Humor is important, but the pain that people experience during the summer about their bodies is NO laughing matter. And the last thing that is helpful is for people who are feeling badly about not having the “beach body” that is being touted as the ultimate benchmark of success, is to then feel even worse that they are feeling badly about feeling badly! In other words, it isn’t helpful to add negative self-judgement about body hate on top of the body hate. So this month try to find ways to support yourself and cultivate compassion and acceptance for your feelings and understand that learning to love your body is a process. Registered Dietician and Nutritionist, Rebecca Scritchfield has three short interview pieces on the Oprah Channel where she promotes the concepts of breaking out of “scale-jail” and learning to love our body’s natural size and shape.
- Interview 1: When to Step on the Scale
- Interview 2: Size & Diversity – Find Your Healthy Size
- Interview 3: Scale Jail
Title: You Hold The Key
To find ways to support yourself and consider the option of loving your body EVEN during the summer.
Posterboard or sturdy construction pape, pencil, colored markers, scissors, (optional collage materials)
- The metaphor we are working with this month is a key ring with keys of support. Just like a real key ring has a different key to either lock up or unlock something we want or don’t want in our lives, the keys created in this Proactivity will serve as reminders of what we can choose to access or lock away to keep from harming us.
- Take a moment and think of the ways that summer may be challenging for you in respect to your body image. Remember, you weren’t born hating your body, this was learned by external messages that you can choose to try to reject.
- Now think of ways you can support yourself in rejecting or lessening those triggers. These can be people, affirmations, throwing away magazines, visiting body positive websites, etc.
- Using your art supplies, choose to either draw or create three dimensional keys with each key having a specific purpose in supporting you. For example, make a key with pictures of diverse bodies to support body acceptance or one with why being outdoors in the summer is a positive experience when not completely associated with body dissatisfaction.
- You can also take this one step further and symbolically lock away thoughts or images that you don’t want enforcing your negative body image. Remember, working with metaphors can be fun, let your imagination go where it wants…you never know what you will find!
This expressive arts directive is from contributing author Dr. Deah Schwartz. Once a month, Dr. Schwartz shares a therapeutic expressive arts therapy activity or idea to facilitate exploration, increased awareness and healing in the areas of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. Some of these activities may need to be facilitated over more than one session, or modified for different ability levels, size of group, budget and size of work space. These directives may be used in individual or group therapy sessions or as self-help activities. Sometimes the activity itself is nothing new or brilliant but the OBJECTIVE of the directive is unique and specifically tailored to exploring issues related to body image and disordered eating. ENJOY! Fun is the main ingredient! You can learn more about eating disorder therapy here.