We Are What Other People Think We Are?!?
I found this quite an interesting study for women in general, as well as for us as cancer survivors. The study highlights what a big role the media and the opinions of those close to us have. When women were less concerned with what others thought, they were more likely to focus on how well their bodies were functioning. And that, in turn, led to better eating habits.
It's of particular interest to us as cancer survivors, I think, because body image can be such a big deal after cancer - for men and women. Depending on the type of cancer, we can end up alive but with a markedly changed body, either in form or function. Besides dealing with Cancer, we have bodies that may look and act very differently than we're used to. Getting used to it can be a difficult transition.
What I liked about the study, and what I think has relevance to us, is the idea that we can improve how we feel about our bodies by focusing on function.
I have spoken and written on the subject of body image after cancer. It can be quite shocking to suddenly have a body that looks dramatically different - even if it's dramatic to no one but ourselves. What I found was that, as I regained my strength and was able to return to activities that were important to me, I felt better about my new body. My experience was right in line with this study: it was function that led the way.
- BY Julie Goodale | 04.06.2011
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