How We Look at Body Image (Podcast)

“In an age of instant gratification, no one really teaches us how to love ourselves.”

“In an age of instant gratification, no one really teaches us how to love ourselves.”

On this week’s TMV Podcast, Salim and Rukshana speak to Nazia Khatun, fitness specialist and founder of Fitness Reborn, on eating disorders, mental health, and how to love your body through positive affirmation.

To listen to the full podcast, click below:

Nazia, who herself has experienced mental health issues and eating disorders, describes herself as always being a very sporty girl when growing up – and unfortunately, this meant that she was often conflicted about what her community was telling her in terms of a girl playing sports, and what society did to her body image.

From an early age as South Asian women we’re told how to be the perfect wife, the perfect daughter-in-law … we never get to experience who we are as South Asian females, and in my head it was that I have to look good otherwise no one will marry me.”

Her journey towards finally being able to love herself, however, meant that Nazai went through the painful experience of eating disorders and mental health issues. Eating disorders, in particular, are often not discussed in South Asian communities and Nazia describes how so many around her thought disorders like anorexia and bulimia were “white people problems”.

There just isn’t enough information and help for many ethnic minority people who suffer from eating disorders, explains Nazia, and stresses that although there can always be some good from social media, it’s important to recognize how dangerous today’s social media can be in enhancing and encouraging so many young people to hate their bodies and the way they look.

One thing social media doesn’t do is protect our young people … in an age of instant gratification, no one really teaches us how to love ourselves.”

The key, explains Nazia, is to truly learn how to love and respect our bodies – and this can be done largely through the practice of positive affirmation, where we get rid of negative thoughts and reteach ourselves how to better our body, mind, and soul.

“When we recognize we can control how we change ourselves, it’s like a different kind of power is given to us,” Nazia says, and deeply hopes that her own journey and experience can only better the lives of so many others who suffer from eating disorders and mental health issues.

To listen to the rest of this fascinating conversation, click below: