3 Questions to Help You Navigate a Bad Body Image Day (or week, or month, or year…)

1. Are my needs being met? What do I *need* right now?

2. What recent changes have occurred in my day to day?

3. What is *actually* going on?

The flu knocked me on my ass and out of my routine which, of course, as it almost always seems to- brings about interesting old patterns like “maybe I should lean out” and “I’d probably feel better if I lost some weight” and “maybe I’ll start eating less?”

It’s interesting because my body has not changed at all from before getting sick to now… but we’re conditioned to default to distracting ourselves from our needs by turning everything into a body image issue, when really- it’s just the most socially acceptable form of self-neglect. It’s the most readily available form of self-abuse.

Most bad body image bouts have nothing to do with your actual body.

Some need is being unmet. Sometimes it’s as simple as more self-centered stillness, other times more therapy, sometimes more movement or LESS movement, or tough and vulnerable conversations. Or more sleep. Or a better social outlet. Or more proper coping mechanisms that aren’t so self-destructive.

Sometimes just a wrench in our routine and the comfort we find in our schedules can leave us feeling frazzled and stressed- and suddenly preoccupied by how aware of our body we are when really, nothing’s changed- it’s just the tried and true bait and switch. Life feels messy + out of control = I can control how much I obsess over my body and my brain feels like everything else is tied up with a bow! See? It’s all so fucked up.

When you feel like the answer to “what do I *need* right now?” is some sort of body manipulation or control- know that those are not NEEDS. What do you NEED? What needs are being unmet?

Which pillars of self-care need more attention? Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, social?

Navigate with self-compassion and relentless curiosity. Your bad body image day/week/month has nothing to do with your actual body after all.