Body Image and Body Feeling

A woman standing on a dock looking at the sky.

When an individual is struggling with body image issues, s/he has learned to view her or his body from the outside. The concern is with how the body looks. Is it thin enough? Is it curvy enough in the “right” areas? Will others like it? Will they think it is acceptable as it is?

These are all questions that individuals with body image issues may be concerned with. When stuck in body image concerns, there is little room to think about things outside of oneself, how oneself looks to others, and how one can improve. The primary thought process is ‘I’m not good enough’. Other thoughts and behaviours may be :

  • obsessing about calories and calorie counting
  • weighing oneself
  • fixating on a number of pounds one “should be
  • compulsively exercising
  • looking in the mirror (or store front windows) any chance you get in order to evaluate what you look like
  • comparing yourself to others in terms of body weight, tone and general self worth

Body Feeling is something that an individual who struggles in this area may not be familiar with. Feeling in one’s body, or having a sense of embodiment, requires a sense of a body acceptance. Having a strong sense of body feeling includes enjoying moving one’s body, taking pleasure in one’s experiences, and being less “in your head”. If you are ‘in your body’ you may experience the following:

  • healthy self esteem
  • little to no interest in what other’s think of you
  • joy
  • pleasure
  • laughter

Denise Renye, M.Ed, M.A., PsyD ~ Licensed Psychologist PS28096


And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
— Anais Nin
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