Source: GMN Health
As the sun warms our lives and gets us moving with family and friends, we are ready to enjoy this time of play and celebration. But as we fling open windows and bring the patio furniture out of storage, new worries can set in: Perhaps we haven’t been able to stick to a diet or lose those last few pounds.
This time of year, we may feel more exposed as clothing gets lighter and backyard parties become the norm again. We seem to never feel thin enough or perfect enough during the endless parade of summer bodies. Our confidence shrinks, causing an undercurrent of anxiety and even depression. Feeling anxious and worried wears us down. We do not want to pass on our body concerns and focus on weight or eating. But this is a body conscious world that we are stuck in, and each of us has to learn to make peace with who we are and the body we have been given.
It is possible to create a different internal set of attitudes about our bodies and how we look. With insightful exploration into our deepest beliefs, we can come to appreciate having a healthy body that is strong enough to exercise and carry us through our busy days. By learning to make healthy food choices and exercise in a non-compulsive way, we can create a platform of strength that we can bring into our marriages, key relationships, and families. This is important because stress can undermine successful relationships. These emotions can lead to emotional eating.
Getting a handle on a food or eating pattern and inner feelings can be harder than we expect. It is so easy to get frustrated and blame ourselves for failure. But beating ourselves up makes no real sense and certainly doesn’t improve the situation. By healing these issues, we can serve as a positive role model for our children instead of making negative comments about our bodies and eating and passing our worries on to the next generation.
It is a lucky person who finds a trusted professional to offer support and help re-frame the tough challenges life has to offer. Talking things through with a trusted listener is a much more positive choice and can set us on a road toward a healthier inner and outer life. So step into spring with new resolve to improve your inner attitudes, and learn new strategies to manage food and body image issues, so you can fertilize your relationships, plant joy in your families, and help calm the inner storms that threaten your horizons.
Joanne Gerr, M.S.W., C.S.W., is a private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients with offices in both Manhattan and New Jersey. Her areas of expertise include eating disorders, overeating, weight control, binge eating, addictive behavior, anxiety, depression, family issues, couples therapy, and hypnosis. She can be reached by calling 732-247-5112, or visit ResolveEatingDisorders.com.