If you’re unhappy with your body, you’re not the only one. According to the research institution Ipsos, 83% of women and 74% of men are dissatisfied with their body. At Red Mountain Weight Loss, we’re here to highlight what you can do and can be, rather than focus on what you need to change. Let’s explore how negative thinking can impact your mental health and behaviors, and how we can change that. We sat down with Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy. D., RM Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist, to get her thoughts on the subject.
What is body image and where does it come from?
Body image is what you feel about your body, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Where do many contributing factors from? It’s based on different life experiences, cultures, values, and discussions surrounding body image within the family.
Dr. Kim asserts, “Body image is a learned perspective, it’s not something that we’re born with. It is learned from different norms that we have been exposed to— cultural standards, familial, or generational things that we are programmed to believe.”
Before you love yourself, you must accept yourself.
If you’re thinking of overcoming your body image issues, you’re looking at it the wrong way. It’s not so much about overcoming your body image issues, but it’s about managing the negative thoughts and inner critic that we all have.
Where do you start with positive thinking?
“Let’s change our focus of what you observe about your body and describe it without judgment. Body image is all about judgment, so we have to focus on having thoughts that are judgment-free,” says Dr. Kim.
Many of us don’t just observe and describe– we observe, describe, and judge. It’s the judgment that causes the negative emotions, which then makes us feel bad and think bad things.
Examples of judgment-free thoughts vs. judgmental thoughts:
‘My brown hair is dull and I’m so boring.’ ‘I’ve worn glasses my whole life and I really wish it didn’t make my nose look so big.’
‘I have cellulite on my arms and legs and
I hate it.’
‘I have brown hair.’
‘I’m wearing glasses.’
‘I have two arms and two legs.’
When you focus on having judgment-free thoughts, you are going to start feeling better and more motivated. And the more motivated you are, the more action you take, and the cycle is a very rewarding one.
The Red Mountain Way
When undergoing your weight loss journey, you have to believe that this time is different and be willing to put in the work.
We are going to learn to work and accept our body for what it is.
We’re going to improve the areas that we can.
We’re going to ask our bodies to be more active.
We’re going to have more compassion.
We’re going to have more self-care, love, and appreciation for what our bodies can do.
And we are going to stop judging our bodies so harshly.
If you would like more help with managing your body image call us at 800-239-7830 to schedule a video appointment with Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy. D., RM Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist.