Posts

Women and the Body Experience: Anger, Aggression, and Anxiety

Anger

From the time we are born, women are subjected to cultural messages. They’re taught about how to control their anger and aggressive feelings. These messages come to us from our families, from institutions, and through the media. Our bodies become repositories for these messages. Holding our anger inside and denying our aggressive feelings leads to anxiety and physical ailments. As a result it seems as if our bodies, not the socialization experience, betrays us. Read more

The Body Experience

Women and the Body Experience: Improving Our Relationship with Food and with Ourselves

The Body ExperienceFrom the time we are born, women are exposed to cultural messages about the idealized female body. These biased messages come to us through the media, from our families, and from institutions. Trying to achieve idealized perfection leads many of us to develop disordered eating habits. As a result, we dislike for our bodies and we’re ashamed of ourselves. It’s as if our bodies, not the socialization experience, betrayed us. Read more

unhealthy behavior

Unhealthy Habit

I know about breaking an unhealthy habit. As a young adult I was a cigarette smoker. Most of my friends smoked. It wasn’t until I began preparing for a three-month bicycle trek that I considered that smoking might impede my pedaling stamina. I was highly motivated to quit smoking and, chewed on licorice sticks for several weeks to replace my desire for cigarettes. Once on the road, I was gratified by the freedom of deep breathing. After the trip I quickly fell back into the old comforting habit of a cigarette with morning coffee and smoking breaks with friends. I was also disgusted with myself for not resisting the smoking habit. I tried to figure out what got in the way: I had to acknowledge that I enjoyed the feeling of inhaling smoke even though the stale aftertaste disgusted me; I had to admit my attraction to social conformity – I liked to engage in a behavior with friends even though I knew that it was unhealthy for all of us. Read more