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Body Image

How can a mirror and a scale get it so wrong?

AHA Diploma for Eating Disorders

I don't know why it is so hard to see ourselves accurately, but it is. Studies show that even people with the most accurate physical self-image pictures have a lag of weeks or months when they start to change shape. That means that those of us who have the most precise view of what their body looks like, still see themselves as they appeared weeks or even months before, while they gain or lose weight. This phenomenon is called "residual body image."

For the rest of us, the gap between actual body shape change and the image that we see in the mirror is dramatically different. Instead of weeks or months before our residual body image begins to shift, we may struggle ever to see the change in ourselves. We get a picture in our heads, and no amount of evidence to the contrary is going to change that image. It's pretty harmless in cases of small discrepancies, but it can be life-threatening if the difference between what you feel and reality is big enough.

Interestingly, this happens in both directions. Some bodybuilders are incapable of seeing when they are "big enough" and they will risk their lives with unsustainable workout routines, drugs, chemicals, pills and injections to get the gains they want. Some people refer to this as "bigorexia." Of course, it can happen the other way, where someone can look in a mirror and see fat where there is none to be seen by anyone else. As we have learned more about anorexia during the past few decades, the apparent numbers have exploded, but in reality, it's been with us all along, unrecognized and underreported.

These body-dysmorphic mismatches aren't our fault. Nobody sets out down this path deliberately, but our minds and our environment conspire to make even the most accurately minded person have doubts. Statistics show that for roughly one-quarter of the worst of these cases, the condition becomes fatal.

Hypnosis can aid in breaking the cycles that contribute to body-dysmorphia.

First, hypnosis aids in providing relaxation, providing a chance to "disconnect" from the problems and stresses of the day.
Hypnosis can create an environment of complete control. In a trance, the client can create an environment where every element is to their liking and is subject to their every command.
With hypnosis, it is possible "rehearse" scenarios, such as changes in eating habits, in a non-threatening way that can be paused, stopped, viewed from a distance or even tried on someone else.
With safely distant repetition and rehearsals, a client can become desensitized to real triggers and healthier behaviors tested and applied without risk and without leaving the room.
In hypnosis a phenomenon called "trance logic" allows the client to make connections and draw conclusions that might otherwise elude them.
Body dysmorphia is a subject that is near and dear to my heart, so let's chat and see if I can help.
I have certifications in the following areas by the American Hypnosis Association:
  • *Eating Disorders
  • *Anxiety
  • *Sleep Issues
  • *Trauma Recovery
  • *Pain Management
  • *Weight Loss
  • *Sports Performance
  • ...and more
See my "Credentials" page for more details.

Learn to appreciate yourself
Love your body