Where do you place your focus on yourself: from the outside or on the inside? When last were you grateful for what your body can do for you? How can embodiment practices help you to develop a loving relationship with yourself? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about body embodiment versus body image with Sophie Killip.


Sophie is an Eating Disorder and Body Image Therapist who lives in Manchester, England. She completed her master’s degree in Georgia, US and has spent some of her childhood years and early 20s living in Seattle, WA and Vancouver, Canada. Sophie works with adolescents who are recovering from anorexia in an inpatient ward and she also has an online private practice where she supports clients in healing their relationship with food, their body, and themselves. Visit Sophie Killip's website and connect on Instagram.


  • The difference between image and embodiment
  • Embodiment practices
  • Spend time in the body, not just the mind

The difference between image and embodiment

When we’re speaking about “body image”, we’re often speaking from an outside-in lens … so our body image is influenced by our surroundings. (Sophie Killip)
Your body image comprises of:
  • What you think of yourself when you look in the mirror
  • The influences that are around you from family and loved ones
  • What you see in the media and general society
Body image is different from body embodiment – or embodiment – in that the focus is not from the outside in, but instead your focus is from the inside out.
What does it actually feel like to be living inside of our bodies? It’s something that we don’t often think about when it comes to body image [because] we’re often very focused on the external side of things. (Sophie Killip)
When you focus on embodiment, it may lead to a more positive and compassionate body image because you value yourself intrinsically, instead of basing your worth wholly on the outside and letting that dictate your worth.

Embodiment practices

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a renowned and successful method of helping people that suffer from poor body image to reconnect with themselves. However, a step further into healing comes from the physical, and actually learning how to exist – consciously and presently – within the feeling of being in your body and intentionally loving that.
People can sometimes find it hard to connect [their] body and mind together, but it is so powerful when it happens. (Sophie Killip)

Spend time in the body, not just the mind

Most people live mostly in their minds. They run from one thing to the next, constantly busy, never taking the time to sit with themselves both in silence and self-awareness.
All of this doing that’s going on all of the time – I just don’t think that we always give ourselves that chance to really sit with ourselves. (Sophie Killip)
Bring yourself back to center. Take time to rest, to be quiet, to “nourish” yourself with stillness and ease and self-awareness because in those moments you can connect with yourself, your mind, and your body, and how you can show them true care and compassion.
There is that soul part of us, the spiritual part … everybody's so focused on making sure the outside looks a certain way and not really taking [time] to say, “How’s my inside looking? … What’s going on in there?” (Dr. Castagnini)
You sustain your life not only with food and water but with so much more. You can feed yourself with love, compassion, and appreciation. You can fill yourself up with hobbies and gratitude and memories and wonderful experiences. They nourish you as well, alongside the food.
I think when we can really get in touch with our bodies and embody that love and that compassion, [then] we treat our bodies in such a different way. (Sophie Killip)



  I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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