Let’s talk about BODY DYSMORPHIA.
Body dysmorphia & eating disorders often go hand in hand.
In fact, it’s not because weight restoration goals are met that we’re immune to distorted thoughts & emotions about our bodies; in fact, body dysmorphia is often a by-product of recovery as we struggle & learn to embrace the changes in our bodies.
There’s no denying that it’s hard to be consumed with thoughts about perceived defects & flaws with our appearance, so consumed that it makes us feel ashamed, anxious & even, avoid social situations.
If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. I still struggle too.
Truth is, some days, it’s flagrant & I nitpick EVERY little flaw on my body. It hurts. I cry & I’m tempted to revert back to old habits.
But other days, I don’t even know it’s there & I can’t even imagine engaging in old behaviours.
When I’m struggling, here’s what helps: .
- Positive self-talk & rationalization: I’m not my body & my worth isn’t defined by the way I look/feel about my appearance on a given day, week or month. I’m my heart, soul, energy, vibe, health, emotions, experiences & knowledge; my appearance is secondary.
- Wearing comfy clothes that aren’t too fitted so I’m not tempted to nitpick even more.
- Recognizing that my perceived flaws & defaults are probably unnoticeable or minor to others.
- Identifying what triggers the body dysmorphic thoughts & eliminating or staying away from triggers, for ex: if seeing photos of an account on Instagram make me compare myself or feel bad, I unfollow; if certain clothes make me feel uncomfy or self-judgmental, I don’t wear them.
- Sharing my feelings with those closest to me (or sometimes, even sharing with a stranger who’s been through something similar!); vocalizing helps me realize that often, my thoughts are irrational, grounds me & brings me back down to earth.
- Distract myself: whatever works – workout, yoga, cook/bake a healthy meal, go for coffee with a friend, spend time with fam, go for a walk, manicure or massage; I do something that makes me feel happy & good!
- Always remember: you’re NEVER alone, the struggle gets easier, the suffering goes away & you DESERVE to love yourself!