The Role Body Image Plays in Weight Loss
IdealShape strives to promote health and self-confidence in our customers, as much as helping them achieve the “perfect” shape. And guess what? You don’t have to say goodbye to your love handles before you can enjoy a positive self-image. We have found that if you start loving your body today, your weight loss journey will be more rewarding, and much easier.
Does This Outfit Make Me Look Fat?
Alright, ladies. We need to talk. A funny phenomenon has been reported among women: compulsive mirror avoidance. Have you ever darted from shower to door in two seconds flat, just to get out of the bathroom without catching a glimpse of your body in the mirror?
If so, you’re not alone. While men, too, suffer from skewed body image, women beat them on the charts. A higher percentage of gents seem to have mastered the “exposure” part of starting their weight loss programs. They’ve come to terms with their current figures, and are ready to do something about it—minus the self-deprecation and mirror-ducking. The statistics back this up: “Research shows that men generally have a much more positive body-image than women,” the Social Issues Research Centre reports.
Sure, lots of guys devote a hefty chunk of change to exercise equipment, muscle mags and grooming products. They probably even spend as much time in front of the mirror as women do. They just don’t seem to be as critical of what they see.
A Different Perspective
Ryan Sullivan of NoMoreBacon.com wrote a blog post not long ago called “Exposed.” “This morning when you looked in the mirror,” he asked, “what were the thoughts running through your mind? Did you look yourself up and down and shake your head in disgust, or did you have a feeling of approval and pride?”
It can be hard to offer three cheers to the mirror when you don’t feel at your best. But think about this: how on earth will you start taking better care of your body if you hate it? “I’m not totally pleased with my body,” Sullivan confesses, “but the truth is that our bodies are miraculous. They do so many amazing things for us.”
Why not try doing what apes do in front of the mirror? They “groom themselves, pick food out of their teeth and make faces at themselves for entertainment,” according to the Social Issues Research Centre. Doesn’t that sound like more fun than our pessimistic reflections?
The Mind + Body Connection
When you begin the journey toward your IdealShape, it’s really important to understand the connection between your mind and body. Negativity will close the door to weight loss, while positivity will swing it wide open. It is hard to be upbeat about our bodies at the outset of the program, but we have to. Not only will pessimism hinder progress, it may even be the cause of weight gain or weight fluctuation. Mood imbalances like guilt, depression, anger and stress are often contributing factors in weight management issues.
We have found that weight loss hypnotherapy is an incredible tool for correcting negative thoughts and habits. It helps people learn to tune out deconstructive messages from the media, our culture, people in our lives, and our own subconscious minds. By incorporating hypnotherapy into your weight loss program, you can make healthy choices because you love your body and you love the results. This is so much more effective than trying to improve your body while punishing yourself and being critical.
Learn how to Mastering The Mind, and you will see how clear goals and a positive outlook create amazing weight loss results.
Go On, Make Friends with the Mirror
There’s nothing wrong with liking what you see in the mirror today, even if it’s not what you hope to see a year from now. Sullivan doesn’t use the mirror to imagine how he could look better, because he has learned to love his body at every stage of weight loss. “Recognizing the positive things about my body today will improve my perception of myself,” he explains, “and will give me more confidence to succeed in every aspect of my life.” (Side note: Sullivan has been tremendously successful on his weight loss journey.)
As you can see, accepting your body today won’t halt your progress; it will fuel it. And this will help you work toward your IdealShape and not somebody else’s.
Many women subscribe to unrealistic ideas of beauty, which is very unproductive. If you covet someone else’s figure, you’ll fall short of your goals: “The current media ideal of thinness for women is achievable by less than 5% of the female population,” reveals the Social Issues Research Centre. So close Marie Claire and Men’s Health, and take a good look in the mirror: think about what your IdealShape is, and how you can work toward being the healthiest that you can be.
“The truth is that this concept of being grateful for our bodies is essential to getting fit and staying fit,” says Skyler Meine, Certified Personal Trainer and IdealShape Managing Partner. Loving your body enough to put the time and effort into it—this is where every successful health, fitness and weight loss program begins.