You Are More Than What You Weigh: Improving Your Self-Esteem No Matter What Your Weight

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9780964887428: You Are More Than What You Weigh: Improving Your Self-Esteem No Matter What Your Weight

You Are More Than What You Weigh is a book to help you love your body and self no matter what you weigh. You will learn to love your body now, not having to wait until you are your ideal weight. Learn to have your identity to include more than what you weigh. Learn how to value and love your uniqueness and personal qualities. You are unique and special. Learn how to make this come true for you.

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Do you want to learn to love yourself no matter what your weight? Is your identity based strictly on how much you weigh? Do you hate your whole body if you gain a pound? Do you tell yourself each morning that you are going to start a diet? Are you preoccupied with food, always thinking about what you are going to eat or not eat? If you were only thinner, do you believe that all of your problems would be resolved? If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, then You Are More Than What You Weigh is your answer.

Altering your weight may be unnecessary whether you are at your ideal weight, underweight, or overweight. Perhaps your true desire is to change how you feel about your body and self. This book discusses three major types of eating disorders: Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating.(See appendix for characteristics of each.)

Since females tend to be more concerned about their weight than males, the word "she" refers to both sexes and in no way meant to discriminate against either sex. Males, however, will find this book helpful because it explains how their views of weight differ from females. In the era of managed-care-system, therapists will benefit because their clients can complete the exercises in this book between sessions.

How This Book Can Help You

You Are More Than What You Weigh is about improving your self-image. You don't have to be at your ideal weight in order to love yourself. If you have tried to lose weight and haven't succeeded in keeping it off, this book will help you understand the reasons behind your weight problems. It will give you the tools to help you make the changes you desire. If you are ambivalent about changing your eating habits and weight, you can benefit by changing your thoughts instead. Whether you are at your ideal weight, underweight, overweight, or purging, this book will aid you in becoming healthier. It can help you lose weight, stop starving, or end purging. More significantly, it will help you love yourself no matter what you weigh. This is about you...the most important person. You are valuable, lovable, and worthwhile. Even if you find it inconceivable now, you will believe it by the time you read and work through You Are More Than What You Weigh.

Unfortunately, society has conditioned us to think that thinner is better. One of the reasons you may have set yourself up for failure in the past is that you might have tied your identity to your weight. When you do this, you set yourself up for failure. Besides your weight or physical self, you want to value and identify yourself with the other aspects of yourself. These other aspects include the following ten types of selves:

1. Physical Self (weight and body image)
2. Intellectual Self (your thoughts)
3. Emotional Self (your feelings)
4. Social Self (your relationships)
5. Psychological Self (identity and self-esteem)
6. Spiritual Self (higher power and values)
7. Sexual Self (male and female traits)
8. Assertive Self (not passive or aggressive)
9. Stress/Relaxed Self (stress causes and remedies)
10. Career Self (career analysis).

How these ten parts of yourself influence your weight, body image, eating, self-esteem, and exercises you can complete to resolve your issues are explained in this book. For example, compare yourself to a circle with ten equal parts. Your physical being is one piece of the circle along with the other nine parts. When all ten parts of yourself are equally important, you and your live are balanced. You are not a well-rounded person when your physical self is the only important part of you.

You are free to experience life in a new way when you are not consumed with your weight. You will learn to love and value all parts of yourself, improve your self-esteem, enhance your quality of life, and free yourself from the pressures of your weight.

Many find it is helpful to read the entire book prior to working on the exercises. You may choose to work on the exercises alone, with a friend, or in a group. I recommend you buy yourself a two or three-ring notebook and fill it with paper and dividers, one for each chapter in the book. If you prefer, you may purchase a workbook or a disk to use on your computer. Begin your journal by doing the exercises that are pertinent to you. You do not have to do them in any particular order. Examples of what clients have said or what you may say to yourself at times have been italicized. Simply add to the list how the topic applies to you. After the italic statements, therapist comments are underlined. For example:(From page 8)

11. Beliefs I can change about my body include:

a. I can tell myself I love my body. (Fake it until you make it.)

b. I can love my body without it being perfect. (Striving for a perfect body is an unrealistic goal.)

c. I can accept and love my body even if it isn't at my ideal weight. (Loving your body is a step in reaching your ideal weight.)

