The self-image is the most important thing to consider when trying to develop a successful lifestyle according to the classic book Psycho Cybernetics. Without a healthy self-image and body image, we inevitably sabotage ourselves after working out for a while or losing some weight.
Why? Our subconscious belief is not in alignment with our desired result. In fact, I would even say our subconscious belief is our “real” desire. We didn’t even have a choice when adopting these old beliefs. They were hard wired into us at birth and our early years. We unknowingly made them our own and they still influence us today.
Lets consider this fact in relation to our physical body self image.
The Stories We Tell
Recently, I had the privilege of coaching a client who was very honest about her inner dialogue at times when viewing her own body and even other people’s bodies. Keep in mind, this was a woman who wanted to lose weight and felt she was over weight.
When I asked her about inner dialogue, she noted that while standing in line at Chipotle, she will sometimes see an obese woman in line ordering a burrito and start saying to herself “I can’t believe she is ordering that. That is disgusting.”
This kind of critical energy towards her peers is a direct reflection of her feelings towards her own body. Do you have similar voice in your head?
I asked her which part of her body she doesn’t like the most. She replied, “definitely my stomach area, which is the most difficult part of my body to lose weight.” She said when she looks at her stomach area, inner dialogue consists of statements like “my stomach is disgusting” or “I can’t believe I haven’t done enough to get rid of this”.
As you can see, the stories we tell can be extremely harmful while limiting our ability to achieve worthwhile goals.
In this case, she sending negative images towards her body and unknowingly affirming what she claims to not want.
Mass Media Messages about Your Body
We are being bombarded from birth by massive advertising campaigns on billboards, televisions, smart phones, magazines, radio shows, etc.
Billions of dollars have gone into research and testing to manipulate our feelings towards ourselves.
We are taught repeatedly to feel guilty if we don’t look “a certain way”. This is why it’s vital to consider our data diet and not only our food diet. What are you taking into your consciousness every day? How much TV are you watching? What kind of messages are you absorbing?
Remember, this is mostly “passive” programming of your subconscious by corporations. You may think you’re “above it all” or you’re not being manipulated, but studies prove a very different story.
My advice? Stay away from mass media as much as possible: that means limiting smart phone browsing, TV watching, radio listening, etc. It affects us whether we know it or not.
It’s like death from a thousand cuts! It slowly gets to us over time…
Improving Body Image with Affirmations
One thing we can start doing to improve body image is the practice of affirmations. Can you think of an affirmation that transforms the old story about your specific body areas?
What if the person above started saying 1-2 of these affirmations:
“I love my stomach and know it has beautiful, potential energy within”.
“I respect my body for the miracle it is”.
“I now allow goodness and health to flow through my body”.
These are statements, when said repeatedly and with emotion over a period of time, that will transform our old belief systems and then miracles will follow.
The body is now receiving positive messages and will cooperate in the best way possible, which includes losing weight if necessary.
From this change in belief, new actions will follow. For example, with our newfound respect and love for our body, we may go seek a nutritionist or naturally dislike sugary foods compared to the past.
Our past hang-ups regarding our body begin to naturally fall away. We are no longer interested in the old actions and behaviors because of our new, subconscious belief.
The inner reflects our outer reality and actions.
What is your old story about your body? Have you paid attention to your inner dialogue?