When you look in the mirror who do you see? Do you focus on your bright eyes, friendly smile and go about your day? Or do you spend time focusing on what you would change if you could. Maybe my nose could be smaller? I wish my face was clearer! If only I could lose 15(25,30,50) pounds, then I would be happy!
Often times our emotional health is tied to the way we feel about our bodies. Our bodies are amazing vehicles. They get us through the day, meeting and interacting with new people. Our bodies can create life, run marathons and dive into the ocean. Too many of us focus on what our bodies CAN’T do. I CAN’T fit into the jeans I wore last year! I CAN’T run a mile without stopping, it’s impossible! I CAN’T ever be happy looking the way I look!
Like many new moms, I have struggled with the way my body changed after childbirth. I gained over 50 pounds with my first son. After he was born, about 15 pounds seemed to drop off very quickly. After that however the weight loss started to stall and then stop. I felt like I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror, I still had the image of myself that I was a “thinner” person. I tried joining a gym, but I hated working out. Each day that I went to the gym all I could think about was how I would rather be in bed! I tried to go on calorie restricting diets and became overly focused on what I ate every day. Attending a Life Coaching group at our Orlando counseling center really changed how I felt about myself! I started thinking more about all of the things that my body was capable of. With the encouragement of my peers in the Life Coaching class I started going to Power Yoga. I have never been someone who likes to exercise, but power yoga was enjoyable and made me feel much more in touch with my body. Now instead of dreading exercise I look forward to going to yoga. It has allowed me to have time to myself to contemplate life and also get into shape.
If you have concerns about your body image and feel that you are ready to make a change in your life, the counselors at Life Skills Resource Group can help! With individual, family and group therapy you will find experienced professionals who can empower you to change your life for the better. Please look at our groups page for our most current groups. The You Can Heal Your LIfe group begins June 18th and you can check out our therapists profiles to find a helping professional that is right for you.
Jessica Stage, MSW, Registered Licensed Clinical Social Work Intern