At the end of each topic, you will find names of books related to the main ideas to provide you with additional help. As I have worked with my clients through the years, I noted their common characteristics, concerns and solutions. The solutions that worked for them are compiled in this book. Remember that life is a process. It has taken many years to develop your present patterns of behavior. Each day is a new day for you to change and to enjoy these changes. I wish you well in your journey to make your dreams come true and hope this book helps you become more than what you weigh.

Review:

It is nice to have your book for our patients at Children's Hospital. There is a lot of valuable information in this book for them. I look forward to your future book specifically for adolescent and younger patients. -- The Children's Hospital Jennifer Hagman, Medical Director

When looking at what causes Eating Disorders, poor self-esteem is frequently a critical contributor. You Are More Than What You Weigh is a practical and user friendly guide to help those with an eating disorder work on their sense of self and maximize their recovery. For anyone consumed by calories or weight, this handbook is a window to what you're really looking for. -- Columbia/Bethesda Eating Disorder Treatment Center-Denver Kenneth Weiner, M.D. Medical Director at Bethesda Hospital in Denver and Owner of Treatment Center

You Are More Than What You Weigh is a book using a holistic perspective, emphasizing the fact that the physical self is only one aspect of a person and encourages readers to develop all dimensions of themselves. With continuing limits on third party p ayments for psychological services, therapy and between-session homework will assume greater importance as treatment modalities. This book is a valuable resource to assist clients in taking self-responsibility and giving them tools to use between counseli ng sessions. -- Colorado Mental Health Counselors Association Tamara Golden, President

You Are More Than What You Weigh is a straightforward, no-nonsense series of written exercises to help persons with distorted eating discover other aspects of themselves (i.e., intellectual, social, spiritual). The book is based on the premise that o nce these other aspects are developed and valued, eating will take a more "normal" place in the person's life. Each exercise is preceded by a brief, easily understood discussion of the topic, followed by a series of questions. The exercises would be best used selectively and with guidance from the therapist. As we continue to emphasize the concept of "homework" between sessions, tools such as this book will become increasingly valued. -- Colorado Psychiatric Society Deborah Stetler, M.D. Co-editor of the CPS and liaison to the American Psychiatric Society Research Network

You Are More Than What You Weigh is a wise and welcome gift ofguidance for those of us who are determined to undo the damage of dieting in our own life and the lives of our loved ones. -- WeightChoice Mike Bowers, Psy. D. Founder and Owner

You Are More Than What You Weigh is a wonderful resource for the many individuals who find themselves constantly preoccupied with what they weigh and what they eat. Poor self-esteem and image, loathing, and negative self-talk are pervasive in our weight obsessed society. While a significant 30 percent of American women are overweight, an astounding 70 percent believe they are fat. This 40 percent discrepancy between belief and reality is a terrible burden. Although traditionally considered primarily a problem of women, my twenty years experience treating the weight-obsessed convinces me it is an increasing problem for men.

This book will help you to understand your problem and how to deal with it effectively. While not specifically a weight loss manual, the lessons in this book will help you learn to control your weight more easily. Even greater value comes from improving your self-image and from not having your whole life controlled by what you weigh. -- Clinical Nutrition Center James Berry, M.D. Owner and President

You Are More Than What You Weigh is an affirmation and belief that permeates all aspects of this book and Ms. Sward's orientation toward recovery. Ms. Sward's approach is active, holistic and solution-focused. The book, in its presentation, is inherently hopeful, practical and helpful. Ms. Sward avoids simplistic and magical solutions to real and complex problems and does so in a loving, forgiving and accepting way. -- Eating Disorder Professionals of Colorado Richard Lindsey, Ph.D., CEAP; Past President of EDPC

You Are More Than What You Weigh is an inspirational and upbeat text expressing how women and men of today can learn to love themselves and improve self-image regardless of weight, size or shape. With great practical insight, Ms. Sward directs readers to begin to search internally for worth, instead of turning to food and others for satisfaction and comfort surrounding personal identity.

In a time where healthy information about weight management is hard to come by, You Are More Than What You Weigh is an excellent tool for individual and group therapists, as well as appropriate reading for those clients looking for self-help and encou ragement in overcoming the barriers to personal success. -- National Eating Disorder Organization Laureate Psychiatric Clinic Hospital Eating Disorders Program

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Sharon Sward
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Sward, Sharon
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