Navigate / search

Teaching Your Daughter Body Love: Studio 5

Many of you have joined our Body Love movement, turning the negative self-talk into positive views of our bodies. Now, we challenge you to help your daughters feel good about how they look.

Studio 5 Contributor, Therapist Julie Hanks, shares 10 ways to teach young girls the concept of body love.

Read more

5 Ways to Love Your Body: Studio 5 #bodylove

5 Ways to Love Your Body - Studio 5

 

What do you see when you look in the mirror? If the first thing that comes to mind is something critical, you’re not alone. This month on KSL’s Studio 5 with Brooke Walker, we challenge you to think positive about your body.

Join the #BODYLOVE movement!

Read more

Celebrate Real Beauty This Sat.

Have you ever wanted to know more about how to love your body today? Not tomorrow, but right now? Join me for A Celebration of Real Beauty along with some other amazing speakers on March 9th!

I’ll be sharing tips on how to appreciate your body today, doing a live Q&A, and I just may throw in a song or two…

Saturday March 9th, 2013

10:00 am-6:00 pm (I’m speaking from 2:15-3:00 p.m.)

Thanksgiving Point Show Barn

Lehi, UT

Read more

Mental Health Benefits Of Running

Last month I sat down with KSL’s Brooke Walker and Raylee Eck in beautiful Sugarhouse Park to chat about the health and mental health benefits of running. Ironically, I had to skip my run that morning to get to ready for the video shoot. Ha!

How To Stop Your Daughter From Hating Her Body

Between celebrities and supermodels today’s media set high and unrealistic standards for appearance, causing women to be critical of their own bodies.  The pressure women feel to have the “perfect body” leaves them with feelings of dissatisfaction, a risk factor for eating disorders says Shannon Snapp, Ph.D., and her colleagues at University of Arizona. Snapp and her colleagues looked at first-year college women who are particularly vulnerable to body dissatisfaction and placing a high value on appearance. Their study identified the following five factors that promote positive body image for young adult women:

Read more

Ask Julie: My Therapist Looks Like A Skeleton

Q: I don’t know what to do. I have been seeing my therapist for 3 years. I suffer with body image issues and distorted eating. My therapist has always been thin/healthy. Sometimes her weight drops and I am very sensitive to it. We have talked about it before and I am very open with it if I feel triggered by her. I saw her today and she looks like an eating disordered patient. She said she is aware of it and working on it. She said she has medical issues that make her body do things if she’s not careful and stress plays a part. I believe she is OK and she will work at getting back up to a healthy weight, but its really hard for me to make sense of. Why can she look like that but I have to work to keep myself healthy? Why are such high expectations put on me that she doesn’t live up to? She is my biggest role model, and all I can think of at this moment is starving myself until I look like her. She is happy, successful, smart, has a family and is pretty. She said, “I hope you’re not jealous of this (her body)” and she said that she wished she was in a different place. I just can’t get the picture of her out of my mind. Oh and she’s been getting sick a lot recently. It scares me. I want her to be healthy. She’s MY motivation to be healthy. But when she’s not…my motivation goes away and I want to restrict. How do I make sense of this?

A: Wow. What a tough situation! I want to validate your confusion about how to make sense of your therapist’s weight loss. It sounds like you’ve handled this things well so far by being open with your concern for her health, and talking about how her weight loss is impacting your recovery process. It’s scary when someone close to you is obviously ill and I’m glad that you are asking for help to deal with your concerns.

I can hear that on one level you trust that your therapist is addressing the problem, and on another level you’re angry about the double standard — she can be at a seemingly unhealthy weight and you’re expected to be at a healthy weight. While it is normal to be concerned about your therapist, I think there may be more for you to learn about yourself and your relationship patterns.

Your comment that you can’t get the picture of her out of your mind may be a sign that you’re too focused on her. I’m curious, have you had other close relationships where you’ve focused on their problems or issues in a way that negatively impacted you? Core relationship patterns and emotional wounds often replay themselves in clients’ feelings and thoughts about their therapist. You may want to explore these patterns with your therapist.

Just like children who idealize their parents eventually come to realize that their parents aren’t perfect, it sounds like you are experiencing a similar realization with your therapist. Instead of seeing her as the epitome of health, her drastic weight loss has knocked her off of the pedestal of perfection in your eyes.  There may be some grieving that goes along with acknowledging that your role model isn’t everything you hoped she’d be.

