Although someone’s body is part of them and is, therefore, not something that they can get rid of, it doesn’t mean that they have embraced it. As a result of this, they may overlook this part of them or they could do just about everything that they can to change it.

What this will illustrate is that they don’t feel comfortable with this part of themselves and are unable to accept it. And, as this is a big part of who they are, it is naturally going to cause them problems.

The First Experience

If someone typically overlooks this part of them, it could mean that they more or less neglect their appearance and are not very discerning when it comes to what they eat. So, they could often wear baggy or lose fitting clothes and eat and drink just about anything.

From the outside, it could seem as if they don’t value themselves and are even abusing their body. Thanks to how they treat this part of them, they can often feel low and have very little energy.

The Second Experience

If someone typically does what they can to change this part of them, they could spend a lot of time dieting and exercising. Unlike the previous example, then, they could often wear clothes that allow them to show off their body.

From the outside, it could seem as if they do value themselves and are doing just about everything that they can to look after their body. Thanks to how they treat this part of them, they could have a fair amount of energy but they could often have moments when they feel exhausted.

Two Experiences

Based purely on how someone can come across when they don’t have a healthy relationship with their body, it is not always going to be possible to realise this. Of course, if they neglect this part of them it will be clear, but, if they do the ‘right things’ such as watching what they eat and drink and exercise, it won’t be as clear.

When it comes to the first example, it could be said that they will have clearly turned their back on this part of them and when it comes to the other example, they will create the impression that they value this part of them. But, even though they won’t have turned their back on their body if they are doing what they can to change it, they will be coming from a place of rejection, not acceptance.

The Outcome

Consequently, it might not matter what they do to change their body as they will probably never arrive at the stage where they feel comfortable in their own skin. So, there can always be more muscle for them to gain or fat to lose before they can finally accept themselves.

Ultimately, how they see their body will be the issue, not their body itself, which is why purely changing how it looks is unlikely to be enough. Still, this is not to say that they won’t be able to experience self-acceptance from time to time.

Not Much Different

With this in mind, just because someone looks after their body and is in good shape, they can still have a lot in common with someone that doesn’t. However, irrespective of what position someone is in, they might not be aware of why they are this way.

They can then neglect their body and say that they don’t care about it or they can look after it and say that they do care about it. But, if they were to go deeper and look into what drives their behaviour, they may find that they don’t feel comfortable with this part of them and feel deeply ashamed of it.

A Closer Look

After coming to see this, they could wonder why they have such an unhealthy relationship with their body. What this may illustrate is that their early years were not very nurturing.

Throughout this stage of their life, they might have often been physically harmed and verbally put down. This would have meant that their body would have often been hurt and perhaps criticised.

The Meaning

Unsurprisingly, as this part of them was routinely violated, they would have come to believe that it was bad, shameful and perhaps dirty. And, as their body was and is a big part of who they are, they would have come to see themselves as bad, shameful and perhaps dirty.

This was a consequence of them being egocentric at this stage of their life and thus, personalising what took place. Due to this, they wouldn’t have been able to know that how they were treated was a reflection of how wounded one or both of their parents were and perhaps others; instead, it was seen as a sign of how worthless and unlovable they were.

One Option

To handle what was going on, their brain would have ended up repressing how they felt and a number of their developmental needs. Furthermore, they would have lost touch with their body and created a disconnected false self.

Living on the surface of themselves would have caused them to be estranged from their essence, but, at the same time, it would have allowed them to keep it together and function. The trouble is that they will have rejected themselves and, in addition to the other feelings, will carry a lot of self-hate.

Moving Forward

The truth is that how they were treated wasn’t their fault and there is nothing inherently wrong with them. They are not worthless, unlovable, or bad and their body and/or their inside are not dirty.

For them to know this, at the core of their being, they are likely to have a lot of pain to face and work through and unmet developmental needs to experience. This is something that will take courage and patience and persistence.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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