Mirror, Mirror: Nurturing Body Image to Build a Loving Partnership


On this show… we are truly looking into the mirror as we come face to face with a needed shift in perspective, nurturing our body to build a loving partnership.  Do you treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would a loved one? We can all shake our heads yes but let’s be honest, what you think about yourself in the privacy of your own mind you would never say out loud to a friend. We often compare ourselves to others, especially in the age of social media where idealized images are prevalent. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-criticism. Negative experiences, such as bullying or criticism, can contribute to low self-esteem and a negative body image. These experiences can linger and influence how we see ourselves. Enough is enough. You were assigned this body for better or worse. Depending on your beliefs your soul may live forever but this body has an expiration date. It’s time to appreciate your body for all it does for you. Focus on its strengths and abilities rather than perceived flaws to create a true partnership.

This topic has surfaced for me recently as I’ve been dealing with my own health and the breakdown of my body. My husband told me that he listens to his body, is in tune, and in fact, has created a partnership with is body. One body and mind….literally. This was kind of a revelation for me since it shifted my perspective. I hadn’t considered this kind of closeness or comradery with my body before. Oh sure, it has served me well over the years but it has also provided a few disappointments, some valid and some not. 

Let’s start with the positive…I’ve had three beautiful children. I wasn’t able to have natural childbirth but we completed the job all the same. I was a dancer for many years and at one point, taught aerobics, managed a gym, and was a personal trainer. 

Ok …now some of the disappointments. Unlike Stretch Armstrong, my body didn’t always bounce back like elastic but instead left a few unsightly scars. The vertebrae in my back proved to be rather weak and for some reason didn’t stand up to a desk job tied to a computer. 

Oh and age … Well, let’s not even go there right now. 

The point is, that I need a new attitude and a stronger and healthier relationship with my body. And guess what, a shift in perspective is the fastest way to get it so hang in there, let’s get to work. 

Setting the stage for this discussion, I found some interesting facts on the Mt Hood CC website about Body Image

Martha Kauppi shares how to  Make Lifestyle Changes From a Body-Positive Perspective,  Hating yourself into change is a surefire way to lose ground found at psychologytoday.com

Alexa from The Living Well shares her story on How To Heal: Shifting Your Perspective on Health

Shifting your body image from vanity to health involves changing your perspective and priorities. Here are some strategies to help you make this shift:

  1. Focus on Functionality: Instead of obsessing over how your body looks, focus on what it can do. Appreciate your body for its strength, agility, and resilience.
  2. Set Health Goals: Instead of setting goals based on appearance, such as losing weight or achieving a certain body shape, set goals that prioritize your health and well-being, such as improving cardiovascular fitness or increasing flexibility.
  3. Practice Mindfulness: Be present in your body and listen to its cues. Pay attention to how different foods, activities, and behaviors make you feel, and make choices that support your overall health and vitality.
  4. Diversify Your Self-Worth: Cultivate a sense of self-worth that is not solely based on your appearance. Recognize and celebrate your talents, skills, and qualities that have nothing to do with how you look.
  5. Challenge Societal Norms: Recognize that societal beauty standards are often unrealistic and unattainable. Challenge these norms and redefine beauty based on diversity, inclusivity, and individuality.
  6. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself and treat yourself with the same care and compassion that you would a loved one. Acknowledge that your worth is not determined by your appearance.
  7. Seek Support: Surround yourself with people who support and uplift you. Seek out communities or groups that promote body positivity and self-acceptance.
  8. Seek Professional Help: If you struggle to shift your body image or it negatively impacts your mental health, consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor who can help you work through these issues.

CHALLENGE: Focus on your health and well-being rather than your appearance, to help cultivate a more positive and sustainable body image that will be rooted in self-care and self-compassion. By doing this, you will build a loving partnership grounded in mutual respect and acceptance.

I Know YOU Can Do It!