It’s time for you to work toward developing an internal source of motivation for health and recovery instead of relying solely on your therapist for your motivation. Ultimately, who you are and who you want to become are defined and chosen by you, not by any external source. You are stronger than you think you are.

Keep the dialogue with your therapist focused on you and trust that she’s aware and taking care of her own struggles. If after a few months she’s not improving and you are still frequently triggered by her appearance, it may be time to talk to your therapist about transferring to another therapist.

Thanks for writing in and I wish you well in your continued recovery.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Stronger Self-esteem When You Don’t Look Your Best: Studio 5

Self-esteem comes from the inside, but sometimes what’s going happening on the outside can shake your self -confidence. Therapist, Julie Hanks, has tips to survive bad hair days and beyond.

1) Bad Hair Day

Sometimes even small appearance flaws can ruin your day! A big blemish on your face, bad hair day, a skin rash can leave you feeling self-conscious.

Tip: “Unlink” self-esteem and appearance

While appearance often impacts how you feel about yourselves, it doesn’t have to define you.

Tip: Remember that you are not your body

“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” C.S. Lewis quotes

2) After Baby Body

With every good change in life there are also accompanying losses. Body changes are the price you agree to pay for carrying and delivering a baby.

Tip: Give yourself permission to grieve the losses

Your hips may never be the same size again, the stretch marks are here to stay. Feel the sadness about the changes and then move forward.

Tip: Buy clothes that fit at current size

Don’t wait until you get your pre-baby body back to present your best self. Treat your self as you would have before baby. Don’t wait until you hit a magic size or number on the scale.

3) Signs Of Aging

As a society, we tend to value youthfulness, especially in women’s appearance. While aging men are often though of as “distinguished”, aging women are regarded as “less attractive”.

Tip: Reframe aging as evidence of experience and learning

Just as a painting’s looks changes depending on the frame around it, you can put a more positive and beautiful frame around how your see your physical appearance.

I wrote a song about my own reframing of the aging experience called “God’s Signature”. Here are a few lines that help me reframe my wrinkles:

These lines are signs of many lessons learned
Carved out through time
Smiles that warm and tears that burn
And unexpected turns
Time has been my friend it seems
So let him write on me

You can call me flawed
You can call it character
But I choose to call these changes God’s signature

Follow Me on Pinterest

Pin It

Tip: Focus on multidimensional person

You have many aspect that make you…you! Focus on developing and valuing all of them…mental, social, spiritual, emotional, and physical.

4) Overweight

One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is to lose weight and get fit. When you don’t exercise as much as you’d planned or you overeat one day what do you say to yourself? Are you kind and loving, or do you tell yourself things like, “See, another year when you can’t lose weight” and say belittling things to yourself?

Tip: Self-acceptance

Self-acceptance frees us to make changes. Women worry that if they accept where they are they’ll stay the way they are, but the opposite is true.

Tip: Focus on improving health and self-care

No matter what your physical appearance, you can always take small steps to take good care of yourself. I love the phrase “Life rewards action” because it’s true. Even taking one small step to better your health is a good thing.

5) Social mistakes

How we look in the eyes of others in terms of our behavior is another aspect that can impact self-esteem. Saying something dumb, being impatient with your child, or things as simple as realizing you’ve been calling someone by the same name.

Tip: Own it and move on

You’re self-esteem can remain in tact if your mistake, misstep, or error and then quickly moving on instead of worrying about it.
Tip: It’s none of my business what other’s think of me

If you’re worried about what other’s might be thinking about your misstep it’s crucial to remember that it’s not your business what others think about you. You can’t control their thoughts. You’ll never really know what others think about you anyway, unless they are willing to tell you directly.

Overcoming Pregnancy Body Image Fears: Quoted on Parents.com

DSC_0390-2

Pregnancy is a time of change, and living in a culture obsessed with appearance and thinness, many women struggle with fears surrounding body changes that accompany pregnancy. I recently interviewed with Parents.com to share my thoughts on this topic…

“Women need to develop a willingness to view bodily changes as part of the journey of motherhood, instead of something to be feared,” says Julie Hanks, a psychotherapist, and owner and director of Wasatch Family Therapy in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. “It’s crucial to have a healthy view of your body during and after pregnancy.”

Read the full article on Parents.com

Creative Commons License

photo credit: www.photographybyjoelle.com