Counseling,  Making Changes,  Self-Esteem,  Wellness

Can You Resolve to Accept the Body You Have?

Raise your hand if your New Years’ Resolution has something to do with changing the way you look!

Welcome, you’re in the right place. Join the rest of us who have vowed to eat healthy, exercise regularly, gain five pounds by March, or drop two swimsuit sizes by summer. Every year thousands of us have the same high hopes. We start the New Year with energy and renewed determination. So what goes wrong? If the tactics we are using work, why aren’t we al healthy, happy and just the right bathing suit size? There should be no one left to make this sort of New Years’ Resolution.

Now raise your hand if your New Years’ Resolution has something to do with accepting the body you have!

Welcome. This resolution may require somewhat of a commitment however because it is easier to identify with whom we want to be rather than who we are. I would be happy with a body that looked similar to that of a 12 year old boy; sort of slim and lanky, no real hips or tummy to speak of. Oh, and I want to have long flowing hair, and no wrinkles. A reasonable request don’t you think?

I can easily set unreasonable goals, although not as unreasonable as the one above. Then when I fail, it’s easy for me to blame myself. The beautiful people around me must not eat fat or cookies, EVER. They exercise more. They try harder. They want to look good more than I do.

This may not always be the case however. I once interviewed a woman who had been on The Last Chance Diet. Her jaw was wired shut for nine months. When the wires came off, she was eating 800 calories a day and GAINING TEN POUNDS A WEEK until her body was back to its original set point. Her body seemed to be saying, “I need to ward off starvation.”

It helps to take a realistic look at the body in which you currently live. The biggest factor in determining body shape and size is genetics. Lucky Gwyneth Paltrow was born with a long thin body. I bet the bulk of her family has that same basic characteristic. Now, take a hearty mental look at your own family. It might be futile to want a body significantly different from those big Uncles of yours, or that large Grandmother who loves to serve hot buttered strudel. Much to her distress, I frequently tell my daughter, “Really Dear, these thighs were made to be pulling a plow in Poland somewhere.” Tough reality!

Don’t get too depressed though, because some things can be changed. If your body is on the large end of your genetic predisposition, you might find it helpful to explore your behavior. Try asking yourself these questions.

Am I an emotional eater?
What feelings do I notice right before I binge eat?
Is my fat protecting me from something?
How would my life be different if I lived in my best body?
What stops me from attaining this life?

Often when issues such as these are resolved, the body naturally returns to a state of health and well being.

You’ve been a good group. You can put your hands down now, and good luck with those resolutions. Here’s a bit of encouragement from Deepak Chopra,

“A shift in perception happens not by changing who you are, but by seeing who you are and then shining it forth.”

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