Our Services

At Integrated Self Image Systems, Inc. - Body Image 360, our goal is to consistently deliver outstanding results that exceed client expectations.

Body Acceptance Counseling
Body Acceptance Counseling

We provide the best body acceptance counselor in San Diego, CA, and the surrounding areas.

Psycho Therapy
Psycho Therapy

Providing the best psychotherapy service in San Diego, CA, and the surrounding areas.

Weight Loss Coaching
Weight Loss Coaching

Weight loss coaching is one of the best services in San Diego, CA, and the surrounding areas.

All About Body Image

What is Body Image?

Body Image is defined as how we think we appear and how we perceive that others see us. Body Image perception is a two fold process. We look at ourselves and make a snap judgment about how we think we look and also we think of how others see us, as well.

Having a positive body image is the cornerstone of a healthy self esteem. When we have a positive body image, we appear more confident and alive in our bodies. The number on the scale does not have to be the predictor of our self esteem. In fact, it is important that we do not weigh our self esteem. Our weight is a number on the scale. 

Body Image

Our body image is how we feel in our body, how we move, what energy we exude and our confidence. People often think that thin people have a good body image while overweight people have a poor body image. This is not necessarily the truth.

Body image is as much about what we think of ourselves, what we say to ourselves about our appearance and self worth as is our physical appearance. In fact our inner self image and inner dialogue influences our body image and sense of self more than our physical appearance. Your belief system about yourself is of paramount importance in building a healthy self image. A positive body image comes from having a realistic perception of your size and weight.

Feeling comfortable in your own skin is also a sign that you have a positive body image. Viewing yourself without comparing yourself to others is also a good indication of a healthy body image. Comparisons generally lead to self criticism and negative judgements. Realizing that we are all unique and have different body shapes and sizes is the beginning of creating a positive sense of self. By seeing yourself as unique, you can accept yourself as you are. Body Image can change with our moods, however, having a realistic concept of yourself and not expecting perfection helps with health and self esteem. Developing a positive dialogue with yourself about your body and having a healthy realistic attitude to changing your weight, if necessary, is the beginning of building a positive self image.

There is a genetic component to the way we are built and how we appear. We can gain and lose weight, however, our genetic footprint and our appearance is determined by our family and genetics. Where we gain and lose weight is affected by our genes, however, our weight can be determined by our diet rather than just by genetics. The good news is that we have some control over our appearance. Accepting our basic appearance and having healthy eating, exercise, dress and grooming regimens can enhance our looks and build a healthy self esteem and a positive body image.

Having a positive body image is not necessarily about your size, height, weight, hair color or shape. Having a healthy body image means that you feel comfortable in your body and think positively about yourself most of the time. It does not mean that you are perfect in your eyes or in the eyes of your family or society. It simply means that you accept yourself as you are today and generally think positive thoughts about yourself when you look in the mirror. You may have more positive thoughts about certain parts of your body than of others. Generally, no one loves every aspect of their body. Being comfortable with your body builds a good body image. Trying to achieve perfection is a vicious cycle of dissatisfaction.

Stages of Acceptance


RELEASING THE ILLUSIONS, MYTHS, MISCONCEPTIONS AROUND WOMEN'S BODIES AND PARTICULARLY ONE'S OWN. Letting go of the hopes and wishes of the ideal body and the symbolic perfection that it represents. Grieving the loss of the hoped for ideal and begin with simply what is in the here and now, rather than the past and future dreams. This is a process of grieving for the loss of the idealized body as a means of acquiring inner happiness.


Acknowledgment of one's own genetic makeup. This stage encourages an individual to own their particular genetic endowment- for better or worse- this is the machine that each of us was given to ride out in this lifetime. The acknowledgment does not necessarily imply acceptance. It is a listmaking and a breaking down the body into parts. Which are liked and which are not liked- the aspects of the body that need to be integrated into the whole. Also in this stage is acknowledgment of the rhythm of one's own particular body- heart rate, movement rhythm, internal clock, metabolic rate, etc.


BOUNDARY DEFINITION - ESTABLISHING A CONCEPT OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL BOUNDARIES. Internal boundaries include the ability to say no, assertiveness skills and establishing the limits of energy expenditure as well as developing more effective ways to expend physical energy. OUTER boundaries are the physical boundaries, the space the body occupies. This is an objective criteria, yet can be experienced as an emotional issue. Getting a mental picture of the boundaries of the body facilitates the experience of self cohesion.


OWNING ONE'S OWN PHYSICAL POWER. Each body possesses a certain amount of strength. Even the most emaciated of bodies has an element of physical strength to keep the body alive. By imparting this information on a physical level, the information gradually becomes internalized as inner strength. This builds ego involvement with the body and an ownership of the positive qualities that one possesses- physical as well as mental, emotional and spiritual.


FACILITATING ACCEPTANCE OF THE BODY THROUGH MOVEMENT, VISUALIZATION AND THE BREAKING DOWN OF THE COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS THAT CREATE BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER. This stage includes breaking through the resistance of what is at the moment. Changing, as if by magic, was cognitively addressed in an earlier stage, however, through movement the acceptance can be integrated. The cognitive work continues in the form of affirmations. Goals can be utilized here AFTER the acceptance of what is- the goal to reach a "fighting weight", the healthy weight that allows for secondary sex characteristics and muscle to develop in the anoretic and allows for a normalization of weight within a broad range for the overweight.


TREATING THE BODY WELL. Allowing oneself to treat the body well, remove the abuse to the body and apologize to the body for self destructive behavior. This is the stage of honoring the body, the house of the spirit and honoring the light within.


ENJOYMENT OF THE PHYSICAL SELF AS WELL AS THE MIND AND SPIRIT. In this last stage one sees from the inside out rather than the outside in. This is where the integration directs and guides the life force to be expressed.

How is Body Image developed?

Our sense of our body begins in infancy. Having a body and exploring our bodies is part of development. Moving and crawling and walking and jumping gives us a sense of our body in space. Seeing a baby's joy at discovering what the body can do is the beginning of developing a body image. Messages about our bodies and appearance come from our family, society, and our peers. We hear about our bodies from the time we are born. If we get critical messages, we will have to repair our body image later in life. As our bodies grow and change, we perceive ourselves differently. Our view of our body as a child is different when we become a teenager. As we mature and age, our body image changes again.