body image

Roadblocks to a Healthy Sex Life- 1

Every relationship deserves to have a healthy sex life. Unfortunately it is hard for many couples to achieve and maintain what they might consider a healthy sex life. Things block them from reaching the ideal closeness that connects a couples emotional intimacy into physical intimacy. This week Imagine Hope is talking about some of the issues that we see as road blocks to reaching a healthy sex life. Low Emotional Intimacy and High Emotional Walls When a couple struggles with connection outside of the bedroom, they will have trouble reaching a healthy sex life. Being emotionally disconnected and having high emotional walls means there is something in the realtionship that doesn't feel safe. A relationship may not feel safe due to a past with infidelity, lack of trust, fighting, feeling more like roommates than a couple, or surface interactions without revealing emotional depth. Make sure you are lowering those emotional walls and building a safe relationship; this will transfer into the bedroom.

Too Busy and Tired When you are out of balance, it is hard to prioritize even the most important things. When people get too busy, they tend to loose the ability to juggle things they enjoy. Being too tired will suck the energy and motivation out of a person's desire for sex. Working towards balance in all areas of your life- like time management and getting enough sleep- will help you prioritize sex in your relationship. It's all about good self care.

Body Image Feeling insecure and embarrassed about your body will surely affect a person's ability to feel comfortable with sex. When you struggle with embracing your body's positives it is hard for people to give themselves an opportunity to enjoy something related to their body. Try doing things that help you feel more comfortable in your own skin and take charge of your body's image instead of allowing it to control your sex life.

Keep reading this week as we explore various other issues which keep a relationship from a healthy sex life.

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed virtual therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding  areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Binge Eating, Bulemia & Anorexia

In talking about body image this week, we're going to discuss  3 very harmful things people do to their bodies. Binge Eating, Bulemia and Anorexia are all eating disorders....not just "bad eating habits". Each has devastating effects on the body and some effects that can be life-threatening. Here is a brief overview of each: Binge Eating Disorder

  • Frequent periods of eating large quantities of food in a short amount of time.
  • Feeling out of control with the eating, and then feeling ashamed or remorse by the behavior
  • Eating when you're not hungry
  • Eating in secret (hiding wrappers of food, eating in the middle of the night so no one sees you)
  • Most people who suffer from binge eating also have symptoms of depression
  • People struggling with binge eating often feel distress, shame, and guilt over their eating patterns.
  • Consequences of this eating pattern can be: High blood pressure; high cholesterol; heart disease, diabetes; gallbladder disease.

Bulemia Nervosa Disorder

  • Regular intake of food and losing control over the amount of food that is eaten.
  • Regular behaviors of self-induced vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics, fasting &/or compulsive exercise
  • Showing extreme concern with body weight and shape.

Here are some warning signs of Bulemia: the earlier detected the better chance for recovery:

  • noticing large amounts of food disappearing in short period of time
  • noticing frequent trips to the bathroom after meals
  • discoloration of the teeth
  • unusual swelling of the cheek or jaw area

Anorexia Nervosa

  • characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss
  • intense fears of weight-gain, becoming "fat", even though they are underweight
  • denial about how under-weight they are
  • loss of menstrual period in girls and women post-puberty

Warning Signs of Anorexia: again, earlier found, the more successful treatment can be:

  • refusal to eat certain foods for fear of gaining weight
  • denial of hunger
  • development of food rituals (only will eat food of certain colors, in a certain order, rearranging foods on a plate, etc...)
  • avoids mealtime or has an excuse that allows them to always avoid mealtime or situations with food

With all of these eating disorders, it can create heart problems, digestive problems, bone problems, among other severe health risks. Not to mention the emotional toll and depression associated with them as well. If you or a loved one are struggling with any of these disorders, please get help immediately.

*Information adapted from the National Eating Disorders Association. For more information about NEDA, click here

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

What is Body Image?

Body image issues are a common discussion here at Imagine Hope. We see clients young, old, female, and males who struggle with it. People with body image issues are more likely to develop eating disorders. This week we hope you understand more about these issues in order to live your best life and to help loved ones who might be struggling. Body image is "how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind." Sometimes it can be how you feel about your weight, height, and appearance, but also how you feel in your own body.

When someone has a positive body image, they embrace their body and how they feel in it. They are able to cherish and appreciate all that their body does for them. They don't spend time obsessing about looks and weight, but care for the body in ways that contribute to it being healthy- not "perfect".

People with negative body image feel uncomfortable and lack confidence in their body. They compare themselves to others and pick at all their flaws. Negative body image causes someone to see a distorted view of their body. You might see flaws that aren't there and magnify small imperfections into a bigger deal than necessary.

I encourage you to take care of your body. It does SO much for you. Be grateful for all your body allows you to do each day from walking, seeing, smiling, and singing. Without your amazing body's functions, your quality of life would be much different. Thank your body and be kind to it. You deserve it!

For more information, check out The National Eating Disorder Association and keep reading this week as we cover information about eating disorders, their effects on male and females, and what contributes to them.

**Information from today's blog was adapted from The National Eating Disorder Association

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Advice to My Younger Self- Natalie

Dear Younger Natalie, You are BEAUTIFUL! Just the way you are!

Kids can be so cruel. They say things to hurt- sometimes out of jealousy, fear, or just to make themselves feel better. I'm so sorry they have made fun of you and called you names about your weight. It's ok to be sad about that and ok to cry. Let it out!

But after you let it out, I'm going to tell you something, girl! What they say is not truth. The truth is you are beautiful, no matter what size you are, whether you wear designer clothes or not, and regardless of who likes you or who you are friends with. YOU are beautiful because YOU are the only YOU in this world and God made you just as you are.

That's easier said than done, isn't it? It's hard not to think of how you look on the outside. All of us judge each other by the outside at first. But your heart, your character, and your spirit are what you are truly measured by. And you have such a good heart, character, and personality. Don't forget that.

So when the kids make fun of you, try to see them for who they really are- 1. Not your real friends 2. Hurting people with their own problems

Then let them go or stay away from them if possible.

You know what else- DON'T GIVE UP! Right now you don't feel good about yourself because of the negative around you. Because you don't feel good about yourself, you give up on things way too easily. If one person says you are too short to play volleyball or to play basketball, you believe them and give up! Keep trying and get help with the stuff you really like and want to do. Keep practicing that piano everyday and singing like an angel. Don't. Give. Up.

One day this will make so much sense.

You are beautiful, Older Natalie

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville