Which is why it’s so important to know how to fight back against that negative voice in your head. Everyone, no matter what their shape or size, no matter whether they fit into the media’s idea of beautiful or not, tends to have times where what they see in the mirror does not meet their expectations. And when that happens, how many of us are guilty of sending a torrent of abuse at that offending body part?
For me, it always used to be my legs and my arms that got the hate - I’d look at them and feel sick, seeing how they betrayed me, splurging out in all directions, wobbling when I walked, and occupying far too much space. Of course it was never really like that, and there was never anything wrong with my legs- but when you hate everything about the way you look*, it’s easy to completely lose a sense of proportion about your body. I’d look down at my self, and all these words would just instantly spring into my head:
Negative self talk - would you say these things to a friend?
But here’s the thing - we have positive and negative associations with various words, and it’s those associations which make us feel bad about them. For example the word ‘fat’ seems to be everyone’s go to word when they want to criticise their appearance, and it’s almost seen as an offensive word. But people forget that fat is actually something integral to our health and survival, keeping us warm and storing energy - and without it we would die. Now to me, that’s a positive thing, and when I think of it like that, having fat in my legs doesn’t seem like quite such a bad thing. You don’t necessarily have to change what you’re seeing, but change the way you think about it.
And that goes for every thing you say about yourself. Every time you look at yourself and say something mean, become aware that you’re doing it, and start thinking of alternative ways you could consider your body. There is always a positive way of spinning anything!
“My stomach is flabby and chubby” → “My stomach is soft, cuddly and helps keep me warm”
“My bum/stomach/legs/arms are too big” → “My shape is unique, exciting, and there’s no reason it should look like everyone else’s.”
“I’m too bony” →”My body has beautiful, defined lines”
“I have a large nose” →”My nose lets me smell more amazing scents”
I really believe there is nothing you are able to spin in a more positive way, it just takes practise and a little effort - to not be willing to stand for your own self hatred any more. Taking this attitude enabled me to turn looking down and seeing my legs, and associating it with nothing but negativity, to be able to look down and see this:
So next time you look at your body, and you start hearing yourself talk negatively, say to that voice in your head: “NO, I’m not going to stand for this anymore!”, and start thinking of ways you can find positives in every part of your body.
Love yourself today!
*Especially if you have an eating disorder, it’s quite likely that you will have a very distorted picture of what you’re seeing. If you’re having issues with very distorted body image, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor, as it could be a symptom of an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder, which it’s important to seek professional help for.