In our society, women are met with so many conflicting messages about their bodies, food, love and more, that it’s hard to navigate which ones are right and wrong. In the global mass media, there is no frank and free disclosure about the messages we’re given and how to navigate them.
The conflicting messages that women are met with on a day-to-day basis is how Stacey Gorlicky, registered psychotherapist, came to writing her book, “Food, Sex & You: Untangling Body Obsession in a Weight-Obsessed World”. The book, which acts as part memoir and part self-help, details her own personal experience with food addiction and how these addictions and behaviors had damaging effects on her relationships (including its intimacy). Stacey explains, “I battled with food and suffered for so many years with an eating disorder, that part of my recovery was writing a journal. The only way for me to recover was to share my knowledge and give back. In saying that, I was inspired to write a book.”
“I battled with food and suffered for so many years with an eating disorder, that part of my recovery was writing a journal.”
While the book speaks to a lot of Gorlicky’s own personal experiences surrounding a love/hate relationship with food, sex, and self, she explains that the writing process was somewhat cathartic, for in this period she found not just herself but her voice. She tells us, “most people who have struggled or who do struggle with addiction have had to find their voice. Sharing my story without shame, guilt or fear has pushed me beyond my limits of anything I originally thought possible.” For many going through their own body positivity journey, finding their voice can be a struggle but it is something that Gorlicky believes should be explored deeply and if possible, written down and shared with others. She believes, that voice and sharing those personal experiences can help others on the path to self-acceptance.
While the messages in our media are hard to escape, sending us mixed messages about weight and beauty standards, each and every single day, Stacey believes that while these messages are harmful – it’s not impossible to re-educate yourself and re-build the framework in our minds of what a healthy body image is, “we cannot control the media or be blocked from the many ways that the media exaggerates beauty and body images, but what we can do is have a greater understanding about the messages that are being filtered through our society.” Empowering Gorlicky suggests the journey to self-acceptance should begin with women surrounding themselves with people who welcome them without judgement or criticism, surrounding themselves with ‘the empowerment of a positive body image’.
“We cannot control the media or be blocked from the many ways that the media exaggerates beauty and body images, but what we can do is have a greater understanding about the messages that are being filtered through our society.”
While it may seem a lot easier said than done, Gorlicky said becoming more connected to our bodies is rather simple and can include self-care acts like making a list of all the things about your body that you are grateful for, scheduling time to be by yourself and nurture yourself (i.e. going for a walk or doing yoga), learning to laugh (a lot) and finally, living your authentic self because being authentic shows your self-confidence and that you have nothing to prove.
“We need to drop our expectation of trying to be perfect…Why can’t we be happy here and now in this very moment, whatever shape and size we are?”
No matter what shape or size you are, Gorlicky believes that women can and will find self-love, self-acceptance and happiness in their bodies explaining, “we need to drop our expectation of trying to be perfect. Most of us are thinking that if [we] lost a certain amount of weight, [we’ll] be happy or if [we] could fit into certain clothes, [we’ll] be happy. Why can’t we be happy here and now in this very moment, whatever shape and size we are?”
Food, Sex & You is raw and honest, it is a book that most women need to read. Her final advice, “have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you.”
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