Bad body image days are normal.
Here’s what you need to know:
-Body image is an internal issue; it will not be fixed with an external result like weight loss.
-Emotions are triggered by thoughts. This means that when you observe your body and feel a negative emotional hit when doing so, the emotion you feel is triggered from a thought about your body.
-Not all of your thoughts are true. Example: “I am so gross and unlovable”– this is a thought. It is untrue.
-Bad body image days have less (nothing) to do with your actual body and are a convenient way to skirt past self-care and are a systemically programmed form of distraction. A bad body image day is coming from some form of another unmet need.
-The thoughts from a bad body image day are not the problem. It is the actions/behaviors that you partake in as a result of those thoughts that we have to look at. Example: you may have a thought about robbing a bank. Do you act on it? Probably not. Same thing with your thoughts about your body. You may consider to start a diet tomorrow in response to a negative thought about your body. But… is that helpful? Is that what you want to do? Where has dieting landed you in the past?
-Allow yourself to sit in the discomfort and just… observe it. Move away from the idea that your body is bad and that it needs fixing. Be brave enough to feel uncomfortable instead of always jumping into some stringent action plan so as to “fix” your body and “never feel this way again.” Observe your thoughts, feel your feelings, and stop trying to shrink yourself as the answer to your negative/uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.
-Complete fallacy: a “good body image” means that each time you see your body you jump up and down in celebration. Rather, the truth is that being able to switch to a place of neutrality is KEY. Instead of “omg. My arms are so gross” OR “my arms are SO SEXY” switch to “I have arms.”
For the FULL story of how I handled my most recent body image meltdown, tune in to episode 204 of The Confidence Project Podcast.