• Body image sources

    Time seems to speed up every year and we were surprised to see how long it had been since we posted a new blog. Unfortunately one of the difficulties in our working world is finding time for all the things we love and that is not necessarily a good thing. However, we must accept our human failings and be self-compassionate as we strive to make a positive change in our blogging behaviours. Thus, we have started afresh in preparation for the group sessions starting in August.
    One of the trends we noted when we were doing some literature reviews in preparation for the group was the growing research covering the newest forms of social networking and body image. There have been numerous recent papers released which discuss the positive social support that comes from facebook and the ways in which it can be supportive for some with isolation. However, this is balanced by increasing evidence of body image negativity for many, including pregnant women, who regularly access and comment on images via facebook.  As most students now have been part of the social network for most of their adolescent and early adult years it made just think about how they felt about the influence it and other social media have on the way they see themselves physically.
    So, our first question is which external media or networking sources feed your body image?
    • Instagram
    • Facebook
    • TV
    • Magazines
    • Peers
    • Family
    • Music videos
    • YouTube
    • Clickbait
    • Campus styling (our term for the process of sitting in lectures or walking around and checking out the fashions and styles happening around UQ)
    If you are up for the experiment – for one week become the scientist and objectively review which of these grab you and make you think about your body image.  You might even want to consider whether these things nourish or deplete you as you feed on them.
  • Have you considered self compassion?

    Did you enjoy reading about the Big Bad Wolf?  We hope that you have been able to notice it and put it in the corner when it gets too loud.  Now let’s turn our attention to the supportive and helpful part of us that hear from every now and again, it is that little voice that tells us we are doing ok and trying our best.  There is really interesting information on this on the Reach Out website.  It is the part of us that asks us to be self compassionate and kind to ourselves, to treat ourselves as we would treat our best friend.  
    This is especially important when we are having a difficult time, when things don't go the way that we plan for them to or when we don’t like something about ourselves according to Kristin Neff who is a self compassion researcher.  Self compassion has also been found to be more sustainable in the long term when compared to self-confidence – especially because we don’t need to be successful to be self compassionate!
    Before we get into what self compassion is all about take a moment and consider what you think self compassion means to you and what would be different in your life if you could be more self compassionate. How would your relationship to your body be?  
    Feel free to forward us your comments. And if thinking about self compassion makes you feel uncomfortable keep in mind that this is normal, especially for people who are used to giving compassion to others!
    Quote. A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life. Christopher K Germer.

    Share your thoughts with us 


  • Sending the Big Bad Wolf to the corner – and keeping it there!

    In the last blog we looked the Big Bad Wolf that is within all of us – our inner critic. Have you heard your Big Bad Wolf recently? It will either be a loud critical voice that is mean and scary, or it might be a charming voice that gets you hooked and then puts your down.

    The Big Bad Wolf is one part of us, and it has had a happy home within us and does not want to leave. Efforts to evict the Big Bad Wolf can have the opposite effect – it digs its paws in and refuses to leave, and sometimes it becomes even louder and more critical. Do you remember a time that this may have occurred? You tried to battle the negative thoughts and to be kind to yourself, and you felt ok for a moment and then even worse? So how can we keep the Big Bad Wolf from taking over our time and attention: - put it in the:

    naughty corner

    So the next time you hear the Big Bad Wolf and its awful mean voice, notice that it is there and push it to the corner. That will give you the chance to look around, see what it around you and what you want to focus on that will be helpful to you. The Big Bad Wolf will resist and try to leave the naughty corner, but with practice it will stay in the naughty corner and let you set goals and achieve them – including having a healthy and positive relationship with your body.

    Share your thoughts with us 


  • Did the Big Bad Wolf pay you a visit?

    Last time we talked about ways in which we could start to set supportive goals that would allow us to begin a journey to building a better relationship with our body image and selves.  However, there are lots of things that can get in the way of us achieving these well thought out goals.  One of them is our own inner critic – AKA – The Big Bad Wolf

    The Big Bad Wolf exists for most, if not all of us and hangs around waiting to pounce when the opportunity arises.  The Big Bad Wolf is a strong negative force in our life – just as discussed in this animation.

    Who is your Big Bad Wolf? 

    The Big Bad Wolf is a critic who lives within us and runs a regular and sometimes constant commentary on our behaviours, thoughts, feelings and motivations.  Sometimes the Big Bad Wolf is constantly talking and sometimes it is quiet – which is a relief!

    Where did the Big Bad Wolf come from? 

    Usually the Big Bad Wolf is born from our experiences and perceptions on those experiences.  Sometimes the Big Bad Wolf will hold onto memories about these events long after they are gone and no longer appropriate or relevant in our lives.

    Why the Big Bad Wolf is such a menace? 

    The Big Bad Wolf is a bit of a “frenemy” – you think the wolf is going to help you but what really happens is that the wolf makes you doubt yourself, forget all the great things you do, stops you really spending quality time with others and just sucks you dry.

    Does the Big Bad Wolf impact on your body image relationship? 

    The Big Bad Wolf is usually at its most bothersome when you are feeling vulnerable and often when we think about our image the voice of the Wolf can be really negative.  Think about your Big Bad Wolf voice – does it feed a strong body image or eat you up?

    Share your thoughts with us 


  • Achieving goals and developing a healthy relationship with yourself

    We hope that you enjoyed out first blog entry, and welcome to number 2. Remember to keep your feedback on the blog coming in.

    In the last blog, we discussed setting growth and positive goals. How did you go with this? And what do you do with this next? If you want to create a kind and healthy relationship with yourself, how do you do the things that are supportive of this? Here’s a really important idea to consider:

    While this video talks about goals for achieving practical tasks, there is no reason why you can’t apply the same process for goals about creating a healthy relationship with yourself. Perhaps your goal might be very small or more challenging. Here are some examples.

    • to everyday challenge one punishing that affects your body image
    • to reduce your inner critics loud voice during the day
    • being aware of the negative judgements about other people that jump into your mind
    • to support a healthy thought, such as I am ok the way that I am
    • to notice one thing that made you feel good today
    • taking an objective stance on a picture or media image that you see that impacts on your own body image
    • the list is limitless....

    Start where you think you will succeed. And build from there. And one step is progress…

    Share your thoughts with us 


  • Our first blog!

    Hello and welcome to Freedom From Your Cage!

    This is blog number 1. We are introducing this blog as a way to keep you informed and involved in this great program.

    It’s that time of year again.  Christmas has been and gone and a new year has kicked off at uni. New years are usually synonymous with New Year’s Resolutions.  How many of us make grand resolutions again and again, that we publicly announce, only to see them disappear after 2 weeks? Can you relate to this video?

    Generally speaking this cycle of resolution and disintegration/dissolution is not helpful to our growth and positive change.  What if we took a different approach and created new year’s goals for ourselves? What if we made these goals things that allowed us to like and appreciate ourselves more over the year rather than punish ourselves and put ourselves down?  We can do the same thing over and over again or we can do something different. 

    What’s your plan?

    We invite you to contact us via the email link below and share your thoughts and your goal for 2015.  It has been shown that writing down and sharing goals makes them more real and you are more likely to be successful in achieving the goal.  

    Share your thoughts with us