You clicked on this post for a reason, and I want you to know that it is so normal to have bad body image days. I still have them and I am pregnant. Yes, these days still happen even though I am growing a human inside of me.
How does it start?
For me, bad image days start with a bad selfie, a bad angle compared to someone else’s good angle, or clothes “feeling” tighter or uncomfortable (potentially due to bloat, or, uh, a GROWING BABY). The first thing you need to figure out is what caused you to feel that way. Was it trying on an old pair of jeans and having them feel snug compared to your baggy shorts you wore all summer? Identify the trigger, and then figure out how to fix it or replace the thoughts.
How far will it go?
You, and you alone, determine how far your thoughts will go, and how destructive they will become. My husband can say, “You are so beautiful,” or “My wife is hot,” until he is blue in the face, but if I am not in the mood to believe it, I become destructive to myself. Only I can control my thoughts in that moment, and I need to stop them in their tracks before one bad moment turns into a bad day, which for me, can lead into a bad body image week. So where do your thoughts start? What signs/thoughts show you that you are starting to spiral? As soon as you identify that snowball effect, find a place to stop the snowball before it is too big to control.
How do you fix it?
If my clothes don’t feel right, I know I cannot force myself to wear them, or I will be worried about my appearance the rest of the day. So, I change. I find something that feels better on my body that day, and decide to rock it and try not to get upset that my original plan didn’t work out. If I am bloated, I know I need to start drinking my water to slowly start to de-bloat. Instead of perseverating on how you feel, and magnifying each and every imperfection, determine what changes need to be made in order to feel better.
You can’t stay in that negative state of mind. You have to move forward. Find 3 things that you love about yourself, and if you can’t think of any in the moment, think of 3 things your body is doing WELL to keep you alive (i.e. your heart beat, your blood flow, your lungs as you breathe in and out). Focusing on what you CAN DO and who you are, rather than what you look like, is going to help you overcome that bad day.
What helps you overcome a bad body image day? How to you move past the negative thoughts?