In this portion of
Body Image Systems, Susan has selected a few articles from various magazines for your viewing and hopefully education. The
articles pertain to current topics in the field of body image and yields a
great amount of information.
Stages of Body Acceptance
THE ILLUSIONS, MYTHS, MISCONCEPTIONS AROUND WOMAN’S BODIES AND
PARTICULARLY ONE’S OWN. Letting
go of the hopes and wishes of the ideal body and the symbolic perfection
that it represents. Grieving
the loss of the hoped for ideal and begin with simply what is in the
here and now, rather than the past and future dreams.
This is a process of grieving for the loss of the idealized body
as a means of acquiring inner happiness.
OF ONE’S OWN GENETIC MAKEUP. This
stage encourages an individual to own their particular genetic endowment
- for better or worse - this is the machine that each of us was given to
ride out in this lifetime. The
acknowledgment does not necessarily imply acceptance.
It is a list making and a breaking down the body that need to be
integrated into the whole. Also
in this stage is acknowledgment of the rhythm of ones own particular
body - heart rate, movement rhythm, internal clock, metabolic rate, etc.
DEFINITION - ESTABLISHING A CONCEPT OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL BOUNDARIES.
Internal boundaries include the ability to say no, assertiveness
skills and establishing the limits of energy expenditure as well as
developing more effective ways to expend physical energy. OUTER
boundaries are the physical boundaries, the space the body occupies.
This is an objective criteria, yet can be experienced as an
emotional issue. Getting a
mental picture of the boundaries of the body facilitates the experience
ONE’S OWN PHYSICAL POWER. Each
body possesses a certain amount of strength.
Even the most emaciated of bodies has an element of physical
strength to keep the body alive. By
imparting this information on a physical level, the information
gradually becomes internalized as inner strength.
This builds ego involvement with the body and an ownership of the
positive qualities that one possesses - physical as well as mental,
emotional, and spiritual.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE BODY THROUGH MOVEMENT, VISUALIZATION AND THE BREAKING
DOWN OF THE COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS THAT CREATE BODY DYSTROPHIC DISORDER.
This stage includes breaking through the resistance of what is at
the moment. Changing, as if
by magic, was cognitively addressed in an earlier stage, however,
through movement the acceptance can be integrated.
The cognitive work continues in the form of affirmations.
Goals can be utilized here AFTER the acceptance of what is - the
goal to reach a “fighting weight”, the healthy weight that allows
for secondary sex characteristics and muscle to develop in the anorectic
and allows for a normalization of weight within a broad range for the
THE BODY WELL. Allowing
oneself to treat the body well, remove the abuse to the body and
apologize to the body for self-destructive behavior.
This is the stage of honoring the body, the house of the spirit
and honoring the light within.
VII: Self Love
OF THE PHYSICAL SELF AS WELL AS THE MIND AND SPIRIT.
In this last stage one sees from the inside out rather then the
outside in. This is where
the integration directs and guides the life force to be expressed.
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