A FEW TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR BODY IMAGE –
First let’s define what body checking is (which might surprise you!) and then dive into how your personal expectations are hindering you from improving your body image. Included is an opportunity to dive deeper into a better body image.
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Hey ladies, welcome to episode 107. I’m still blown away sometimes that the podcast is in the one hundreds, but here we are. I’m ready for it. Today’s topic is body checking. Let’s dive in. Welcome to the health life and more for women podcast. My name is Jennifer D’Amato a certified, intuitive eating counselor, coach, mom of four, lover of all things pink, and I want you to live your best health and your best life. I believe the way we can all do that is by finally walking away from diet culture by relearning what your body needs, reconnecting with your body’s biological signals and redefining what health is on your terms. This show will shed some light on sneaky ways diet culture has infiltrated your thoughts, your family, and your wellbeing. My heart is that no matter the episode, you walk away feeling informed, inspired, and encouraged. Let’s go.
So, first of all, what is body checking? Body checking. I think often times is associated with the mirror, you know, which is true. It falls under that, you know, the mirror gazing or mirror checking, but body checking is anything that includes this repeated scrutinizing of your appearance. Going to look at your body in some way, which is your fat on your body, the shape of your body, your hair, your scars, maybe acne, wrinkles, anything about your body that you repeatedly scrutinize is body checking. It can come in the form of like pinching your side or looking for a thigh gap. I mean, that seemed like a trend, like literally a trend on social media for a really long time. This is me rolling my eyes. I don’t, I know you can’t see it, but I am. This can also be checking your body before and after a workout. I identify with that. Having struggled with orthorexia and obsessive working out. And I also struggled with another part, which can be restricting your food or manipulating your food in some way and checking your body as it relates to what you eat.
Those are very disordered, very disordered behaviors, disordered habits to get into. And I can tell you, I can tell you that they’re not seen as body checking. If you are at all in the fitness industry, if you are at all involved with fitness competitions of any kind, this form of body checking is encouraged. It’s instructed to be doing before and after workouts before and after eating, this is highly disordered. Now I would say the majority of people that I know listen to the podcast that are in my private group, that I’m coaching are not part of that group of people, right? Not part of coming out of even, you know, high fitness industry, body competitions, all of that.
So where does it fit for you? What forms of body checking do you find yourself doing most often? Is it using the mirror or your reflection anywhere else, right? That could be in our car or walking by a reflective, you know, surface. Do you find that you do it more in the getting dressed and undressed? Recently, I was talking in my private group with women about body checking and that was a, a hard one for them to work through is okay, so even if the mirror doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is getting dressed and undressed, and those are the thoughts I’m having. So we talked about some strategies in that group.
I went and shared some specific things that are really helpful. So I’m not going to go into those in detail. If you’re part of my group, you can check that live called body image and body checking. If you’re not in my private group, head into the show notes, come request to join. You are going to want to catch that live because there’s such amazing information that I gave, and I really gave some very specific strategies you can put in place right away. I’ll also share real quickly because this episode aired just a little bit ago, episode 105, Paige Bryant came on and shared about her journey with body dysmorphia, that distorted view of your body. Especially in that, in that reflection and what she was seeing, compared to what was reality. And that’s a really great episode, but again, those are there for your reference. Today I want to talk about body checking in a different way. I actually want to do some focus on our personal expectations.
It’s hard to live life without expectations. You know, it’s actually something I strive for. A mentor of mine many, many years ago. I mean, I’m talking probably 20 years ago, you know, I’d shared some really wonderful advice, you know, helping me to let go of expectations in relationships with people. I really struggled with that for a long time. I, I admittedly held really high expectations and so I was constantly disappointed. So working through that, I can see the benefit of letting go of expectations. Because when we have expectations, we are very possibly setting another person up to fail, setting a situation up to fail. And when we’re talking about our body, we’re setting our body up to fail us. Most of those expectations are centered around some idea, maybe true, maybe false. But a lot of it has to do with some perfect ideal, some level of perfection that we’ve set in our mind. Something that’s unrealistic. Something that ends up leaving us with self judgment and self criticism. Think about that for a minute. I want to pose this question. What expectations do you have of how your body should look?
Now, if you’re a client listening to this already, you’re like, Jen, you said the word should, I can’t believe you said that. My clients know that’s like an off limits word ,off limit word in our work together. We don’t should anything. And this is the problem with expectations. Expectations are “shoulding” everywhere. So here was the question, what expectations do you have of how your body should look? I’m a big believer in journaling writing things down. So if you have the ability to do that, now, jot it down. What are my expectations? What have I been holding on to? Then, I want you to take a moment and look at where do those expectations come from?
