Both emotional specialists and psychologists generally agree that eating disorders are generally rooted in negative body image. When this happens, sufferers usually see distorted body images when they gaze in a mirror – and as such, feel "fat" or otherwise imperfect regardless of whether these terms accurately describe the structure of their physical bodies.
Negative body images can manifest from one or more of the following factors:
Negative Conditioning Our parents' and family members' attitudes toward food and concepts of beauty can significantly factor in our body image. For example, parents who emphasize the importance of outer appearance or who obsessively count calories may have children who retain or develop similar attitudes that can potentially result in negative body image.
Negative Thinking If you have low self-esteem and therefore constantly hound yourself about your appearance or give undue importance to other’s opinions, you can develop a negative body image over time.
Unrealistic Ideals Movies, articles, advertisements and other media propaganda often promote perfection as being attainable – which, of course, it is not. Aggressive marketing techniques seek to create unrealistic aspirations regarding beauty ideals for profit. Children and teens are particularly susceptible to these techniques and can therefore develop negative body image issues due to their desire to conform to media "norms."
Overoming Negative Body Image
You will have to affect a dramatic change in your self-perception to successfully build a healthier body image. I'll readily admit that negative attitudes firmly entrench themselves in the subconscious over time, which can make this change quite challenging. To meet this challenge head on you'll have to re-program your subconscious so that positive thoughts replace your knee-jerk negative attitudes toward your body.
One effective way to surmount these negative attitudes is to engage in therapy that includes clinical hypnosis, which will require consistent patience and practice. Your options include self-hypnosis and therapist-assisted hypnosis; which you choose will depend on your comfort level. Ideally you should try the former method first, but the latter is certainly a viable alternative if you feel that you aren't making much progress.
Positive Body Image Through Self-Hypnosis (Exercise)
What follows is a powerful but simple exercise you can employ to address your negative body attitudes.