Island News

Poor self-image

Written By : Sun Fiji Newsroom. Poor self-image is possibly the most significant and important reason for obesity and over-eating. It is immediately obvious from the way people dress and
19 Jul 2008 12:00

Written By : Sun Fiji Newsroom. Poor self-image is possibly the most significant and important reason for obesity and over-eating. It is immediately obvious from the way people dress and carry themselves – the non-verbal clues. There are hundreds of people who would fit into the mould of the ‘jovial, happy’, fat person. Without exception, they all confess to putting this image forward as a façade, to hide their real problem, which often center around a poor self image.
Joviality is actually a relatively good defence against being made a source of fun by others. Indeed, there is much to be said for retaining one’s sense of humor in such conditions.
When you get up in the morning, you should put yourself, and your body, at the top of your list of things to do that day. Most people have a long list of tasks to complete for others, but this usually doesn’t include doing things for themselves and their own body.
If you have a poor self-image, try a more positive approach. When you wake up every morning and look into the bathroom mirror, try winking at yourself and saying, ‘Good morning, beautiful.’
The fact that your first image each morning may be a fright, should not deter you from the task at hand.
Don’t forget to go back and have another look in the mirror after you have finished getting dressed and ready for the day.
In spite of all the external factors, a poor self-image can still be overcome.
There comes a time when excuses about your childhood wear a little thin.
As an adult, every reasonable thing you wish to achieve is within your active control, through initiative, enterprise and most importantly- drive. If you set your targets too low, they will be easily achieved without developing these important qualities.
If your self-image is good, then sky is the limit, within the reality of your own skills and aptitudes.
The constant media images emphasizing beauty, thinness, and wealth represents a sharp contrast for many people. Your own sense of self-worth sinks even lower if you are trying to compare yourself with the illusions of the silver screen.
Your only question should be, am I best that I am capable of being? Most of the obese people will answer that by saying that they are not even trying. They have a sense of resignation. They seem to have given up, and simply choose to think of themselves as ‘fat’, with little potential for self-improvement.
If you think of yourself as fat, you will be fat. If you think of yourself as being friendless, and of no use to anyone, you can also fulfill these prophecies. The point is that negative images are self-destructive and self- fulfilling. There is no reason for anyone to have a poor self-image on a long-term basis, in spite of any excuse that might be offered. The excuse that I hear most often is that people have been told from early childhood by their parents or siblings that they should not strive for certain levels, as they cannot expect ever to be that competent or capable.

It’s your choice
Stress reduction can be realized by various means, including positive thinking and imaging. If you have been slim before and have gained weight, then find a picture of yourself when you were slim. Stick that picture on your refrigerator where you can see it everyday. To the right of the picture, write a short note saying; ‘It’s your choice. You can choose this (with an arrow pointing to the picture), or this (with an arrow pointing in the direction of the refrigerator handle).’ This method can be highly successful in creating a positive image to fight the thought of food.

The “I just love eating’
This excuse is one that is easily said quite early by obese people.
We all love eating, and most people love good food. The problem occurs when a sense pf proportion is distorted and the love of food assumes a much greater value than it should in comparison with other activities- or life itself.
Even modest obesity (more than 10% above your ideal body weight) can be harmful to your health. It is, therefore, quite obvious that, if you truly love eating, you will be able to eat for many more years if you pace yourself normally, rather than abusing the privilege.

Don’t diet – Eat
The very word diet has a punitive connotation; you’ve sinned with over-eating, and now you have to go on a diet. The use of this one word highlights all that is negative in your personality (weal will-power, lack of discipline, sneaky closet eating followed by denial, and so on). Every time you use the word diet, you will be reinforcing these negative images of yourself. They thus become a self-fulfilled prophecy.
The first step in treating obesity is correctly to diagnose the cause. Once the real enemy has been identified, you can channel your energy in correcting it.
I approach obesity in a very positive way, namely, emphasizing the positive attributes in the person’s nature. The person should take stock of his or her good points – such as – humor, intelligence, and enjoyment of friends and family – and use creativity to put these to greater use.

Rules for losing weight
1. Eat balanced meals, including all six food elements – protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins & minerals, and 8 glasses of water per day.
2. Eat only from a plate. A small plate will give your meal the optical illusion of being piled high, rather than the image of sparsity that results when the same meal is spread out over a big plate.
3. Market the right snack food to yourself; for example, have raw carrots sliced in a bowl of water at the front of fridge, not in a bag in the drawer.
4. Sit down at the table. Eating while standing at the fridge or sink, or sitting in front of the TV, usually leads to absent-minded over-eating. At the table, your mind is not distracted from the food.
5. Never eat without witnesses; in effect, don’t eat behind everyone’s back. Have you noticed how little most obese people eat when having dinner at someone else’s house? Thin people are seen to eat large meals, but that’s probably all they eat. They likely aren’t sneak-snacking nearly as much as the obese.
6. Beware of any drinks with calories. Remember to allow for them in your total calorie budget. Calories from drinks are just as fattening as calories from foods.
7. Find and correct your real problem – the problem that leads to obesity.
8. Develop alternative rewards for yourself, other than eating, especially in response to stress.

By Sunila karan
Counsellor/Personal Development Trainer
Ph: 6727861/9996807 For stress management/counseling & communication training
Contact 6727861/9996807.

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