I’ve struggled with body dysmorphia off and on throughout my journey. When you tell yourself “you are fat” your entire life it’s hard to view yourself any other way. I have so much more compassion for women who look fit but complain about how they need to lose weight now. We are truly our own toughest critics, the way we see ourselves is not the way that others view us.
If you’re unfamiliar with my story, I lost 125 pounds in a year just eating real food. You can read more about that here. I entered maintenance a year ago, even though the number on the scale hasn’t changed, it’s incredible to see how much my body has changed!
Adding exercise this year, as inconsistent as I’ve been, helped me get a little more trim and tone up some of my “problem” areas.
I decided to stop actively trying to lose weight when I got into a healthy weight range for my height. I did this because it was tempting to continue to lose. Even though the scale said healthy my mind, at times, would still say “fat!”. The people around me would say “you look amazing” and my mind would say “you need to lose 50 pounds”.
Obviously this was not reality. I had to work to retrain the way my mind viewed my body and in all honesty there are still days where I struggle with this. Days that I feel like I haven’t made any progress at all. Days where I feel like I still have 100 pounds left to lose. I know these thoughts are irrational, that they’re not true, but this has been part of the journey.
Remember how when you were a teenager you used to think you were so fat and then after you became a mom you would look back at those photos and think “Man, I was crazy! I would kill to look like that again!” It’s like that.
So how do I combat this?
I do not let myself obsess over my weight. I do not let my thoughts linger in that space. When my mind says “Girl, you need to lose 50 pounds!” I shut it down and I speak the truth.
- You are gorgeous.
- You lost 125 pounds and are a total rock star.
- Your husband thinks you’re the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth and can’t keep his paws off of you.
- You are a size 4!
- You can run a 5k now, you are STRONG!
- Your autoimmune disease is in remission because you are HEALTHY!
Negative self talks steal your accomplishments, your truths, and your joy! There is no room in my life for body dysmorphia. If I wouldn’t say it to a friend or to my child I do not speak it over myself. The words that we use when we think of ourselves are powerful! They have the power to enrich your life or tear you apart.
This quote speaks to me on so many levels:
“and I said to my body softly, “I want to be your friend. ”
it took a long breath and replied, “I have been waiting my whole life for this.”
We need to love and treasure our bodies. They are the only things that are going to be with us our entire lives. It’s important that we take care of them physically and mentally.
I battled my body for years. It felt like a prison, like I was trapped inside a form that didn’t belong to me. Unable to physically do any of the things I wanted to because of how unhealthy I was. For the first time in my life I feel like I’m in my own skin. Like my body and I are a team. Like if I just take care of her, she’s going to take care of me.