The Super-Secret (Which Is Not REALLY a Secret)

Ruta Ka
Written by Ruta Ka

How To Change Your Body Image Forever

I want to share an idea about our body with you, an idea that might change your life…

But first – allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Ruta Ka. I am a holistic female coach, emotional wellbeing practitioner, and trauma integration specialist. My approach to all the work that I do is trauma-based. For you to understand how I came to this point, let me share a little bit about myself, especially in the context of body image and shame.

Photo by Hannah Xu on Unsplash

I’m someone who has been suffering from extreme self-hate and extreme self-rejection. I’ve undergone three plastic surgeries. I’ve experienced suicidal thoughts and clinical depression.

I also had bulimia. I would eat food and then induce vomiting. So, I experienced this constant feeling of guilt, shame, and self-hate. I found my diaries from 15 to 17 years ago where I wrote every day, “I hate myself. How can I do this to myself?” Just so you know, I understand what self-rejection and shame feel like. I know it’s intense, but I wanted to share this so you know I’m speaking from personal experience and have actually gone through it.

Photo by Alex Green

I was in constant psychotherapy for over a year until I found trauma work, also known as shadow work. That’s when things started shifting for me.

So let’s talk about body image and how I feel about my body now. For example, if I compare myself then to now, I actually love myself. I love my body now. Yes, maybe I gain five kilos now and then, and I would like to get rid of them. But at no point do I feel extreme hate towards myself. At no point do I feel, “Oh my God, I’m bad, I’m somehow shameful. I should get rid of myself.” And I’ll tell you a secret – though it’s really not a secret – what was the one thing that changed my relationship with my body.

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

And that non-secret secret is me understanding that we have a relationship with our bodies. So the body is not just “a thing” that we have. It’s not a pen that we have. It’s not some piece of wood that we can do whatever we want with. Our bodies are actually something that we live in. And the body is from an energetic and metaphysical perspective is actually an entity. So lots of things that we might be struggling with is because we don’t have a good relationship with our body.

So, if I were to ask you…

What is your relationship with your body?

Do you communicate with your body?

How do you perceive your body?

Do you view it as an entity, as your friend, or simply as the thing you wake up in?

Negative regard towards your body is the reason why we have a poor relationship with it or why we may lack any relationship with it at all.

Why is that?

First of all, nobody teaches us how to do it. Most of our mothers didn’t teach us how to have a relationship with our bodies. If you’re anything like me, you may have had a mother who had three kids and was always complaining about how bad she looked, how she needed to go on a diet. For example, my mom was in a constant state of body rejection for as long as I can remember. At no point was she proud of herself when looking in the mirror with confidence. She was always searching for clothes to cover herself up, to hide herself. She thought her hips were too big, her stomach too large. Though I realise these actions were done subconsciously and my mom did the best she could at the time, the memory remained.

Photo by Andres Ayrton

Therefore, growing up, I believed that the only way to have the right to be proud of your body was if you looked like a model. Later, as I healed my relationship with my body, I realised that this is nonsense.

No, you don’t have to look like a model to have a good relationship with your body. Your body, our body, is the only one that we have. We’re not going to get another body. So, it’s up to us to decide how we’re going to live in our bodies. We cannot escape our bodies unless we die. So, we have a choice. We can improve our relationship with our body or even start to have a relationship with it, or we can just drag this body around our life and act as if it’s a problem for us.

When we think about it, how we define our relationship with our body matters.

Imagine if our body were another person who had feelings, and we started treating them as we do our own bodies. How would it feel if we said, “I hate you if you don’t look good”? So, if we have a friend and we say to them, “If you don’t look good, I’m going to hate you; I’m not going to be friends with you,” what kind of relationship is that?

The same applies to our bodies. The only difference with our bodies is that we cannot stop communicating with them. We cannot cut off the connection.

Well, we can cut off the connection. If things happening to the body (for example, weight gain) get so out of control that we say, “Ah, that’s it, I’m divorcing you. I’m throwing away all of my mirrors.” That can happen and has happened to some of us. But this is more like pretending that we have severed the connection with the body, because we still live in it. We just pretend we don’t have that connection. And that creates a pretty hostile environment for our bodies to endure.


So, this brings me to the point that we need to feel safe in and with our bodies just as much as we need to feel safe in our home. And the thing that ruins our relationship with our bodies and creates body shame is the rejection of our bodies.

A side note here: whenever you feel shame about your body, don’t think that you shouldn’t feel shame. You feel what you feel. You have the right to feel whatever you feel. Because when you feel something negative about yourself, and then you feel bad for feeling that negativity, it’s like a double trouble. You feel bad, and on top of feeling bad, you feel bad towards yourself. “Why do I feel shame about my body? I shouldn’t be feeling this way.” And then you feel double shame. You feel shame, and then you feel shame about feeling it. So whatever you feel is valid. Whatever you feel, you have a right to feel. Because whatever you feel is an accurate reflection of what has happened to you. It’s not about how poorly you managed. It’s not about the things that you could have done but didn’t. Given the circumstances that each of us has been in and where we are right now, we couldn’t feel about ourselves any other way.

So the number one point in having a relationship with your body is, first of all, admitting where you are. When we force ourselves to skip a step, it doesn’t feel real. It feels like I’m faking this right now. For example, if right now what’s going on is, “I’m actually not having a good relationship with my body. Right now, I actually feel in rejection with my body.” That’s where we should start. We say, “Okay, that’s my reality right now. I’m feeling in rejection with my body.” That’s where we can start.

The next step is to start digging deeper. “Why? Why am I feeling rejection toward my body? Oh, because I see myself in the mirror and I don’t like what I see.”

Okay, so how about we start with that? How about we begin by looking at ourselves in the mirror and accepting what we see? And I’m not talking about “oh my God, I see a pimple and I like it.”

No, I’m talking about real acceptance of what we see in the mirror. It sounds a bit more like this: ”Okay, I see myself in the mirror, I don’t like what I see. That’s okay. “

So then you can move on to the second step. You can say to yourself: “I’m going to do this for six weeks. I’m going to look at myself in the mirror, and if I don’t like what I see, that’s okay. At least I will start looking at myself.”