This month Tara and I are talking body image. We spend a good deal of talking talking about how body image develops and ways to challenge the thin ideal. I realized after the fact that we didn't lay down some basics about what body image actually IS, so here is my definition:
Body image includes what you believe and feel about your body as it relates to beliefs about a body ideal, for sure, but also how you feel in your body, how you sense yourself in space, multisensory messages, and how you interpret and respond to those messages. Under this expanded definition, body acceptance and body love can often come not just by challenging harmful body beliefs, but also by learning to interpret body signals accurately and respond to your body and meet its needs with compassion and love.
I can think of no better New Year's resolution to replace the old paradigm of "lose weight" than "meet my body's needs with compassion and love."
You deserve it, dear hearts.