Do you ever really see your whole self? People often report that they avoid looking in full length mirrors and they hurry past their reflection if it appears by surprise in a store window. Many of us have developed extremely negative images of ourselves and so, even if we do occasionally look at our whole selves, we look with a critical eye. Instead of appreciating the many attractive parts we have, we sometimes see only the negative. Our eyes may gravitate to the thickness of our hips, the roundness of our bellies or our double chins instead of seeing the whole picture. We focus on the parts we don’t like and fail to notice the beautiful ones. This has a powerful effect. Seeing ourselves with such disapproval (sometimes hatred?) has a powerful negative effect. If we see isolated parts of ourselves and feel disgusted or angry, we miss any opportunity to feel good about ourselves as a whole.
No one has the perfect physical body. Even models that appear in glamour magazines have their photos touched up before publication. Blemishes and imperfections disappear. Most of us fail to measure up to today’s unrealistic beauty standards. Please know that you are not alone. All of us have parts of ourselves that we wish were somehow different. Part of the work of letting go of overeating is to accept ourselves as we are and to integrate all the parts of ourselves into a whole being – a whole being whom we can grow to appreciate and to love.