view of ourselves must be correct.

From that one occurrence, an entirely new behavior is born. A filter of self doubt based on a image we held in our mind for a fleeting moment of time which is then confirmed by the reaction of others to us.

If I give you a simple example.

A teenager wakes up in a low frame of mind. The day before had been awful for her, her friends didn't have time for her, her boyfriend seemed to be more interested in someone else and her parents have other worries going on so no one seems interested in her. At that age, this is enough to be the world falling apart.

Her own self doubts begin to formulate putting her into a negative frame of mind. When she looks in the mirror, those insecurities change the perceived view of herself and she sees a less than perfect image. She concentrates on the parts of her she does not like which is in fact what she has been thinking about for the last hour anyway about her own personality.

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Emma James MABNLP, MATLTA, MABH, Dip FTST is a leading UK Trainer of Therapists and specialist in eating related disorders. She is also author of the book Rebel Diet and conducts seminars, workshops and courses on eating issues and body image.

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