Many of us struggle with our body image. Whether it be a specific part of our body, comparison to others, or weight in general, there are millions of people who have a daily struggle with what they see in the mirror. Around the holidays, this can be an especially difficult time when food is at the focal point for many celebrations.
Working on being body neutral is something that can not only benefit you around the holidays, but also extend to your every day life, giving you a greater sense of freedom and self-love. So what exactly is body neutrality? Body neutrality is being able to acknowledge that you may not love your body, though strive to look at it through an objective lens as it being just a body – which it is. Not trying to force positivity or acceptance, and just noticing your body for what it is and what it does for you.
When I worked in a residential eating disorder facility, we often encouraged the patients to look at facts about their body and all the functions it serves. These helpful statements looked like this:
“My legs allow me walk, run, and play sports I enjoy.”
“My stomach digests my food so I can get nutrients from what I eat.”
“My arms help me do my homework, wash my dog, and hug those that I love.”
Body positivity can often feel forced, non-inclusive, and cause people to struggle even more with how foreign a statement such as “I love my body” feels. This is where body neutrality comes in. Thinking of all the incredible things our bodies enable us to do is astounding.
Using body neutral statements can also aid in finding more trust for your body. If you think about how amazing it is that our bodies fight off disease or can heal scrapes on our knees, it’s more than easy to believe our bodies know what to do with some extra food around the holidays or celebrations.
During this holiday season, if you find yourself wrestling with negative body image, try thinking of personalized body neutral statements that work for you. Remember, our bodies do a lot for us, and are not a reflection of our worth, value, or beauty.
Happy Holidays from me to you.
Written by Devan of SafeHeart Counseling. Devan is the founder and owner of SafeHeart Counseling, which provides therapy services to children, teens, and families. SafeHeart Counseling specializes in working with eating disorders, trauma, anxiety, and family conflict.