Whether it is binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, extreme exercise, plastic surgery addiction or some other kind of excessive behaviour based upon body image, this theme is prevalent in the Western World.

Issues regarding body image can be damaging, not only to the body, but to one’s self-esteem. When Tracey came to see me about her body image problems, it came down to feeling different, like she didn’t fit in.

Tracey’s Body Image Binging

Tracey was in her mid-30s and had spent years with different psychologists to unravel her binging behaviour. She mentioned terms such as body dysmorphia, which basically means that she was spending too much time concerned with imperfections (which others may not even notice). It’s one thing to analyse the event and quite another to understand it on an emotional level. By the time she came to me, she had tried everything else.

Tracey’s parents were both exercise fanatics and her mother experienced body image issues. There is nothing wrong with a focus on exercise, except when it runs at the expense of one’s self-esteem. When Tracey was young she was rarely allowed sweets. Sweets were for special occasions only. Otherwise they were treated as almost sinful. It makes sense then that when Tracey would later feel that she needed comfort, sweets would represent the mecca of the comfort options – the forbidden fruits.

Tracey’s mother was overly or excessively concerned with her weight. She had experienced anorexia for most of Tracey’s childhood. Simply observing this behaviour of her mother’s taught Tracey that control of one’s body weight was imperative. This also means that if one’s body is not perfect, punishment is in order.

As a result of Tracey’s perceived faults, which others would not notice or would not agree with, Tracey needed comfort, started binge eating, creating further ‘fault’, and the cycle continued.

What To Do About It?

My approach with Tracey was to perform a regression on her feelings of not fitting in, or not being as good as others, as the key behind her body image problem. But first we went to her mother’s timeline and regressed back to the beginning of that pattern, on a genetic level. That simply means we went back to the first time (actually or metaphorically, it doesn’t matter), when her mother decided that she was not good enough. When we resolved that belief, the resolution was carried forwards into Tracey’s timeline.

We also did a lot of work around letting go of past worries and providing solutions for Tracey’s needs for comfort, which did not rely on sweets. Rather, the comfort we identified was based on self-care, feeding Tracey’s self-esteem while we weaned her off the binging.

When a person’s self-esteem is satisfied, other perceived emotional needs fall away.

If you need help with body image issues, we can help. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Sunshine Coast