Body dissatisfaction. We all know what it is, we have all been there, to some degree. Whether we are standing in front of a mirror, trying on clothes, catching a glimpse of our reflection, we recognize the pit in our stomach, the feeling of intense dislike, and we link it to what we see. And that’s where the problem begins…we begin to control, and eventually it controls us, and we’re stuck, feeling like there’s no way out.
It’s not about the relationship with the body; it’s about the relationship with the self. The body is just the vehicle we attach the dislike to because it’s the physical representation of the self.
We desperately try to alter the body in hopes that we might change how we feel about ourselves. We tell ourselves,
“If only I was __________ enough, (fill in the blank for yourself: thin, toned, healthy, pretty, beautiful, attractive, fit….the list goes on, and the words differ for each of us) then I would be ok.”
And the thing that is most mind-boggling, is that we don’t even know that that’s what we are doing.
We don’t feel like we are enough, we don’t like who we are, and we take that dislike out our on our body, the tangible piece of who we believe ourselves to be. We think if we change the external, the internal will change too, and if we like the external we will like the internal. But it doesn’t work that way because it’s backwards.
We are all desperate for the ability to love ourselves, real love is unconditional, all encompassing, it does not say “I would love myself if _______” or “I would love myself more when_______. “ If we love ourselves, we love ourselves, period. Sure, things can change, but true love doesn’t fluctuate, if it does, we never loved ourselves in the first place.
Without it, we attach the feeling of being ok, to something external, something we have to work really hard to maintain, and that reality, is just too hard to do for long term.
Eating disorders are a general disconnect, we are desperately trying to get back to a place of connection through the manipulation of our body, to get to a place where we feel we can connect once again and feel safe. It doesn’t work that way. We need a healthy relationship with ourselves, held up by trust and commitment in the self, which includes the body. Without it, we look to the external to make us feel something and the cycle continues: to feel something we need the external, to keep the feeling we must maintain the external, and the madness continues.