Hello my lovelies 🙂 so…body image. I’ve decided to finally take the plunge and write about my struggles and how I’ve overcome them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working through them because they don’t ever fully go away, but I’m so much better than I was! To all of you going through body problems and self-love issues, fear not, you’re not alone, and I really hope this will help.
Ask yourself, have you ever…
- Pinched your tummy for fat
- Looked for cellulite somewhere on your body
- Hated your body type
- Looked at magazines and felt totally cr*p about yourself
- Went on a diet in the last 3 months
- Been envious of your thinner friends
- Compared yourself to someone else
If you said yes to any of the above, fear not: I’m totally there with you. I think at one point in my life, I was pretty much completing this list every single day!
Most of us have looked in the mirror, seen something we don’t like, and immediately started thinking negatively about our bodies. In fact, body dissatisfaction is at an all time high today, with millions of people struggling with eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder.
How does beating ourselves up and constantly thinking this way about our bodies help us get what we want out of life? It doesn’t. In fact, it can cause feelings ranging from mild discontentment to severe depression.
Luckily I’ve never spiralled that far into feeling this way but it’s so easy to let it get the better of you. If you’re tired of beating yourself up, if you want to embrace your true worth and learn to actually start liking your body, here are some of my best pieces of advice:
Watch out for those bad thoughts
People who struggle with body image issues tend to gravitate toward certain “thinking errors“. Here are a few of my big ones…
- I’m either perfect, or a total failure.
- Gaining a few pounds means no one will ever love me.
- I take my feelings and make them facts about my self-worth. I feel fat so I am a loser.
- Negative ways of thinking that make it harder for me to achieve my goals or get what I want from life.
Keep an eye out for triggers
If TV, Internet, social media, the fashion industry, the food industry, or magazines trigger your negative feelings or feelings of inadequacy, steer clear of them for a while. This doesn’t mean you don’t read a magazine, or watch TV, it means you choose more wisely about what you want to put into your brain.
Every magazine out there will depress you if you compare yourself to the cover girls and guys. Even though you know they’re digitally enhanced, it’s still a bummer. Pay attention to who you’re comparing yourself to, and make a deliberate attempt to stop and reset your mind. I try to watch inspirational YouTubers and people who I would much rather admire, such as Busybee Carys and Whitney Simmons whose legs and bums are total goals! I don’t ever compare myself to them, but I strive to better myself like they have.
Develop positive “counterstatements”
Start a list of positive statements to counteract the negative things you’re telling yourself. It’s important that you have some measure of belief in what they say. Instead of saying “I hate my body”, try saying “I’m grateful I have a healthy body. I’m grateful I can go for a run or carry my child.” You may not be perfect, but where is the law that says you have to be?? Perfection would be too hard to keep up anyway 😉
Think of the bigger picture
Living in a world that places so much emphasis on how we look is hard, but there are so many things that are much more important than how much we weigh, where we have lumps and bumps or whether we have cellulite. Try getting outside your head and do something of significance for others perhaps. Go and volunteer at a homeless centre, or spend some time in a nursing home helping to keep the older generation feeling positive. Actions like these will dramatically change your perspective about what matters.
For me, the most important part of learning to love our bodies is being grateful for them.
Have you ever struggled with negative body image thinking? If so, what steps have you taken to beat stinking thinking? Let me know in the comments 🙂