Before reading this article, it is recommended to answer the question “Who am I?” You are welcome to write your answers down.
Relationship with the body
Your relationship with your body can be different. You may hate or love your body. You may dislike certain parts of your body. You may care about your body or mistreat it. There is usually a spectrum of emotions and feelings you experience from contact with your body: frustration, joy, anger, pleasure, love, disgust, fear and so on. You also face an existential given – embodiment. This existential given is noticed every moment of every day. Our existence is an embodied existence. We can’t imagine a human being if there is no body. We experience our life through the body: sensations, feelings, connection with others. No matter if you like or dislike your body, you are stuck in it. The exchange of your body to a different one is impossible.
Self-identification with the body
The body is something you can see, touch and feel. The body is the first thing other people notice when they meet you. That is why you may build your identity relying on your body. If you do, be aware of two traps. If you do not like your body and at the same time identify with it, you fall into the first trap. In this situation, you “are” for example this old woman. If your identity is based mostly on your body which you see as ugly and fat, you “are” ugly and fat. The second trap is a self-identification with your beauty. You may always be scary to lose your beautiful traits because of the ageing for example. In both situations, you try to fix your body and appearance for avoiding unpleasant experience and painful feelings.
Identity and self-esteem
Identity relates to self-image and self-esteem. Self-identification that hurts contributes to low self-esteem. Thus, your appearance may negatively affect your self-confidence if you identify with your body too much. Here we come to another reason why you may correct your appearance. It is a desire to have a good self-image and high self-esteem. Nevertheless, to change your body is difficult. Another way to improve self-esteem in this situation is to distance from your body. You go to another polarity – from getting too much for your identity from the body to not identifying with your body at all. It seems that the problem is solved and self-image is restored. However, by rejecting your body, literally not feeling it as much as possible, you can’t experience life. As I mentioned above, you experience your life through the body. If you don’t feel your body, you don’t feel your life.
Some of the reasons why a person tries to fix her/his appearance and body:
1. self-identification is mostly based on the body
2. appearance has an influence on self-confidence and self-image.
Solution – other parts of your identity
When you allow yourself to have multiple identities, your self-esteem and self-image no longer depend only on your body. You start to see your body from a different perspective and create a better relationship with it. You can stop fighting with your body and reconnect with it. The question “Who am I?” is mainly concerned with identity. Fortunately, every person can find many answers to this question. We exist in four primary dimensions: physical, social, personal and spiritual. The body is only a part of our physical dimension. Some of my answers to the question “Who am I?” in four dimensions.
- Physical Dimension:
Woman, Bald, Medium height person, Caucasian, 31 years old, a person with blue eyes. I am also a person who loves massage, dresses, comfortable shoes.
- Social Dimension:
Personal trainer, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Wife, Partner, Russian
- Personal Dimension:
I am a person who loves to ski, cross-stitch, sing, play guitar. Kind, Friendly, Introvert. I am a person who likes hibiscus or herbal tea.
- Spiritual Dimension:
I am a person who loves nature and enjoys observing nature. I am not very religious. I am a person who helps others.
Please, have a look at your answers to the question “Who am I?” Do you want to extend your identity? Do your identities represent all four dimensions?
How does the wrong identity affect the life?
The thing is that often we do not choose our identity in the beginning. We internalize the characteristics our parents tell us we have. We also internalize their values or values of culture and other significant people in our life. Often the characteristics and values we got are not in alignment with our authentic self. It can cause dissatisfaction in life. The good news is that you are able to modify your multiple identities and be who you want to be. You can do it by removing all not authentic identities, by learning more about yourself and by expanding four dimensions. During Optimal Weight Consultation you can learn more about your current identities and make changes in a nonjudgmental way. I will also help you to discover YOUR values and live in harmony with them.