Why It’s So Hard To Have a Great Body Image

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A woman in front of a mirror looking at herself and touching her waist line

Loving our body seems like a no brainer. After all, it’s the vehicle that allows us to experience all the pleasure and richness that life has to offer. But for the vast majority of women, having a positive body image is easier said than done. Studies consistently show that about 80% of women are unhappy with their appearance, and up to 97% of women have at least one “I hate my body” moment every day. And women aren’t the only ones with this challenge; more and more men are realizing that they, too, suffer from negative thoughts about their body. As anyone who’s tried to change this attitude knows, it can be incredibly hard to shift even a little bit, and it’s easy to fall back into the old pattern. Why is it so difficult for us to treat our body with love and appreciation? In this eye-opening new video from IPEtv, Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, explains that the problem is much bigger than any of us as individuals – but by working together and tuning in to some empowering new ideas, we have the power to change things for good.

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Here is a transcript of this week’s video:

Greetings, friends. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. I want to share with you one reason why it’s so hard to have a great body image and what to do about it. So you know—I don’t even have to tell you, but I’ll tell you for a moment anyway—the whole body image thing that we go through as human beings, it’s crazy. We have such a hard time learning to love our own body.

And you know that when you can get to that place—maybe you’ve been there before or maybe you intuited at the deepest level of your being—you know, “If I could only fall in love with this body, I’m going to fall in love with life. Things are going to be good.” And there’s a truth to that in there somewhere.

So here’s what I want to say.

There’s a sense of hatred and unhappiness and dissatisfaction towards the body that can lead us into all kinds of unwanted eating challenges.

We go crazy doing intense exercise and living in a state of constant self-rejection, constant dieting, constantly trying to change the body so I can love myself.

Now, if you struggle with body image, there’s something I want you to know. There’s something I want you to know about why you’ve been having such a hard time turning this around. Because you have been. So many of us, we have a hard time turning this one around. So I want to share with you one important reason why it’s so hard to have a great body image.

It’s this: a negative body image is a virus. It’s a virus that circulates in the world. You don’t own it. You didn’t originate this thing called bad body image. It exists in the world. And it’s bigger than any one person. Have you ever heard somebody say, “Oh, my God. I can’t believe this. I look at the magazines. I look on TV. I look on the Internet. And I can’t help it. There’s all this pressure coming at you. You’re supposed to look like this, on the billboards.”

And they’re right! It’s bigger than us. Every place you go, you are being programmed. Your mind is being grabbed by this crazy nonsense.

It’s insane what we’re being asked to look like.

And it pollutes the mind. And it gets in like a virus. It takes over your brain. And it directs you to do stupid nonsense like very intense dieting, like cutting off your body fat, all this sort of thing.

So it’s bigger than us. That’s why you haven’t been able to defeat it by yourself. But here’s the good news, my friends. We—me and you, all of us—we are creating a collective immune response to the viral belief. My immune system, your immune system is not enough to handle this. But when we gather as a collective…

What do I mean? Just get online. You can start to see great videos by all kinds of people, young and old, who are stepping up and creating a whole new culture around love and accepting the body that you’ve got. We’re creating new memes. We’re creating new conversations. We’re creating new images. We’re beginning to love ourselves. And it takes time. It takes listening.

So hang around body positive friends.

Hang around people who can be thought leaders in this, who can help you take a step further. Watch people online who are saying, “I love my body for what it is now!” That’s the collective immune response that we’re doing.

Stop isolating. Don’t be alone, because when you step into being part of the collective immune response of learning to love what we’ve got, that collective immune response comes into your system. And you start to love and accept yourself like never before. And things start to heal.

And that, my friends, is the magic of life.

Marc David

A woman in front of a mirror looking at herself and touching her waist line

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