Isn’t it Time You Took Back Control of Your Body?
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s focus is all about body image – how we think and feel about our bodies and how that impacts our mental wellbeing.
Last year the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people!
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week we are going to be looking at different views on this complex subject. We’ve got some amazing guest bloggers to help us see some different perspectives – because body image is all about perspective. We will be looking at how body image can impact our health, both mental and physical whatever our age and whatever our gender.
Today’s blog comes from eating psychology coach, Star Monroe, who shares her story of how she took back control of her body image.
We are surrounded by subtle yet powerful messages telling us we are not good enough as we are. These messages have been drip fed into our minds and bodies since the time we were born.
They tell us over and over again we don’t have control over our body, we can’t trust our body, we must value intellect over emotions, our body is inferior. These messages are teaching us our body is not our own and must be controlled.
It’s kind of unbelievable isn’t it? But this is what happened to me.
I remember the first time I knew my body was unacceptable. I was 13 and reading the Vogue Beauty Bible. Their advice was I when standing legs together I must ave 3 gaps between my legs I must be able to balance a ruler across my hips when lying down. This was the catalyst which led me on a 35 year journey of hating my body. I did everything in my power to change how my body looked from eating disorders, to drug addictions to crazy diets/exercise regimes to bodybuilding.
None of this gave me any long lasting happiness nor improved my image of my body. It was only when I decided to deep dive into how I really thought about myself and consequently how I looked after myself that things started to change.
It wasn’t a quick transformation but over the years I have taught myself to love the body I have and to look after her with kindness and compassion and I’d love to share a small selection of the practices that I did (and still do) which have given me back my body.
- I started to flood my world with men and women of different shapes, sizes and skin colour who are committed to enjoying life and their bodies to the full. If the people you follow on social media don’t make you feel good about yourself, say goodbye and go find the ones that do!
- I stopped reading magazines, listening to articles which told me there was something wrong with my body. Think about it, companies want us to feel bad about ourselves so we spend money on their products. This was a revelation to me.
- I seeked out male/female icons who were not wrapped up in how they looked to inspire me to be my best version of me.
- Ditch the all or nothing attitude. It’s not about the goal, it’s about the journey.
- And finally and this is the most important, I shut out the outside noise and started to listen in to what my body needed and wanted. I practiced hearing my body’s cues of when she wanted to be fed, rested, moved. This allowed me to prioritise how I felt v’s how I looked, which is wildly liberating.
We all come in different shapes, sizes, colours. It is our mission to embrace and live this out with flair and confidence. Don’t let society put you into a box. You are way more than that! I’m rooting for you & your body.
About the Author: My name is Star Monroe. Certified psychotherapist, eating psychology coach and real life woman who has been through hell and back and lives to tell the tale. My passion is helping women really fall in love with who they are and their lives. I run an online monthly membership club called The Fabulous Collective where I take women on a life changing journey from repeating limiting patterns of behaviour to Owning Their Fabulosity.
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