Advertisers have created a culture of toxic body insecurity. I got the message that my body was flawed and you might have too. For years, I told myself that I could have what I wanted when I lost 10 pounds. I missed out on so much. I’m grateful that one fateful night, I challenged that. It changed my life forever.
I almost missed out on meeting the love of my life. The night I met my husband, I was feeling insecure about my body. I had planned to join my friends for a networking event after work. But I spent the day feeling so insecure that I couldn’t stomach the idea of being seen in public. Fortunately my friends didn’t take “no” for an answer. They dragged me out on an evening when I normally would have hid on my couch. I walked nervously into the event, but everything changed when I saw the most beautiful man, literally, across a crowded room. We connected and the rest is history. That night was a great lesson for me.
“We must not let our fears get in the way of our hopes.” – John F. Kennedy
In the past, I feared that nothing good would happen until I lost ten pounds. The insecurity stopped me from doing the very things I needed to do to get what I wanted. I hid instead of going to the beach, taking classes, dating, finding a spiritual path, going on adventures and having close relationships. I was isolated and unhappy. And I blamed my body.
But my body was NOT to blame. It was the fear itself that kept me from doing what I needed to do to make my dreams come true. As long as I let the fear control me, I would fulfill my own terrifying prophecy.
In the past I viewed fear as a stop sign. When I was scared, I stopped doing the thing that made me uneasy. For example, I almost missed out on meeting my husband.
Now I use it as a propeller. When I’m scared, I embrace it (at least, most of the time) because I know it’s a sign that I’m out of my comfort zone. That is the place that can propel me into new experiences and opportunities. It’s not that every risk pays off. But I get more of what I want because I embrace fear as a necessary growing pain.
Most of us have been made to feel that our bodies are less than. I challenge you to see that as the money-making lie it is.
Advertisers have purposefully and strategically created a culture of toxic body insecurity since post-WWII. They know that insecure customers are better consumers because they buy more stuff to fix their perceived problems.
Here’s the truth. No matter your size your shape, your body will only stop you from having what you want if you let that fear keep you from trying.
In your body, as it is today, take a risk. Do something that you’ve been putting off until you lose “x” pounds.
Who knows, you might just meet the love of your life!
Take a chance and watch your dreams come true.
Want help making the shift into a healthier mindset and body? Join us at Center for Eating Recovery for an 8-Week Eating Psychotherapy Group, Heal the Hungry Brain, or for Repair Your Reflection, our monthly, body image workshop where you will update the lens through which your see your body and start to build body esteem.
Alison Ross is the founder of Center for Eating Recovery in Agoura Hills, California. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in eating and body image. Alison was inspired to start the Center after healing her relationship with food and her body. Her mission is to help others rise above the obsessive and self-hating diet mentality in our culture to find true health through empowerment, awareness, love and self-care. The Center offers treatment for eating and body image problems across the spectrum including food addiction, binge-eating, emotional overeating, yo-yo dieting, bulimia and anorexia.