Karen's Blogs

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Great Body Image Video Series

A negative body view too often accompanies eating problems and it can be hard to shake. If you’re serious about wanting to feel positive about your body at any weight, you won’t want to miss BODY COMPASSION, Jean Fain’s new (free!) video series.

This series is a natural follow-up to THE SELF-COMPASSION DIET, a book by Jean Fain, LICSW, which is really no diet at all, but an approach to loving your body into health and fitness. Her five-part video series is a great teaching tool. Part 1, Why Body Image Matters, describes the health and mental health risks of having poor body image and how developing a positive body image actually can help you reach your eating and weight goals. My bet is that you put lots of mental energy on how you feel about your body, but perhaps not so much on how those feelings affect your eating and self-image. Part 2, Is Your Body Image a Real Problem?, helps you determine the extent of your body image problems. It highlights how body image is not due to size or weight, but is rooted in your reactions to what you see in the mirror. This segment provides a brief, eight-question test to assess how much of a problem body image is for you.

Part 3, Kindly Breathe, teaches you how to develop self-compassion toward your body by providing a step-by-step, brief guided meditation. For those of you who tend toward anxiety (and there’s a correlation between poor body image and being anxious!), this meditation will help relax you and illustrate the benefits of mental and body relaxation. Part 4, Seeing Yourself As You Really Are, explains how too many of us walk around comparing our least attractive body parts with the most attractive body parts of others. I might add that many disregulated eaters do this not only with body parts, but with everything about themselves, that is, they compare their worst aspects of self with the best traits of others, period. This segment teaches you how to be more objective and compassionate about your body and its parts. Part 5, Head-to-Toe Appreciation, focuses on how to “look kindly on yourself,” again something that disregulated eaters struggle to do. Once more, Jean takes you through a guided meditation showing you how to appreciate various body parts as well as their totality head-to-toe.

Most disregulated eaters spend gobs of time trying to fix their bodies, but very little time mending their distorted, misery-creating views of their bodies. Yes, you want to become healthier and more fit, but you also want to be loving and kind to yourself because compassion simply feels better than hatred and contempt and because this is the direction you must go in order to reach your eating and fitness goals. Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to learn body compassion than viewing Jean’s series (except her book). Each part of this series is under seven minutes and the videos are professionally done. I strongly recommend this series which can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/jeanfain.

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