Body Image problems can lead to other problems in your life, so of course it matters if you are positive or negative about your feelings. Poor body image many times lowers self-esteem. Studies have shown that ľ to 1/3 of your self-esteem is related to positive or negative feelings about your body. If you donít like your body, it is difficult to like the person in it.
Social anxiety can arise from poor body image. If you are unable to accept your appearance, you will likely assume others donít like your looks as well. This can cause you to shy away form certain social activities. In severe cases of low body image, people may become agoraphobic (phobia in which the person is afraid to leave their house for various reasons).
In may places that I have read and many people I have talked to, body image has a major effect on their sex life. If you believe your naked body is ugly or unacceptable, sex becomes an anxiety producer. If you do have a partner that you are intimate with and you are more concerned about what your body looks like then giving or receiving pleasure, sex can be an act of apprehension or you may avoid it all together. I have been blessed with a man who loves every inch of my body and he lets me know it all the time. His favorite saying is, ďHoney, even if you pranced around her in a garbage bag, I would still love you and want to be with you.Ē If the person you are intimate with didnít find your body beautiful in the first place, you wouldnít be having a sexual relationship with him or her, right? That is one way to accept the fact that you are sexy and desirable.
Another effect of low body image is suffering from depression. Depression and low body image usually go hand in hand. In mush of my research, 7 out of 10 people suffering from depression name dissatisfaction with something about their body in the first 5 reasons for their depression.
If you have read any of my other articles, you know poor body image can lead to eating disorders. Eating disorders donít just happen over night. You donít wake up one day and decide to start starving yourself. It is a gradual process.
To see if your body image is affecting your life, take the following quiz. Rank your feelings from 0 = No Negative Effect on my life to 4 = Extreme Negative Effect on my life that best describes the extent to which your body image is negatively effected in each of these areas.
_____ My self-esteem
_____ My feelings of confidence in social situations
_____ My feelings during sexual activities
_____ My responsiveness as a sexual partner
_____ My enjoyment of sex
_____ My desire and effort to lose weight
_____ My feelings of controlling what I eat
_____ My feelings of depression
_____ My overall quality of life
The higher your score, the more negatively your body image is affecting your life.
When I first started writing here at BellaOnline.com, I didnít realize just how poor my body image was until I started reading different websites and books available. You may think right now that there is nothing that will change your feelings about the way you look. I struggled for about 15 years with mine. Each time I was pregnant it got a little better because I realized just how beautiful and wonderful a womanís body is (I have 2 kids). When I met my fiancť, it got even better and what knocked me over to acceptance was reading and talking about my feelings. Read, my articles, read some of the book I have reviewed, and do a little research on how to boost your body image. If I can find peace with my 250-pound body (yes, I am not afraid to say it!), you can find that peace too. Body image does matter! You can be a healthy, happy, successful person, no matter what you look like! Namaste!