Body Image Counseling Kansas City MO

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A Reality Of Mind Counseling Services
(816) 668-3527
215 W 18th St
Kansas City, MO
 
Diversity Counseling
(816) 756-3858
4010 Washington St Ste 405
Kansas City, MO
 
Wyandot Center for Comm
(913) 233-3300
757 Armstrong Avenue
Kansas City, KS
 
Psychology Offices
(816) 931-9912
411 Nichols Rd Suite 217
Kansas City, MO
 
Mcandrew Craig Ma Counseling
(816) 931-9912
411 Nichols Rd
Kansas City, MO
 
Compassionate Ear Warm Line
(913) 281-2251
739 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, KS
 
Ability Development Services
(816) 753-1711
3100 Broadway St
Kansas City, MO
 
Manley Bruce K Ph.D.
(816) 223-6128
4380 N Oak Trfy Suite 200
Kansas City, MO
 
Midwest Christian Counseling Center
(816) 561-3726
4800 Main St Ste G29
Kansas City, MO
 
Supported Housing
(913) 432-0229
4132 Thompson
Kansas City, KS
 

Sharing Life, Shedding Pounds

Her thighs are getting a little too lumpy, his middle is becoming a little too thick.
The problem: Losing weight as a couple without starting a grudge match that would
do the World Wrestling Federation proud. The solution: Learning how to understand
each other’s approach to weight issues—and finding a healthy lifestyle that
lasts as long as undying love.

By Lisa James

June 2008

If there’s a woman in America who hasn’t stared at the mirror at least once in her life and thought, “I hate my body,” we’d love to shake her hand. According to one national health survey, 48% of all women have tried to lose weight in the past year, many believing that if they could only get rid of those stubborn [insert amount here] pounds, they could face the bathroom mirror (and scale) with confidence.

Men are not subject to quite the same scrutiny when it comes to their weight. But the relentless media stream of idealized male images—chiseled features, square jaws, muscular upper bodies tapering to six-pack abs—has affected them, too. “The fastest-growing population for plastic surgery is men,” says psychotherapist Lydia Hanich, MA, LMFT, author of Honey, Does This Make My Butt Look Big? (Gürze Books). “Twenty years ago it was unheard of.”

This simmering stew of gender and body image, spiced by the health dangers that can accompany obesity, may boil over when both partners in a relationship decide to tackle weight loss together. The reason lies in subconscious, crossed wires of communication between the sexes. “It’s often an unspoken, beneath-the-surface tension because it’s such a sensitive subject,” says Hanich.

Keeping Up Appearances
The problem stems from the ways overweight men and women are seen by society. “There’s always been this ‘He’s a big/burly/stocky guy’ idea,” Hanich says. “Those terms are not
negative, they’re descriptive. Women are more often described as ‘chunky,’ ‘heavy,’ ‘fat’ and all the other negative things.” It’s no wonder that women tend to worry more about how they look. “Women typically are more concerned about being abandoned due to their appearance, men because of their wallet,” says Leslie Seppinni, MFT, PsyD, a Beverly Hills psychologist who specializes in weight-loss counseling.

Part of this plays out as emotional eating: To soothe “unfeminine” emotions such as anger, women will gravitate towards sugar, fat and carbohydrates. “Then they spend the next few hours feeling guilty for or ashamed of what they’ve just done to themselves,” Seppinni says. (“I can’t believe I just inhaled the Häagen-Dazs.”) On the other hand, “men eat more when they’re happy, or simply because what they’re eating tastes so good.” And both sexes may overeat if family and friends encourage them to do so (New England Journal of Medicine 7/26/07).

As a result, “women see themselves as overweight much quicker than men,” notes Seppinni. “This is in part because women wear more fitted clothes, and their weight gain is more n...

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