Overcoming body image issuesHoliday treats and food in general can disguise themselves as comforting, but can deprive us of needed sleep, make us temperamental or fat.

I am no different than you. I can surrender to the same temptations regarding food, whether it is holiday time or not (any excuse to indulge!) and have for most of my life. It began when I was an adolescent. My seemingly happy family fell apart – destroyed when my father left home. Without anyone to console me, I found food to be my source of comfort.

My contentious relationship with food began each evening after dinner. I’d pretend I was still hungry and pull out a TV dinner from the freezer, heat it up, then retreat to my parents’ bedroom to watch TV. Binge eating and late-night snacks became routine. There were times I’d feel so guilty in the morning, instead of going to school, I’d hide in the bushes until my mother left for work, then go back inside to sleep. This went on for some time.

My dependence on food as a source of comfort haunted me. My mother tried to help by taking me to Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous. It aided with my food choices. Who knew eating a hamburger for breakfast was acceptable? Looking back, it didn’t change my behavior. Overeaters Anonymous at least touched on the psychological aspect of why I overeat. I know my mother felt bad about seeing me suffer. She offered to take me to Bloomingdale’s if I’d lose weight. Ironically, this only made my situation worse. It wasn’t until I went to college and studied psychology, did I see any change.

After reading an article about body image and how it relates to exercise and improved self-image, I realized I was “moving” in the right direction. The research showed those who exercised were less critical of their bodies in general. And yet physical improvements, although important, were not essential to helping people feel better about their appearance. Rather, it improved emotional well-being, enhanced brain, and cognitive function, and gave them a higher perceived quality of life and nurturing relationships.

My first go-to exercises began with dancing to any music that suited me. The beat resonated within me and my body took over. If I wasn’t dancing, I walked…a lot. Then, I took up running. Even now, I walk, jog and sometimes sprint. I feel exhilarated and on top of the world. My other routines, which you have seen in my Exercise Snack Videos and on my YouTube Channel or social media, tell a more comprehensive story. Exercise really can help with depression.

I knew that although the extra weight came off slowly, my confidence and relationships grew stronger. I accepted I had food demons, which frankly I still battle with, but I now know I have choices if I want to change my behavior and relationship with food. To this day, I have a hard time recognizing I am thin. Crazy, right?

If I can help you get started with a program that can enhance your mental and physical quality of life, contact me. My company offers private training, including stretch sessions, program design and more. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, contact us via email or call 818-620-1442. We see fitness differently!

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