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Body Image

Body image involves our perception, imagination, emotions, and physical sensations of and about our bodies. It s not static- but ever changing; sensitive to changes in mood, environment, and physical experience. It is not based on fact. It is psychological in nature, and much more influenced by self-esteem than by actual physical attractiveness as judged by others. It is not inborn, but learned. This learning occurs in the family and among peers, but these only reinforce what is learned and expected culturally. “Cosmetic surgery is the fastest growing ‘medical’ specialty…. Throughout the 80s, as women gained power, unprecedented numbers of them sought out and submitted to the knife….” – Naomi Wolf Our psychological boundaries develop early in life, based on how we are held and touched (or not held and touched). A person who is deprived of touch as an infant or young child, for example, may not have the sensory information s/he needs to distinguish between what is inside and what is outside her/himself. As a result, boundaries may be unclear or unformed. This could cause the person to have difficulty getting an accurate sense of his/her body shape and size. This person might also have difficulty eating, because they might have trouble sensing the physical boundaries of hunger and fullness or satiation. On the other extreme, a child who is sexually or physically abused may feel terrible pain and shame or loathing associated to his/her body. Such a person might use food or starvation to continue the physical punishments they grew familiar with in...
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An Excerpt from “A Course in Weight Loss”...

I am pleased to share with you an excerpt from A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons For Surrendering Your Weight Forever, by Marianne Williamson (Hay House 2010).  Yes, I work with Marianne’s principles since my own weight loss of nearly 100 pounds and taking the Williamson Class on Weight Loss. “Every over eater has heard them a million times: the admonishments of weight loss. You’ve got to stick to your diet, commit to the process, stay with it no matter what, discipline yourself to “just do it,” and so forth. Yet such admonishments only add to your anxiety; if you were able to consistently be there for yourself, you wouldn’t be an over eater to begin with! While overeating would be seen by some as an indulgence of self, it is in fact a profound rejection of self. It is a moment of self-betrayal and self-punishment, and anything but a commitment to one’s own well-being. Why would you be able to commit to a diet if you’re not consistently committed to yourself? Your relationship to food is but a reflection of your relationship to yourself, as is everything in your life. There’s no reason to think that you’ll be capable of loyalty to a diet until you address your basic disloyalty toward yourself. Until your fundamental relationship with yourself is healed, then your relationship to food is doomed to be neurotic. As committed as you might be to the process of weight loss, there will always come those moments when your self-hatred rises up like an oceanic force from the bottom of your subconscious mind, demanding to assert itself. That’s what makes addiction and compulsion so cruel: you could be committed to your diet for 23 hours and 45 minutes during a day, then ruin all your efforts in 15 minutes. What is not self-love carries within it the seeds of self-hate, no matter how small; wherever the mind is not filled with love, it has a propensity for insanity. And just a tiny bit of insanity is enough to do it—in about as long as it takes to open up a bag of cookies, you find a way to destroy your most cherished dream. This lesson addresses your basic lack of commitment and compassion toward yourself, your lack of self-care that leads you time and again to punish and betray yourself. Only when you learn to commit to yourself will you stop your self-sabotaging behavior. It’s not enough to just tell yourself what not to do; you must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to...
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Thought for the Day

Your biography becomes your biology. Power is at the root of the human experience. Our attitudes and beliefs–positive or negative–are all extensions of how we define and use power.  Unplug from the BS and let go of the steering wheel. Learning the symbolic language of energy means learning to evaluate the dynamics of power in yourself and others. Healing requires taking action–it is not a passive event.