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Media & the Bio-individual Ideal_Final

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>> Hello and welcome back. Earlier in this module, we discussed how an unhelpful body image can motivate us to try to conform to an ideal, and how our efforts to do so can further damage our body image because that ideal is impossible to achieve. Why? Because ideals are continually changing and are often unrealistic in the first place. In this short lecture, we're going to explore body image through another lens, the bio-individual ideal. In other words, the ideal is not objective at all, it's subjective. One person's food is another person's poison. One person's ideal is another person's nightmare. What works for you might not work for me. Genetics, lifestyle, individual preferences, cravings, and even personality come into play. We all have a wide range of genes, backgrounds, and other influencing factors. Three of us could eat the exact same foods and exercise exactly the same ways, and we would still look like three different people. Now on a biological level, yes, our bodies are like bio-computers, they know what they need to thrive. Nutrition approaches, like Ayurveda and body type tests, try to account for these differences by making suggestions based on various broad constitutions. However, as Joshua says, the best science is your science. Unfortunately, on a psychological level, many of us perpetually ignore that science. We try to outsmart our own eating intuition. We think that we know what's best for us, but in the end, we develop maladaptive coping strategies to help us deal with stress that we can't seem to get away from. We work so hard to mold ourselves into what we think we should be that we lose parts of ourselves in the process. We decide to try intermittent fasting because isn't challenging our willpower good for us. We decide to go 100% Paleo because aren't carbs bad anyway? We decide to go vegan because won't we feel better about ourselves. Why is this? Why do we think we know better than our bodies? Why do we think we should do these things? Why do we attach a label to everything? In part because of the cultural messages we receive. Our culture plays a significant role in our body image. We live in a society where the expert, not the individual, knows best and where we need to try new keys to health right now in order to live a happy and physically ideal life. For example, "What do you mean you haven't tried bulletproof coffee? Haven't you heard about how it helps you lose weight while drinking butter?" Or "What do you mean you still eat pasta? Haven't you heard to avoid all white foods?" We are constantly bombarded with mixed messages that lead us every which way and leave us without any clear answers. We are continually led away from ourselves from what our bodies want and need and our own intuition. We are constantly led away from empowerment and the confidence that we are our own best experts and that we can find our own version of health and happiness. We are led away from the important idea that health, happiness, and body shape are one-size-fits-none. To put it bluntly, insecurity sells, but that insecurity can be toxic. At the end of the day, marketing is all about creating a need and then selling people something to meet that need. Try to go through one day without hearing or seeing an ad that makes you feel like you could be better, healthier, happier, or more attractive than you are now. It's tough. In fact, head online right now and search for top healthy food trends. No, really, go ahead, I'll be here waiting. What did you find? Be honest. See anything you want to try? I know that I usually want to try something new after doing this. It is virtually impossible to not be affected, whether consciously or subconsciously by a continual influx of messages communicating how we can better ourselves. Study after study after study demonstrates how media can drastically impact body image concerns. Women tend to struggle more than men regardless of weight or shape, and their dissatisfaction seems to be increasing over time. However, men can be impacted as well. Let's recap. Trying to fit into an ideal is often futile because ideals are bio-individual. They are unique based on genetics, lifestyle, individual preferences and cravings, and personality. The best version of you is not the best version of me. A desire to fit into an ideal can stem from marketing because insecurity sells. Trying to achieve this ideal can lead us away from self-connection, self-acceptance, self-trust, personal values, and empowerment. And it can negatively impact body image and motivate maladaptive coping habits, like emotional eating. We constantly receive messages from the media and these messages affect us. Sometimes they empower us, and sometimes they don't, sometimes they're inclusive, and sometimes they motivate us to conform to a mythical ideal. It's virtually impossible not to be affected. We'll talk more about the connection between body image and emotional eating soon. For now, try applying this material. We've included an exercise handout called Fitting In, spend about 15 to 20 minutes with this handout. We've also included a done-for-you handout of this exercise that you can use with clients. As always, share your reflections on the exercises with your course mates in the Facebook group so that we can support and learn from each other. Thank you so much for tuning in. I'll see you soon.

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Duration: 6 minutes and 6 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Aug 30, 2018

Media & the Bio-individual Ideal_Final

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