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Beginning to Shift Negative Body Image

Updated: Jul 5, 2023



Do you ever find yourself caught in a constant battle with negative thoughts about your body? Always thinking about diets and how you should look? Well, you're not alone. Many of us struggle with negative body image and an unhealthy relationship with our bodies. But there's hope. I recently had the chance to sit down with Rachel Lavin, a fitness professional who has been on a transformative journey towards self-acceptance and body love for the past 10 years.


Rachel shared her own experience of struggling with body image and food. Despite being a fitness professional for over two decades, she found herself trapped in a cycle of conflicting thoughts and expectations. It was overwhelming and kept her from truly embracing what she wanted in life. But when she turned 40, she made a decision to find happiness and embarked on a journey of self-discovery.


"I wanted to be happy, but I knew I needed to do some work to get there," Rachel explained. She didn't want to be controlled by diets anymore, but she also didn't want to fear becoming "obese." She wanted to find a way to exercise that felt good and allowed her to enjoy movement well into her later years. So she started learning, not just about what she thought she knew, but also about what she didn't know. It hasn't always been easy, but Rachel is now at a place of peace with herself and her body. While she acknowledges that negative thoughts still creep in at times, she has enough positive affirmations to counteract them.


Rachel's journey inspired her to write a book called "The Donut Diaries." In this book, she shares her personal story, taking readers through her own struggles and triumphs. Her goal was to make others feel less alone and let them know that they, too, can overcome their negative body image. And judging by the feedback she's received, Rachel has succeeded in connecting with her readers and helping them find solace.


Central to Rachel's message is the importance of body love and acceptance. While she appreciates the body positivity and body neutrality movements, she believes that true body love goes beyond just accepting your physical appearance. It involves a deeper exploration of one's traumas and insecurities, understanding why we feel the way we do about our bodies, and unraveling those negative beliefs. Rachel emphasizes that loving your body starts on the inside.


But how does one begin this journey of self-love and acceptance? According to Rachel, it starts with simple steps. She encourages her clients to say one nice thing about their bodies every day for a week. And it's not enough to just think it; they must say it out loud. Rachel suggests using affirmations and placing them in visible locations as a reminder. This exercise helps shift the negative self-talk and encourages a more positive mindset.


In her work with women, Rachel has noticed a common theme—negative body image often stems from experiences in childhood. It could be a parent or caregiver repeatedly making negative comments about their own bodies or a hurtful remark from someone else that stuck. She stresses the importance of open conversations between parents and children about body image and the influence of social media. By dispelling myths and providing perspective, we can help young people navigate the unrealistic expectations perpetuated online.


In conclusion, shifting negative body image is a personal and ongoing journey. It requires us to examine our thoughts, challenge ingrained beliefs, and choose self-love over self-criticism. Rachel Lavin's story is a testament to the power of words and conversations in this process. By replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations and engaging in open dialogues, we can begin to embrace our bodies and live life to the fullest. Remember, your body is not up for discussion, and you have the power to take control of your own narrative. Start by practicing self-love and acceptance, one small step at a time.


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