Body Image

Body Image Coaching – Unhook Yourself From The Photoshop Ideal And Start Living

Do you believe that you would be happy if only you had a body you could stop hating?

If so, you are absolutely right. Being happy in your body is absolutely vital to living a fulfilled life.

The question is: what does that body have to look like for you to be happy? A supermodel’s?

One of my most important jobs I do with clients is to help them unhook themselves from what I call the Photoshop Ideal.

What Is The Photoshop Ideal?

We live in an age when you can digitally perfect any image. Because media has become so heavily visual – and people are so addicted to their iPads and smartphones – it has become the accepted norm to compare our bodies to this digital perfection. The Photoshop Ideal says that if you don’t look like a supermodel, you are ugly. Oh yes, and by the way, ugly equals worthless. No six pack equals no self control. Considering that the supermodels themselves get airbrushed – even THEY are not up to the Photoshop Ideal – what hope is there for the rest of us to attain our self worth through our appearance?

Imagine the up-and-coming sports star whose hopes for an Olympic gold medal are destroyed by a long-term knee injury. What would you say to this devastated shell of a teenager? You’d say that they had so much to look forward to. You’d say that five years from now, everything will look so different. You’d know that eventually they would reframe this apparent disaster and succeed in creating a successful, happy life some other way.

But what if this teenager lived in a world almost entirely populated by failed athletes who had never managed to let go of their Olympic dream? Can you see how five years in the future they could very easily still be singing the bitter and twisted song of “If Only”…?

I see the vast majority of people as living parallel lives to the injured athlete who is surrounded by other injured athletes – with The Photoshop Ideal replacing the injury. Both think that just because they have not reached the pinnacle of perfection (winning gold or looking like a supermodel), then they are worthless.

This glorification of the image is a way of thinking that has infected the self image of approximately 99.9% of anyone aged 13 to 103 (actually my healthy and super active 8-year-old son recently attributed his failure to get a swimming badge to his supposedly fat stomach, so that age of 13 is actually way off. I’ve never been so unhappy to be right about anything).

The Alternative

Don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you that the alternative is to burn your bra, throw out your make up and never shave your legs again.

The truth is that looking good is important. Glamour can be incredibly fun. The last thing I want to do is throw the beauty baby out with (the grimy, polluted) water (of The Photoshop Ideal).

There is a middle ground, one that I have reached and I work to help my clients get to.

It’s the place where you unhook your sense of self from The Photoshop Ideal.

Liberated from the tyranny of perfectionism, you are free at last to enjoy your body for what it is. This does NOT mean forcing yourself to love what you hate right now. It means changing how you relate to it, just as the injured athlete is able to change how they relate to their future.

There are specific ways of achieving this, bodywork processes I can coach you in that can powerfully dismantle the toxic body image beliefs that pollute your thinking. I have used – and still use today – everything I suggest to my clients.

Coaching is available in person, by Phone, Skype of FaceTime.

Want to know more about body image coaching? Contact me:
* By email: theshiftinside {at} gmail.com
* By phone (if you are in the UK: 07 78 62 855 92

to schedule an informal chat about how I can help you access the greatest undiscovered secret of health and happiness on the planet – unhooking yourself from The Photoshop Ideal.

Harriet Morris

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