I’ve been doing a lot of work on body image and beliefs about food and exercise lately.
What I find most empowering is to focus on thoughts and beliefs and how they shape my reality.
For example, my motivation to follow my past approach to diet has been a bit lacking because back then I was inspired and curious to find out what it was like to be in my normal weight range.
Been there, done that. It was good but it didn’t resolve other body issues I had, it just showed they weren’t about weight but about perception and feeling and posture.
How I carry myself, how I feel in my body, how I perceive my body, and my beliefs about myself are all interrelated.
What I’ve noticed just recently is that I can now picture how I want my body to look. It’s a satisfying image that matches feelings of relief, openness, and self-confidence. It’s how I think I would look if I wasn’t weighed down by past experiences and inner critical thoughts.
Reaching for that image and feeling in my mind brings relief. It feels good. It’s like setting down a burden because I suddenly feel clear about who I am.
And surprisingly (or maybe not…) when I feel good as I imagine how my ideal body feels, I no longer have the impulse to eat.
Hence the title. I’m noticing that when I imagine being my ideal self, I feel good. And when I feel good like that, I don’t feel like snacking or overeating.
When I feel good like that I want to carry myself differently. My shoulders relax and drop, my chest opens up, my back engages, my abdomen relaxes and stretches. I feel more connected as various tensions leave my body.
The pleasure and relief of these feelings imply that when I usually snack and overeat I am trying to make up for the tension and displeasure of feeling uncomfortable and burdened in my own body.