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Recovery blog

Improving Body Image After Treatment

By: Ranya Marjieh, MA, MS, MHC, Primary Therapist, The Renfrew Center of Connecticut

Posted on April 08, 2019


It's time to address the elephant in the room, the topic that's always mentioned but never fully explained, the one that still gets in our way even after treatment – body image.

Let's begin by examining what we already know about body image. Simply put, it's the way we see our bodies. So, why is it that such a simple term is responsible for so much conflict, meaning and irresolution in our lives? Here's the thing – body image is way more than just the way we see our bodies. It also includes personal expectations, ideals set out by us or imposed by others, and social and cultural standards we compare ourselves to.

Yet, aside from all these contributing factors, the majority of what body image really comes down to is how we see ourselves in relation to our self-esteem. Self-esteem is more than just feeling good about ourselves, it's what we do to nurture the confidence in who we are as a person. It's more about how we feel about ourselves than how we feel about the way we look. Ever wonder why you might still struggle with your body image even after treatment, support and life after an eating disorder? That's because self-esteem is the one remaining aspect we need to continuously support and grow. So, what do we do about it?

Find what feels good!

Engage in activities that make you feel happy, make you laugh, feel loved, appreciated, and supported. Surround yourself with people and environments that align with the person you want to be.

By adding more value and spending time attending to how we feel about ourselves, the less important the way we look becomes. Confidence is the one thing that looks good on everybody, so let's start by working on the way we feel rather than the way we look!

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