What is Body Image Resilience?
We live in a world that often tests our resolve.
We set intentions, and then we end up comparing ourselves.
We design a plan for how we will think and act, and it flies out the window with what seems like the tiniest provocation.
Most of us believe resilience to mean the ability to bounce back. Ideally, we should have the capacity to go back to how we were before the adversity, the difficulty, the hard stuff, right?
I'm not so sure. I believe it's more complex. And personally, I don't want to "go back." I'd prefer to bounce forward, having learned something that I can use to take steps that are increasingly more skillful, more discerning, and more conscious.
When it comes to body image, resilience does not mean we are like fortresses, never affected by the various winds that blow and demand that we approach our bodies a specific way. Resilience in this area means that we have developed a capacity to peel away the wheat from the chaff. Resilience means we develop the capacity to observe when we are falling in line vs aligning with our personal values and ideals.
In my online course, Radical Body Love: 4 Steps to Freedom from Body Shame and Food Fear, I share the four layers that we work through to build body image resilience: awareness, acceptance, appreciation, and advocacy. Each step builds upon the previous so that we feel competent to redefine what it means to live in a body, care for a body, and have a relationship with our body that engenders respect and trust.
When we have body image resilience, which of course, may shift from day to day, even situation to situation, we recognize that even if we are uncomfortable or have thoughts of dislike for our bodies, we can still practice demonstrating compassion and kindness toward them. Can this feel difficult? Absolutely! For the majority of us, we are not accustomed to viewing our bodies with this perspective. It's a deliberate stepping away from critique and control so you can live your life with greater freedom, flexibility, and consciousness.