5 Simple Steps to a Positive Body Image

My wrists are sore (from push-ups), my hips are tight (from lunges) and my right tricep aches (from tricep dips) AND I feel I must exercise. Why? Even at the ripe ol’ age of 45, I am still obsessed with my body. I’ve been known to say, “I want to always be 2 weeks away from being ready for a Shape Magazine cover shoot.” Talk about self-imposed pressure. When I read that we need to teach young women that they are worth more than their looks, which I agree with wholeheartedly, there is a little voice inside me that says, “Yeah, but you’re not worth much without your looks, Susan. You’ve got to be as perfect as possible.”

Ugh!!!! Sucks. I’ve dedicated my life to helping myself and others feel more peaceful inside. I put my heart, soul, money and time into raising my counseling and workshop clients’ inner beauty, as well as my own. AND still I hold myself to the notion that my worth is primarily based on my appearance. Mind you, the majority of my days is spent executing the actions of meditation, emotional release, spiritual study, and works designed to raise inner beauty. Yet, the little voice is still there driving me to exercise, skip an ice cream run, or ask for my salad without cheese. All health related choices, self-loving choices are great! I am all for making one good choice after another, which may entail the previous examples. It might be the most self-loving thing for me to exercise on a day I am tired. It might just be the most self-loving thing to forgo a sugar or lactose rush.

The key—SELF-LOVE. Are my actions motivated by self love or an undercurrent of self-loathing? Because maintaining a super in shape body for me has an undercurrent of unworthiness. Once this unworthiness is in the light and shared, how can it be of use? Well, it kept me thin and healthy so far-that’s cool. I want to be thin and healthy without that little voice telling me that I’m not worth anything without being those things. Here’s my simple plan: Keep that voice in the light, release the painful feelings/beliefs around it, and substitute that negative voice with a loving one.

Try the following exercise with me. Don’t worry, you can’t “put in” any unworthiness. Unworthiness covers a whole range of stuff. Here are just a few examples of unworthy kinds of thoughts that may seem familiar to you. “I’m not sexy enough, that’s why I don’t have a boyfriend.” “I’m not pretty enough.” “If I was skinny, I’d like myself.” “I’m too tired all the time to follow through with anything.” “I’m not really a nice person.” “I’m not special.”

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for Unworthiness

1. While tapping on the karate chop point, repeat the setup 3 times, “Even though I feel unworthy, I deeply and profoundly accept myself. (The karate chop point is the meaty part of the hand on the side where the pinky is.)

2. Take a deep breath in through nose and out through mouth. Tap the sequence (below) while repeating ‘unworthy’ or ‘don’t like myself that much’ on each point.

Here is the sequence:

ϖ EB: Beginning of Eyebrow

ϖ SE: Side of Eye

ϖ UE: Under the Eye

ϖ UN: Under the Nose

ϖ Ch: Chin

ϖ CB: Collarbone

ϖ UA: Under the Arm

ϖ TH: Top of the Head

3. While tapping on the karate chop point again repeat the setup 3 times, “Even though I still have some of this unworthiness, I chose to love myself.”

4. Tap the sequence while repeating ‘I love myself’ or ‘I’m wonderful on each point.

5. Finish by bringing hands to rest on thighs and taking a deep breath in through nose and out through mouth.

You ARE wonderful and I love you, Susan


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