In the most recent episode of the podcast I talked about dealing with postpartum body changes and my experience with bad body days.
There was a notable time when those old feelings of body shame returned to wreak havoc on my mental state.
Instead of letting these thoughts spiral out of control or go into problem solving mode (a.k.a. start thinking about cutting carbs or some other “solution” that would only lead to more problems), I practiced what I preach.
When we’re in this state of mind, it’s easy to feel doomed and that we’re going to be stuck in this spot for the rest of our lives. That’s why it’s so important to have some tools to lean on to support ourselves and get unstuck.
The best place to start is by coming back to the basics. Here are some of my go-to’s:
1) Acknowledge the voice of your inner critic
Those negative thoughts are not the truth and they are not your fault. They are culturally programmed.
2) Offer yourself compassionate self-talk
You are learning a new language and undoing years of conditioning. This takes SO MUCH practice!
3) Get in touch with the real emotions at play and dig deep to see what else may be triggering you to feel shame about your body,
Revisit episode #96 where we dive into how to work through body shame.
4) Check in with your self-care
A good place to start is by asking yourself, what is draining me vs recharging me?
5) Surround yourself with body diversity and messages and people who uplift and reinforce anti-diet and body/fat positive beliefs,
Social media is wonderful for this, but it’s even better if you have IRL body positive friends.
6) Reach out for support
Being alone with your thoughts is the WORST. They multiply like gremlins.
I applied ALL of these and the biggest one for me was to get in touch with the real emotions at play. I had some heavy stuff going on in my life that was making me feel anxious and out of control. Being able to identify and sit with the real emotions helped me to reinforce that this was not about my body.
Don’t expect an instant fix with this.
With any body image work, we’re looking at ways to work through the thoughts and feelings, which is often messy and imperfect. It’s an iterative process that we need to be intentional about.
Remember, bad body days are normal (this one is worth re-reading!). You are not defective or a failure for experiencing them!
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