Freedom from Emotional Eating, Food & Weight Obsession

Is Body Judgment Limiting Your Life?

Worried Mother Holding Baby In NurseryWhat’s your first reaction when you know someone is about to snap your picture? Is it, “Oh, no! Don’t. I look too fat.”

What do you see when you first look at yourself in a photo? Do you immediately go to judging your body?

When you look at yourself in a candid picture, one you did not know was being taken, do you ever look at your facial expression—to see if you were enjoying that moment in your life. When you were in the moment that was captured in the candid photo, were you immersed in that experience, free from the body judgment that comes when you see a photo later on?

Recently, I saw a picture of myself taken years ago, during my orientation day as a volunteer at a local Humane Society Shelter. I was holding the cutest eight week old brown and tan spotted puppy; an Australian Shepherd-Chocolate Lab mix. He was amazing! I was in heaven as this squirmy, sweet puppy licking my face.

In the picture, I had this huge smile on my face. I remember that moment and that puppy like it was yesterday. I really wanted to take him home with me, but the timing was just not right to adopt another dog, especially a puppy. (I called the shelter for several days to be sure he had been adopted. He was.)

When I first saw the picture, my first reaction was an old reaction. Old habits die hard! I was immediately critical of how my body appeared in that picture. But then I shifted my focus–to my facial expression and to my lovely memory of that moment in my life with that adorable puppy.

As I think of that day now, I think if I had stayed home because I “felt” too fat to live my life fully that day, I would never have met that great puppy and had this lovely memory…nor would there have been a picture to remind me of that experience.

Also, it makes me think about all the other experiences I may have missed in years past because I, at times, judged myself too fat to be out experiencing life.

What a waste of time; a waste of a life…no matter what a person happens to weigh. Never again!

How about you? Does body judgment ever keep you from saying yes to a social event, or from meeting an old dear friend you haven’t see in years, or from enjoying a day on a beautiful beach? What do you think you’re missing?

Today, I know that moment with that wonderful puppy could not have been any sweeter. If I had been thinner that day, so what? How sad if I’d missed that moment because of body judgment!


Ellen Shuman is a pioneer in the field of Binge Eating Disorder; a Life Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), A Founding Member and Past President of BEDA; The Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”. For information about Coaching Services, contact, 513-321-4242.

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About Ellen Shuman

Ellen on the phone

I have worked in the Wellness Field for 30 years. I created an Emotional Eating & Binge Eating Disorder Recovery Program way before most people knew BED was an eating disorder, NOT a “willpower” issue. Personally, I suffered for years before finding answers and the help I needed and deserved! I became a Coach in 1997 to help others who were still suffering as I had. I love being a Coach!


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