The way you see yourself can improve your food choices – 06/09/2021

Dissatisfaction with body image and especially the way people see themselves are determining factors for attempts at restrictive diets and the development of eating disorders.

A study carried out in Brasília with women who practice bodybuilding shows that more than 60% of them are dissatisfied with their own body image, confirming that women are quite susceptible to the search for the “perfect body”. Therefore, the practice of physical activity and eating changes is often related to the attempt to seek social acceptance.

They say that the current moment is based on the worship of the body, but worshiping the body is related to celebrating everything you are capable of doing, involving physical activity, food choices and self-care. From the moment that these practices aim to achieve an appearance that is in the field of ideas or even in the world of social networks, what we have is a cult of the image, not the body. Therefore, much of the body dissatisfaction is shaped by the relentless pursuit of an image seen on beauty product billboards, gym advertisements or even celebrities and fitness bloggers.

Attitudes related to the body are formed in early childhood and adolescence and in these phases negative associations are created with people with obesity and positive associations with thin people. Thus, comments and criticisms about the appearance you heard in childhood shape the way you see yourself and how you feel about your body.

Suppose you were raised in an environment where concern about not getting fat is the focus of the family. It is common, then, to grow up with the thought of needing to have restrictive diets and control weight through excessive physical activity. Some adults grow up with the thought of dieting because they have always seen their parents worried about their bodies and making dietary restrictions.

There is also the case that you grow up in a fat-phobic environment, where the family is always critical of people who are overweight and obese. In this way, behavior is shaped from a more stigmatized look, in which overweight people are seen as lazy, sloppy and shameless. In these cases, it is common for some people to be in an eternal struggle with the body, as they learned to make restrictions in adolescence, developed excessive eating habits in adulthood and nowadays they have a fight with themselves for not knowing how to deal with the body and food.

Note that these examples of creation demonstrate that understanding your own issues in relation to your body image is fundamental to understanding how to deal with food and the reasons for practicing physical activity. The way you see yourself helps you understand your feelings about your body and develop autonomy to make food choices related to your health, which is different from making choices to fit into a body that is only in the world of ideas , created from the way you learned to see yourself from childhood.

Looking at yourself with more love and compassion helps you to accept yourself. Remembering that accepting yourself has nothing to do with conformism or neglect with health. But it helps to know that you can be part of this world regardless of your upbringing. When you learn to see yourself in a more loving way, taking care of your health becomes lighter, as it is a choice based on taking care of your own home, that is, your body.