• Emma Green

Let’s talk about body image

Your body will change throughout your life, depending on age, lifestyle, hormones, medications, health status etc. That is an inevitability. One of the reasons that I don’t do a lot of specific body image work with my clients is that I don’t want to overemphasise bodies. I want my clients to be accepting of their body as it is today as well as how it might change in the future. An over-attachment to the way your body looks right now risks discomfort when it no longer appears that same way. It’s important to note that your body likes homeostasis. It doesn’t change overnight. Regardless of your dieting and exercise strategies, at any given time your body has a certain settling point. This is a place where it is happy and healthy. As the term suggests, it is where your body naturally settles at without too much effort. It is the point at which you gravitate to when you begin intuitive eating and it generally resembles the place you ended up at between previous dieting attempts. It’s a myth that your body needs controlling. Your body has an extraordinary number of mechanisms at its disposal to maintain its current state. For example, it regulates your unconscious activity (known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT), the speed of digestion, your heart rate, your temperature etc. Although you can fight these mechanisms to a certain extent, it is very difficult to do this over the long term and risks both your mental and physical health. Letting go of trying to control your body doesn’t mean ‘giving up’ on health or fitness goals. What it means is being guided by your intuition, rather than what society has told you. It means examining what feels good to you in terms of food and exercise, rather than doing what you think you have to do to make your body fit a particular standard.

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