A Body Apology – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

Having spent the first half of my life trying to lose weight, I decided some time ago that I refuse to spend the second half of my life trying to lose wrinkles. All day long, our bodies work diligently for us, yet most people walk around lost in thought, ignoring, criticizing and often times even despising their bodies. I used to be an extreme body hater. After decades of working on cultivating self-kindness and self-care, I am now extremely devoted to loving and appreciating the body I live in. I also have the good fortune of being able to teach others how to do the same. It occurred to me recently that while my body must be infinitely more content with the treatment it receives from me now (both externally and internally), I felt like I owed it an apology. After all, if I had abused someone else for decades… Continue reading

A Cultural Look at Body Bashing By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

Unfortunately, I think it’s pretty accurate to say that most people in our culture are dissatisfied with their body. Many people even despise their body (or certain parts). And this epidemic has no age limit. In my psychotherapy practice I have worked with clients as young as 6 years old, who are already obsessed with calories, carbs and getting fat. I have treated people in their 70s who have no memories of eating bread or dessert without guilt. And I have seen people of nearly every age in between who battle their body on some level. It’s like being a member of a club to trash and bash your body in our image-obsessed culture. Many people bond over what I call “fat chat,” and many people spend enormous amounts of time trying to change their bodies. Thanks to the media and the diet industry, we have all been set up… Continue reading

Fat Is Not a Feeling By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

My earliest memory of “feeling fat” was when I was about 12 years old. Up until that time, I was not all that aware of having a body; I was pretty much just in my body, doing the things that kids do. I had not yet learned that I was supposed to look differently than I did. I had not yet downloaded the program that some foods were “good” and others were “bad.” I did not yet have exercise and movement linked up with calorie burning or self-worth. Then I got teased about my size. I started to compare myself to my skinnier friends and I began what was to become a full-time job of feeling fat. I had no clue at the time that fat was not a feeling. I didn’t know that body obsession was a cover up for low self-worth, and neither did I know, at the… Continue reading

9 Ways to Improve Body Image – By Andrea Wachter & Marsea Marcus

Body dissatisfaction is an epidemic in our image-obsessed culture. If you are a member of the unofficial “club” of women who dislike or despise their bodies, you may have discovered that the daily dues are high and the long-term benefits are low. But membership in this body-bashing club is hard to avoid, with people speaking the club’s not-so-secret language and recruiting new members just about everywhere you turn. We call this club’s language “Fat Chat.” Fat Chat is when people talk about food, fat, or other peoples’ bodies in a negative way. Even positive comments about bodies can sometimes be Fat Chat because of the focus on looks and the pressure it causes people to think they need to look a certain way. Club doctrine dictates that there are “good foods” and “bad foods” (though this changes, depending on the year). Club status is determined by how much or how… Continue reading

Helping Kids Break The “I Feel Fat Spell” – By Andrea Wachter

Most people in our thin-obsessed, fitness-crazed culture are battling with their bodies. For some it’s an occasional pastime, for others it’s a full-time job. It used to be mainly adults and teens who were struck by what I call the “I Feel Fat” Spell. But these days, even young kids are hating their precious bodies. We are all surrounded by unrealistic, perfectionistic messages about how we should look. And while we may not be able to shield our kids from all the diet talk, fat chat and photoshopped images that surround us, we can certainly clean up what happens in our homes. If your child is struggling with body image issues, here are some tips for you: How to Help Your Child Break the “I Feel Fat” Spell Stop Fat Chat – Refrain from talking about how “fat” you feel or how “good” or “bad” you are according to how much you ate or… Continue reading