Body Image Part 3

by Alicia Capellan

How many times have you been on crash diets, fad diets, starvation, waist trainers, binging, wraps, dehydration, and trying out products for a sense of hope to look like the “beautiful” people on social media?


I am not saying everyone has gone through this phase, but I have seen this a lot with my studies, research from college, and being a former behavioral specialist. I still carry on my observation how our childhood reflects in our adulthood. The starvation phase is a very common approach for the attempt in weight loss. Individuals go on all day long not eating and even play a game in their minds to see how long after they can go without eating so much as a piece of fruit. This can normally lead to a binge phase for most. It just sets a crazy cycle in someone’s behavior to continue on with something so intense. With the power of the Internet it is an endless source of ‘diets’ and ‘workouts’ that can be searched. The approaches that can be found range from extremely unhealthy all the way through clean eating (healthy). Being steered in so many different directions can be overwhelming. The outcome on hoping for a quick fix can lead to health issues by being on yo-yo dieting over time.


The photo above is a survey of “Which body type men prefer?” I am baffled to think that campaigns such as these think they are helping our women and men identify what the definition of beauty is or what attraction is. It’s great that curves are "in" and we don’t have the pressure to think we need to get into a Barbie doll shape anymore. It is even better for those who do have curves to feel confident that they are working with what they've got. Now we have to worry about they others that genetically cannot gain weight and have to deal with society shaming them for being too skinny. It is a very common thing that these individuals have to battle against too. Media is saying that they are not found attractive now… is that the case? Has this gone too far? Someone could possible have an illness or condition that would not allow them to lose weight or gain weight!

Another thing to realize is that there is such a thing as body dysmorphia with men and women. Body dysmorphic disorder is mental disorder when an individual is obsessed with his/her body and appearance and will go through many lengths to fix what he/she thinks are flaws. They often take up most of their day in a obsessive manner to reach their "goal." As I spoke about earlier, this can happen to men too and can start at a very young age. It can be hard for men, feeling that they are too small compared to what they see in media or peers. A person with this disorder could have a tough time with having a social life and feeling extreme pressure, and could also struggle with their mental health. 

We have all been there in one-way or another. Just looking at our bodies we can be so cruel to ourselves- if we have seen a stretchmark, dimple, wrinkle, or cellulite! These things happen to our bodies and at any size or shape. Listening to someone wanting longer legs, flatter stomach, bigger butt, smaller butt, toned arms, less fat here, less fat there- everyone wants something else. I just want to let you know, as trainers, we are not plastic surgeons, but we appreciate you expressing yourself about your body. We will do our very best to motivate you to feel better about your body. It is a lot of work to get a body transformation- it takes exercise along with consistent proper nutrition. We are here to give you guidance to make things move forward and give you a positive outlook on your body image. There is one line that I love to use, “I do not work out because I hate my body. I work out because I love my body!”