I had an interesting week in clinic, with popups of some of those negative body image pattern moments that make me go hmmmmm…..
First of all, a colleague who clearly knows the focus of my work and that I’m pro undieting, said to me: “Hey you look great, you look like you’ve lost weight!”
Immediately and unexpectedly, a smile came to my face and I felt worthier for a moment – and was even about to engage in the old aren’t-I-good-I-lost-weight-and-this-is-how conversation, and then I caught myself.
But rather than deflect the compliment, also an old pattern that we address in the Body Bliss 101 program, I said something like, “Thank you, I feel great. I’ve been having green smoothies most days for the last month or so, and I think my body loves all that extra nutrient! No idea what my weight’s doing, I don’t really pay attention to it. Though come to think of it, these trousers are loose, I noticed this morning when I put them on.”
My colleague said, “See, I knew you’d lost weight!” with a big congratulatory smile, and went back to what she was doing. I was so amused at my own, old, programmed response, and at her response as well. No discussion about feeling great, no discussion about the green smoothies, just the weight…
I mused that despite my ongoing reading, discussions, aligning with others working in the field of positive body image, and of course lots of tapping with clients and sometimes on my own, that old pattern of connecting with other women through the weight loss conversation is still there, ready to roll on demand with the smallest trigger!
I guess I need to tap on releasing “the old pattern”, and also on feeling absurdly pleased about being complimented for perceived weight loss! 🙂
The second clinic moment was with a beautiful client who’s been working with me for a several months now, on long-term deep anxiety anchored in early abuse. We’re very close to the end of our work together, and she’s now seeing me every two or three weeks only, as she can see anxiety coming up in daily life is a normal attention grabber to something she needs to do – no sense of inability to cope, or being overwhelmed in any way. She was so relaxed and happy in our session and we worked through a couple of things that have come into her awareness, things she thought she’d never be able to clear. It was exhilarating for us both!
What gave me the body image moment though, was that my very slender client had lost the very drawn, stretched look of her face that she’s had since I’ve known her. Her face was soft and round, and my immediate question to her was “Have you put on a bit of weight?” She smiled and said, “Well I’m not sure, I do know I’m sleeping well and eating properly for the first time in a long time, and I feel great, I never think about my weight.”
Such a contrast to those of us who have or have had body image issues!
She naturally never thinks about her weight and has had deep anxiety in other areas of her life, and I had negative body image for years but was otherwise pretty relaxed.
It’s all about the patterns really, break those and we’re free to choose…. easy to say eh? 🙂
What about you, how is your positive or negative body image, impacting on your life?
This post is part of the Negative Body Image Primer, read more here.