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Recovery blog

Body Neutrality

By: McKenzie Wilkins, LCSW, The Renfrew Center of Charlotte

Posted on February 04, 2019

Throughout my time of running body image groups at The Renfrew Center of Charlotte, I have heard many patients express hopelessness with entertaining the concept of self-love when they feel such self-hate. We talk about the mixed messages individuals receive that tell them to practice self-love while, at the same time, communicating that your natural looks are not good enough.

Having a love/hate relationship with your body is a black and white way of thinking and leaves out the important neutral area. So, let's talk about body neutrality! This is a concept that people tend to gloss over when thinking about their relationship with their body.

Body neutrality is:
• Looking at one's body through its function
What does your body allow you to do? Do your arms allow you to hug your partner? Do your feet allow you to tap your toe to your favorite song?

• Taking the stance of a non-judgmental voice
Are you able to put energy to more factual observations and not punish yourself with emotion-based critical self talk?

• Knowing that the body is ever-changing and accepting it as it is today
Are you able to thank your body for getting you through each day in whatever season of your life you are in?

• Putting energy towards values
What is important to you that is pushed aside because of your relationship with your body? How does your body help you achieve fulfillment in your values?

Can you imagine a world in which your day is not dictated by emotions and thoughts about your body? Redefine your relationship with your body by practicing these thought-provoking questions to establish body neutrality.


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