Monday, April 25, 2011

Self-Love is an Oasis

Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to post anything and be a good student but I couldn't help myself!

I first became interested in Psychology because I was fascinated with Eating Disorders. I would watch the show "Intervention" on A&E and many times there would be a story about a woman suffering from Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa, or EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). I could not fathom how an individual could resist biological impulses to such an extreme that it would result in self-induced starvation. I watched the skeleton like figures on the television screen, some of who were my height but weighed about 90lbs. It was raw, painful, and agonizing to watch them suffer from their addictions. There are many theories concerning how Eating Disorders emerge, stemming from media aspects, biological aspects, genetics, and environmental factors. What is the true factor causing these diseases is elusive, even to many professionals.

Walk into a woman's fitting room and you will hear endless complaints about girls' and womens' body "flaws". My thighs are dimpled, I have a flat chest, my butt is huge, I am worthless, Why can't I be a size two?, my arms are flabby, my nose is crooked, my complexion is uneven, I have love handles, I hate my freckles, I want to be tan, I should die my hair, and I need to lose twenty pounds. Trust me on this one, I have overheard many of these sentiments being discussed and have even taken part in the body image bashing. Our negative self-body image triggers many other negative feelings. It's a domino effect essentially. If you feel bad about your body, you will feel guilty about your eating habits, compensation activities such as purging, exercising, and extreme dieting, lose self-esteem, and in extreme cases suffer from learned helplessness.

Taking this all into account, I was reading one of my favorite blogs ohsheglows, a food blog that was started by a woman who for too long suffered from eating disorders and a lack of vitality for food, life, and fun. She had an excerpt that she wrote (that I highly encourage you to read) about self-love. She told her testimony and also how she had lived a life where food and exercising were punishing tools. This strong woman had to recreate herself and learn how to love again--love herself again. I read some of the comments on her blog and was incredulous to the amount of other women suffering from similar accounts of negative body images. I felt so helpless after I read each consecutive disclosure, wishing that I could let them know that they are beautiful. To take their hands in mine and sit with them while they cried and afterwards work with them to rebuild a self esteem that has been dragged through the muck and the mire.

It is in these times that I feel like we each live to impress when in reality, we should live to love--ourselves, the world, food, and exercise.

I am going to get off of my soap box now and back into the land of studying.

You, my dear, are beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. :) you my wonderful friend are beautiful too :)

    <3 Shelbs