Women’s Body Image, Embodiment, and Positivity

Women in our American culture have gotten the short end of the stick.  Yes, and also the light end.  The culture for the last fifty years  has worshiped an ideal thin body that few women actually have in this day and age.  The average American woman weighs about 170 pounds and stands 5’4″, with a jean size of large or extra-large.

Recently, the fashion industry has been making amends, and  working to enlarge the “beautiful” ideal that is perpetuated, so that normal women can see themselves as beautiful.  Still many women and some men dislike their bodies, and the burden of that negative self-image eats into self-esteem and personal power.

People develop cycles of bingeing and dieting, that perpetuate the negativity and becomes a self-sabotaging addiction .   Health is damaged, and people waste inordinate amounts of time and money on the latest fad diet, as well as self-pity, self-loathing, and guilt.

Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, a therapist who treats eating disorders and weight issues, says “People in general struggle to ‘love their bodies.’ Someone who has struggled with body image issues cannot suddenly change from body-hatred to loving the way they look.”

Hershenson advises her clients to focus on things outside of their body to find self-love. Instead of trying to suddenly love the body you’ve always hated, she suggests thinking of your body as a neutral. You don’t have to love or hate it—it’s just a body, and the self is so much more than just its outer packaging.

Empatharian Movement for Peace is especially designed for average bodies, average shapes, and average fitness levels.  When you do Empatharian, you become more in tune with your body’s motion and emotion.  While you do the light exercise, stretching, twisting and reaching downwards and upwards with the arms and back, you are extending yourself into your movements, and becoming more mindful of your body.

The mindfulness in syncronizing words, movements, and concepts fills your consciousness with positive messages of self-nurturing and peace-building.  Physiologically, the circulation quickens, neurons fire that have been dormant, the heart rate may increase, and breathing becomes deeper and more regular.  You feel a transcendence of the body’s limitations, more energized and embodied in your own personal presence.

The self is so much more than just the body, this is true.  But your body expresses and communicates no matter what shape it’s in, how limber the muscles and joints, or what the body fat index.  Doing Empatharian is a way to nurture and love the body you are in, while going beyond the body, to the mind and spirit for true nurturance.

And it’s funny how that approach to the body, to our body image, can help us to drop the weight, firm the muscles, and stabilize the appetite for healthy foods.  When you become more mindful, more empathetic with yourself,  you also drop the stress that’s held in the muscles, held in the body, letting go of stuck patterns of movement and posture.  The body twists and stretches into alignment with itself, balance improves, and backs straighten and lift.

Without any focus on losing weight, weight drops off, and firm healthy muscle becomes your expressiveness and your pleasure.

Of course, a regular practice is required.  Daily Empatharian Movement sessions will transform your energy, transform your body and give you positivity for accomplishing your goals.