Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Self- Image and Emotional Overeating

Our self-image is our conception of ourselves. It is not stationary or solid. It is fluid and evolves over time. As we grow and change, the way we view ourselves and present ourselves to the world changes. Most of us grew up being told how to look and act and feel and we developed standards for ourselves and expectations of ourselves based on the messages we received from others – from our families and friends, from institutions such as our schools and churches and from the larger society. It is no wonder that so many of us turned to food and began emotional overeating to soothe ourselves. These externally imposed messages may not have matched how we truly wanted to be and chances are we didn’t look, act and feel the ways we thought we “should.” We most likely received messages to be smart, thin and pretty – to be ever-smiling and nurturing of others’ needs. Many of us struggled valiantly to fit into the picture of ourselves that others painted for us and we were led to believe that this effort would bring us acceptance, approval and love. What happened instead was that we learned through our struggle that we were not acceptable just as we were. Please know that you reached a false conclusion. You are so much more that acceptable. You are perfect!

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