Created by susan on 2019-01-20 23:48:56
I recently attended a charity event in England that was a lovely afternoon tea. After being married to an Englishmen, I have discovered that the British customs for afternoon tea are extraordinary! As I began to engage in conversation it was interesting that the comments were more about body image issues than life experiences or current events. One lady commented on the fact that she “should” not be eating anything because she came from a luncheon at Harrod’s. Another one said she was getting married in a few weeks so she could only have tea sandwiches and no desserts. One lady said, “These miniature chocolate eclairs are going straight to my hips and thighs!” Another beautiful woman commented “I’m still hungry since I did not eat breakfast or lunch, but I am embarrassed to go back for more.”
This enlightening experience reaffirmed what I have observed in my clinical practice as a psychotherapist for over twenty five years of specializing in body image issues. What I did notice was that instead of enjoying a delightful afternoon tea complete with delectable food, exotic teas, classical and Broadway piano music and champagne, these women felt compelled to justify why they were eating! This wasn’t an isolated display. I constantly hear similar comments anytime food is served where women especially comment on what they eat. Perhaps this is out of feelings of embarrassment, shame, or guilt. Regardless of the reason it is time for each of us to take back our right to eat! And not only to eat, but enjoy the food, the company and the event we’re attending. Even when we don’t voice our thoughts about our food intake most women experience the inner dialogue from the food police and become self-deprecating. In fact studies show that women spend approximately 61 minutes per day thinking about their food and caloric intake.
I am Susan Walker. My husband and I own Walker Wellness Clinic and our primary office is on the campus of Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, Texas. As a psychotherapist and clinical director, I have acquired a wealth of knowledge on preventive medicine, wellness research, and mental health. We specialize in body image issues, disordered eating, and formal eating disorders. Our understanding of how we optimize our psychological and physical health has grown exponentially. The possibilities are endless: improve your brain health via exercise and music; set boundaries in regards to the negative influence that social media or others may have over your body image; complete an annual preventive physical exam to maintain wellness; improve your mental health via psychological assessments; participate in biofeedback to manage your stress; and adopt methods to increase your body esteem.