Are they coming from something I really do believe? Are they coming from friends, family? Are they coming from social media or celebrities? Right, people we maybe adore or, you know, think are funny or inspiring. And that’s where it’s coming from. Where are those expectations rooted? Now if we’re being honest, some of them are rooted in a place we really don’t want to go because they’re deeply rooted. There were messages told to us about our body when we were younger, when even we were in those formative years where our body was going through all sorts of crazy changes and unfortunately expectations were set then.
So like I said, having expectations, there’s something that happens on the other end. If we have expectations and we’re let down, if we have expectations of how an event’s going to go of how a relationship is going to be, how a conversation is going to land, and it doesn’t go that way, we experience something on the other end of that. Well, the same is true if we’re holding expectations for how we believe our body should look. So take a moment and reflect, you know, if I have these expectations that I’ve already noted, that I am aware of and when they’re not met. And maybe that’s daily, maybe that, you know, intermittently whatever it is, but when they’re not met, how do you feel? How does that make you feel? What thoughts are associated with that? What are you thinking about? And then here’s, here’s where I really want you to take a look at, because you’re feeling that way when those expectations are not met and because you have these thoughts, what things are you doing? Or not doing for yourself? For your body? This is where things take a turn.
Our thoughts and our feelings are the things dictating the do and the do nots. But the do, and the do not the things we’re not doing, which could be underfeeding the things that we’re not doing is, is moving our body anymore because of how our expectation is of how it should look. We’re not taking care of our body in a way that honors it and shows respect. That’s where the trouble starts. This is sometimes the biggest wake up call, you know, that we look at, okay I have these expectations. I’m, I’m struggling with what I feel, what I think. But when we take a look at how it’s affecting our actions or inaction, that’s where it’s like, whoa, wait a minute. This is not what I want to be doing. This is even when I say look at the connection, it is so intertwined. How we feel about our body and how we show up when it comes to food and movement and rest, all of that, it is so completely intertwined. You cannot separate the two. So when we talk about healing, we have to talk about healing, both our relationship with food and work on improving and healing, our body image.
Those two need to go hand in hand. They’re already intertwined. They’re already completely tangled together. So we have to do the work on both. So I’ve already given you a starting point with these questions and identifying the expectations and seeing where they come from. Seeing how that makes you feel what you think the do’s and don’ts that’s happening, those actions or inactions, but I want to offer you an opportunity to do a little bit deeper work on your body image. On building a better body image. So I’ve decided to host a free five day virtual event from November 28th to December 2nd. It is going to help you in that process of building a better body image. So over those five days, you’re going to have a new perspective on your body. I’m also going to be giving a lot of strategies and tools to help you keep improving your relationship with yourself and your body.
All you have to do to sign up to be part of this virtual event is head to healthcoach4life.com/betterbodyimage. Now it’ll be linked in the show notes. If you follow me on social media, you are already hearing about this. You’re already excited. Maybe you’re already in, and you’ve received that first email from me and you’re like, let’s go. I can’t wait. For November 28th, if you are part of my free private group, you already are probably in this as well. I’m going to be going live each day in the group. Now, if you’re not in the group, of course, I want you to join. I don’t want you to miss out on the coaching part on the, the extras from the live videos, but if you’re not, and maybe you’re just one of those people, you’re like, I don’t do Facebook. Don’t stress about it. I will have everything via email. I’m even creating an archive page where you can access the videos. So don’t stress. I don’t want you to miss this. I wanted to make it so easy for you to start doing this work, to help you improve your body image.
So like I said, you can head to healthcoach4life.com/betterbodyimage. It’s just one word, better body image or wherever you’re listening to the podcast, head into the show notes, click the link. All you have to do name, email your in that’s it. I am so excited to see what comes of this. You know, the women in my private group, this is their highest need. This is the thing they’re sharing the most about that I want to improve my body image and they’re starting to see how these things all are intertwined, how they all go hand in hand and how having strategies and tools are the thing that help. Because we’re not striving for, I wake up everyday and think my body is the most amazing thing. No, what we’re striving for is acceptance, respect and honoring our body.
We’re going to dive into these over the five day virtual event. So be sure to sign up for free today. Join me in the group, get all the goodies that are coming with it. All right, ladies I hope this was helpful. I can’t wait to see you in this five day event and in the private group until next week.
Hey ladies, I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but I’ve created a free private group for women. It’s called health over weight. It’s on Facebook. And all you have to do is head into the show notes now click join private group, and you can be invited into this space where other women are working on positive body image. They’re also working on the fundamentals of intuitive eating and just supporting one another. I go live each week. There’s a different topic and I want to invite you into this group. So if you are ready to dip your toe in, or you’ve been on this journey for a while, and you’re just looking for added support and encouragement, come join us in this free private Facebook group for women. See you there.