Break Free from Body Image Struggles and Why Self-Acceptance Doesn't Mean Throwing in the Towel
This week’s conversation is one that many listeners—and yours truly—find triggering: body image, the relationship with have with our bodies, and how to positively change this in our culture. According to researchers, roughly 80% of women are either extremely dissatisfied with or flat-out hate their bodies. That’s an epidemic of poor self-image and self-worth, one so widespread that there’s no single cause. And we’ve got to do something about it.
While I was at a Mastermind retreat last week, I learned about Mirna Valerio, an “ultrarunner,” cross-country coach and author of the memoir A Beautiful Work in Progress. Mirna’s words and experience triggered me and also inspired me to revisit the conversation around body image and discuss it on a deeper level. So for this episode, I’m going to discuss how body image can be an intergenerational issue, explain why body positivity can backfire, and leave you with some powerful parting words from Mirna.
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The Details of This Episode:
- Looking back on how older members of my family shaped how I began to look at my own body.
- Exploring the shockingly high percentage of American women who are dissatisfied with their bodies and how those feelings originate.
- How even the health industry can have a negative impact on how women eat and treat their bodies.
- Why we need to listen to what our body actually needs rather than try to impose an unnatural lifestyle on it.
- Addressing one of the central conceits of body positivity and how it can actually impact you negatively.
- How unhealthy social media usage can further distort how we feel about our bodies, and what you can do to mitigate those feelings.
- I share my VERY strong feelings on the subject of positive affirmations, namely why I think they aren’t as constructive as we’d like them to be.
- I read some inspiring final few words from Mirna Valerio that may help you think differently and more constructively about your body.
“Our body and our mind are connected and we need to begin to treat it that way.”
“Using food to control what our body looks like gives us an illusion of safety.”
“Start paying attention, ask your body what it needs, and freaking listen!”
“You don’t have to wait for something to change to accept yourself.”
“The body follows where the mind goes.”
“No matter our background, how much we weigh, the color of our skin—any of that—what we share is that we all have a body and we have a relationship with that body.”
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