The Effect of Poor Self Image on Health and Wellbeing

and How to Improve It with Rachel Nachmias.

Rachel Nachmias

Thanks to all kinds of modern studies into the science of wellbeing, we all know that the way we think and feel affects our health. So what happens when someone feels like they don’t look good most of the time? So often this can lead to us shrinking from opportunities, deciding not to go to events, and in this age video and live streaming, not keeping up with industry trends because we are afraid of others thinking we look as bad as we think we do. This can obviously have a big effect on our careers and income. If you don’t think you are good enough are you really going to ask top dollar for your services? Probably not. But what kind of effect does a poor self image have on your health as well?

Our emotions affect our hormones. We’ve all heard of the hormone cortisol by now, right? When you feel bad about yourself, you are probably at least a little bit depressed. Stress and depression mean you have cortisol coursing through your body, making it hard to lose weight, hard to feel energized and even hard to sleep.

What happens when we gain weight and can’t sleep? We feel even worse than we did before. We feel fat and exhausted and don’t want to exercise. If we could get moving and exercising we might be able to get some of those positive hormones coursing through our brains and bodies, but who wants to exercise when they already feel so tired? Not exercising means it’s even harder to manage weight. Gaining weight has all kinds of effects on our health and can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart problems, sleep apnea and more.

We also tend not to take care of ourselves of those who are closest to us when we feel down about ourselves. This could mean skipping routine appointments, cancelling on friends and loved ones who want to see us. Isolating ourselves, which only makes things worse.

So if the idea that making over your image and owning clothes that you truly love and that make you look like the best possible you is really an investment in your health sounds far fetched, think again. When was the last time you felt really beautiful? What did it feel like to know you looked amazing? Were you confident? Happy? Open to new experiences? More likely to approach someone and ask them to tell you about their business or life? More interested in other people and the world in general?

Rachel Nachmias knows what it feels like to try on outfit after outfit and still feel unhappy about what you are wearing when you leave the house. Like most of us women, she has never fit into what the fashion industry would like us all to think is the “average” size and average measurements for women. She is closer to 5 foot tall than 6 foot and her bust size requires her to special order her bras. She also loves Haute Couture, Old Hollywood Glamour and wishes that she looked like Lauren BaCall — tall, slender, angular and with great cheek bones. I can relate. I always wished I was taller, thinner and androgynous instead of tall-ish, big boned, big boobed and very femme.

Rachel tells me that the average American woman is a size 16, not a size 6 as the fashion industry want us all to believe and aspire to. Marilyn Monroe was a size 16. She was wide in the hips, large busted and had some serious curves. There was also a natural feminine softness to her that most of us these days are trying desperately to burn off and carve away. Imagine if we all went back to thinking of Marilyn as the female physical ideal instead of a stick figure with a boob job?

Speaking of boobs, Rachel suggests that we all start with underclothes and work our way out. Quality, well-fitting undergarments, especially a well-fitted bra, are key to making the clothes we put on over them fit well, and drape properly. When Rachel works in person with clients, a bra fitting is usually the first stop on the shopping spree so she can see how everything else fits over a good bra.

Another suggestion from Rachel is to remember that most things can be easily, quickly and often cheaply altered for a better fit. The people we all see on TV and aspire to look like, they probably even had their T-shirts tailored. But you can too! Google seamstress, alterations and tailor in your local area and see what you come up with. You might just find the key to always feeling great in your clothes.

When it comes to color, Rachel is a Certified 12 Blueprints Personal Colour Analyst, which helps her identify the colours that work best with her clients’ colouring and features. Color analysis is one of several tools that Rachel uses to identify and build her clients’ unique style.

In color analysis, the three color properties that are important are hue (warm or cool), value (light or dark) and chroma (bright or soft). When several colors are adjusted to similar levels for these three properties, they will harmonize together, regardless of how different the colors may seem to each other.

Here are three more tips that Rachel shares to help you zero in on the style that works for your brand, goals, shape and personality:

  1. Know where you want to go in your business, and who you want to attract;
  2. Identify how you dream of presenting yourself;
  3. Consider your shape when choosing clothing, makeup and hairstyles.

If you want to know more about Rachel and her world, you can listen in on our entire conversation here, get her book, The Face of Business here, and can find her website here.