Humans are the only mammals on the planet that have a negative image of their body. Nothing else quite demonstrates the madness of our human condition, quite as much as the way that we reject, abuse or ignore our bodily needs.
Think about it for a moment. An orangutan does not sit and brood at her companions and clan and feel disgruntled that her body is not as lithe or shapely as that of others around her. A leopard does not sit and mope that his spots are not quite as well spread out as other males in the group. In fact the idea is quite laughable. Yet, when we turn the lens our ourselves, we seem to find it perfectly acceptable to compare, contrast and condemn our own body, based on some external notion of what it should be.
If we become disconnected and start looking at our body in negative or fragmented ways, it leads to many difficulties. We start to see our body with a critical eye to its external appearance and how this compares unfavourably to other people. Women in particular are prone to this dissatisfaction with their body due to this external pressure to conform to unrealistic expectations. Bombarded as we are, by images of thin and under-developed models. When we start to over-identify with these images we become unhappy with ourselves and start to put our body through harsh regimes to try to achieve standards it was never designed to meet. The thoughts we send to our body are equally negative and punitive; ‘You’re fat’, ‘You’re thin’, You’re ugly’, ‘You’re too tall’, ‘You’re too short’ or perhaps the most defeating of all, ‘You’re not good enough.’ Since our thoughts create our reality, we are allowing ourselves in these moments to create a battlefield between us and our bodies.
When we separate our thoughts from our body, we stop listening to its needs. We start to develop body dysmorphia because we are literally unable to see our body the way it is. When someone has become extreme in their eating habits, through too much eating, or starving themselves, they have stopped connecting to their body. The mind and the body are working in two different spheres.
Making peace with our body starts with learning to connect and communicate with it. Read more here