When Lily Learned to Love Her Body

Lily came to me for relationship support as she was feeling unhappy (insecure) in her marriage. About halfway through our very first session we discovered that the issue requiring immediate attention was actually her body image. Lily loathed her body and as we talked more it became apparent that it was certainly a big factor in her thoughts and feelings about her marriage.

Over time Lily confessed that she spent a lot of her daily life scrutinising and criticising every part of her body. Naked and dressed. She said she thought her face was “not at all pretty”, her body was “very ordinary” and she was “really quite unattractive”. With a bit of further delving it came to light that Lily constantly referred to herself in this way to her husband and believed he would “no doubt find a young hot chick” to replace her at some point. Lily was a healthy 38 year old active mother of 2, she had no abnormalities whatsoever and was far from UN-attractive.

Lily was completely hooked to a negative belief, a story that had been running in her mind for a very long time and preventing her from enjoying big chunks of life.

Lily and I worked together for the next few months unravelling her beliefs about how she was ‘supposed to look’ and building her values around self acceptance, self care and compassion for differences. She worked out that other people were unlikely to scrutinise, let alone be interested in her what her body actually looked like and that eventually conceded that she was ‘attractive enough’ to embrace her life with confidence (which results from ongoing ‘practice’).

When Lily comes to see me these days it’s not for body image support although I always check in on it and like most women, she reports that it still tries to derail her on occasion but she knows not to ‘get hooked’ because it’s just an old nonsensical story that still pops in to her mind from time to time.

We all know girls/women like Lily and no doubt we (both genders!) have had or still have self deprecating stories running in our minds and to this my counsel is always to work on it for as long as it takes because life with a body you want to care for is so much better – for many people it’s pure freedom!


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