Welcome to How to Love Your Body - today on the podcast we will be talking what you can do on a “bad body image day.”
We all have them - they are normal AND they can be challenging. Since they are inevitable as we all will have a body for the rest of our lives … what can we actually do on days when we are feeling down and judging ourselves….
Here’s a worksheet you can download to help when these days come up - get it by clicking the button above.
So what are some things you can do on a bad body image day?
- Stay away from “body checking” -
This means do not stare at yourself in the mirror judging every body part and zero-ing in on what you need to fix/ change. Avoiding the mirror on these days/ avoiding seeing your reflection is SELF HONORING. Of course, looking at yourself in the mirror and being able to do it with judgement is something to work on - but when you are having a hard day, staying away from analyzing every body part will be your ally. It will contain your thoughts from going off the rails or at least not expand what is already going on in your head.
2. Shift to neutral body comments -
If you catch yourself saying really mean things about your body - then let that be a signal to you to shift those comments to something neutral. We don’t expect you to say really loving things about your body on these challenging days but you still deserve respect - so in order to shift from the judgemental words, shift them to neutral such as:
-I’m so fat ---> I have a body
-My legs are so big -----> I walk with my legs
-I hate the way my arms look in this shirt ----> These are my arms.
-My stomach should be flat ----> This is my stomach
Being able to use neutral comments about your body brings you back to reality and can stop the judgement chatter - it can be something you can say to yourself instead of letting your inner critic take over. Because in reality -- you have a body. Feel the difference in your energy when you say “I’m so fat” and then when you say “I have a body.” - There’s a difference- reflect on how it feels. This is why neutrality is so powerful without it being so extreme into forcing positivity and loving comments that you just may not believe right now - especially on days like these.
3. Wear comfortable clothes -
If you know something doesn’t fit well, or you don’t the way it feels tight on your body, or it digs in a little too much, or it just gives you an overall eh feeling - well for one maybe just get rid of that clothing item but secondly do not wear that item on bad body image days. Where something that you know is comfortable and fits the body you have TODAY. Nothing is worse than having a pair of pants (or whatever) digging into your sides when you are already feeling judgemental of your body. So do yourself a favor and wear clothes you know don’t trigger you - we would also recommend to go through your closet and only keep clothes that you like / fit the body you have today / are comfortable so when you look in your closet / drawers you know whatever you choose, it already feel good or at least neutral. Time to marie kondo your closet!
4. Stay off social media -
The comparison trap sucks. And social media will swallow you whole on a day where body image just feels more challenging than other days - so do yourself a favor and don’t find yourself scrolling into the dark hole of Instagram / social media. Do something else with your time where you aren’t triggered or tempted to compare yourself, your life, or your body to someone else’s.
5. Do something loving for yourself
What do you love? What do you enjoy? DO THAT. It could be something super small or super big - and all of the in between. Whatever it is - make sure it’s something that is self honoring and brings you joy or at least a sense of calm. Call a friend? Rest? Listen to your favorite song? Watch your favorite Tv show? Get your nails done? Read a book? Skip the dishes?
Being gentle and compassionate with yourself is such a great way to get you back into the present moment and honor whatever need you may have. When you give yourself a break everything just kind of relaxes - the energy shifts a bit and you feel you can breathe just a bit easier.
6. Ground yourself in nature -
Going outside is an act of presence. It can realign you. It can bring you back into your body. It’s calming. It’s so many things. If you really want to go the extra mile and ground yourself - get barefoot and plant your feet on the ground. Close your eyes and breathe. You’ll notice the racing thoughts slow down, it gets quiet, and you can step back into your body.
Try all or some of these things out and see what resonates and what works for you. These are just suggestions so what works for you might not work for someone else and vice versa, that’s okay - it’s using your intuition and signals in your body to know what feels good. And then do that. <3
Want to know what’s holding you back in becoming an intuitive eater? We have a free quiz you can take that will tell you what is holding you back in becoming an intuitive eater and how to begin breaking through that barrier. You can take the quiz by going to www.thebodylovesociety.com/quiz