Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Negative Body Image

I avoid full length mirrors as much as I can. I try not to look at my reflection in the glass of store windows. After gaining back the weight I lost a few years ago, I just can’t stand to see my whole body—it makes me very sad.

While shopping today, I saw myself in the full length dressing room mirror. I didn’t like what I saw. My hips were already wide, being that I am pear shaped, but I think that after having a baby they are even wider. Ugh—just what I need.

But as much as I hated my reflection, I decided not to let it ruin my day. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that as soon as I was horrified by my reflection, the thoughts that followed were much more positive than they would have been in the past:

  • I’m more than the package I come in.
  • I have a family that loves me no matter what I look like.
  • Even though overweight, my body still created a miracle of life and for that I highly respect my body.
  • You only live once and I don’t want to spend my life feeling bad about myself.
  • I haven’t given up.

I'm more than the package I come in.

I still find my mind wandering in a self-loathing direction, but I find myself pairing those thoughts with something more positive.

I often feel like I am a horrible human being simply because I am overweight. One of the struggles with postpartum depression is imagining that other people are looking at me and thinking I am a terrible mom—thankfully those thoughts are improving for the most part.

However, I believe I have always imagined what people are thinking about me because of my weight. And just as I have had to work to replace the negative thoughts regarding myself as a mother with positive ones, I also need to work on replacing the negative thoughts about my body with positive ones.

For example:

  • I hate my hips because they are so wide.
    • Positive: My hips helped me carry a baby for 9 months and I wouldn’t trade my baby for narrow hips!

When my therapist and I discussed body image a while back, she told me that there are some good things about being larger. For example, we’re a lot more fun to hug. She mentioned her daughter told her that she was nice and comfy to cuddle with—and at first she felt bad, but then she realized that she can love that about herself instead of hating it.

I am trying to work on loving myself NOW. It doesn’t mean that I’m not going to try to change, but if I don’t love myself now how am I going to love myself when I’m at a lower weight?

What’s something you hate about yourself? Negate it with a positive thought.

5 comments:

  1. I'm two years into maintenance and this is something I STILL struggle with once in a while. Unfortunately I think it's just something that we'll have to deal with for the rest of our lives, though as time goes on we'll be able to handle it better. Really I'm in the best shape of my life. I weigh less now than what I did on my wedding day 12 years ago, before I also had three kids. I have a fantastic bmi, a great bf% and I'm healthy. But, yeah some days all I see are those darn 'problem' areas sigh....

    One area I hate-my saggy bum :( But on a positive-I LOVE my arms now!

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  2. As women and the stereotype that we fall into of always needing to look good even though men can have a gut and its kind of over looked #mostcomedycouplesontvnow ~ we never get over this.

    I have fit friends...even some that compete in muscle building competitions....they too talk about being bloated...looking fat...cravings....jiggly this or that....it never ends!!! We have got to start being happy with who we are and we are more than the extra pounds we carry around.

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  3. I have a hard time dealing with my butt and thigh area. I am shaped a certain way and no matter what that isn't going to change so I'm trying to embrace what I got, but it's really hard. My upside is that I like my stomach. Somehow we have to find a way to love our body. I'm convinced it's possible. It has to be!

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  4. The only part of my body that's ever been free of my negative thoughts is my wrists--they're actually pretty small. That's why posting that bikini picture on my blog was such a huge deal for me!

    I've been hating on my stomach in particular a lot lately though, as I carry a lot more weight there now than I did before my second baby. Now when I start thinking about how big or flabby it is, I remind myself that it carried 2 beautiful children, and it's just one of the more prominent signs that I am a mom.

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  5. Awesome post! Switching positive thoughts for negative ones is a wonderful tool that really works!!

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