Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

You are here: Home Ask Belleruth "How Do I Improve My Body Image and My Body?"

enews signup

Email

"How Do I Improve My Body Image and My Body?"

17 Sep

Question:

I love your guided imagery tapes and CDs. I used them during my attempts to get pregnant and during pregnancy and delivery. Thank you!

Now I would like to ask for guided imagery for improving body image. You know what a problem this is, especially for women. I am working on healthy eating and exercise, but I am having difficulty imagining myself as healthy, beautiful and at a smaller size.

Somewhere deep inside me I don’t believe it can happen or maybe I don''t feel I deserve to think of myself as beautiful.

Please help. Thank you very much.

Connie

Answer:

Dear Connie,

So glad you asked! And you’re right, of course: this is a huge problem in our culture, and especially (but by no means exclusively) for women.

This is really what I created the Weight Loss imagery for. For years I resisted making this audio, because I didn’t want to create yet another one of those ‘imagine yourself skinny’ recordings to feed the pervasive, malignant, culture-wide body-hatred that distorts our sense of self. Just the thought of doing something like that sent shivers up my slightly scoliotic (but nonetheless serviceable) spine!!

But after being nagged, begged and pressed by Time Warner’s audio division, I finally figured out how I could write that imagery in a way I could live with and feel good about - by using imagery to enhance the sense of alliance with the body and it’s miraculous processes of converting fat into energy; to create imagery that coheres motivation, drive and self-esteem behind using our energy in actions and goals that are congruent with our values; and by focusing attention on the internal sense of how the body feels when it’s functioning in healthy ways, rather than wandering into external visuals (how the body looks from the outside).

Paradoxically (but not surprisingly) this imagery works for weight loss, precisely because it doesn’t go to external "looks". It keeps attention focused on the inside, going for a deeper, truer appreciation of self - mind, body and spirit. Sensing from the inside - not looking from the outside - is where the effective action is, Connie! So that’s my recommendation. Try that imagery.

I just went to the CD’s page and was delighted to find a bunch of customer reviews that support this point exactly! What a nice surprise! Roxanne wrote:

By far the best weight-loss CD I''ve found. Dr. Naperstek is the first person who''s presented the notion of liking my body as it is in a do-able way, suggesting that I appreciate what my body does and how amazing it is. There''s not a false note in this well-scripted, beautifully delivered CD, and I''m nearly at my 20 pounds off goal. Sometimes I listen to others for variety, but they are flawed, and I always come back to this one.

Roxanne, just for the record, I’m not a doctor. And thanks for the enthusiastic commentary.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award