Tuesday, July 6, 2021

July's Eye is on How You See Yourself, Body Image

Photo from the vulnerable video I posted

On my social media last week, I put up a post being vulnerable and alluding to my body image issues, struggles with food, some of the dark places I have been in regards to my relationship with myself and my body. If you go back through old posts on my blog, you will read several posts where I talk about my struggles with hating my body and some steps I took in overcoming these struggles. Here is one such post. For the month of July we are going to explore body image issues and the real struggles that exist with eating disorders and body dysmorphia, I am not talking at you, these are roads I have walked. This is a part of my journey. It has helped shape who I am today. Walking the road and being willing to put in the work and overcome these demons is a life's journey for me.  

In many ways, I have removed myself from the influence of social media by doing the work to overcome my demons, I don't notice the body images issues as much these days outside of myself. I know orthorexia is still rampant in the fitness industry, I hope to have a positive influence over this. Are others still pushing a super lean, anorexic model/actress still being used? Maybe we have grown from 10-20 years ago when things seemed to be so crazy? Maybe because I removed myself to such lengths for my recovery, I don't notice what is going on? I have changed what is happening in my own head so things don't impact me the same way as much. I choose to get some help. I put in the work. If you are struggling, you can have a healthier relationship with yourself and your body. It takes work. It takes being willing to see things differently. Face your demons and struggles head on and fight like hell. It is a journey and a long road. Recovery is a lifetime. It is 100% worth the fight. The freedom on the other side is a beautiful thing.

I want to focus this month on how you see yourself. Begin working on loving yourself, not in some self centered, your better than everyone else way or the other end of the spectrum, I love myself just as I am and I don't need to change. True love of yourself is willing to be brutally honest with yourself, your good, faults, failings, what is staring you back in the mirror, stop making excuses for yourself and deciding you want to become the best version of yourself. This is true self love. Until you truly love yourself, you cannot make lasting change. We have to truly love ourselves to make lasting, life long changes to overcome our darkness. These are hard things to hear, but it is the only way to work on yourself, face your demons head on. Facing your demons begins with facing the truth about yourself. It is how I have worked through my struggles. I stopped playing the games, wishful thinking, excuses, mind games, seeing things that weren't really there, all of it. I faced these demons head on. It is hard. You can do hard.  

For each week of the month, we will talk about different topics in this world and have a mini challenge for you to work on yourself. You might not have an eating disorder or body dysmorphia, but we can all work on our selves. This first week's mini challenge, I want you to be conscious and aware of how may times you put yourself down, say negative things about yourself, negative thoughts, tear yourself down, how often do you say no. How do you see yourself? Your body image? 

Once you have begun to identify these negative images of yourself, here are some ideas to help you begin re-programing your brain.

  • When you begin to talk/think negatively about yourself, stop the thoughts, comments and say three positive things about yourself. You have to recognize the behavior, stop it and then change it into something positive.
  • If you have body image struggles, limit your time looking at pictures of really fit, unnaturally skinny, photo shopped images. Even fitness "inspiration" on sites like Pintrest, FaceBook or Instagram can be a trigger. Scrolling through image after image of "perfect" in-shape bodies, and comparing yourself to them, wishing you had that body are damaging. This could be unhealthy for your body type and even for them. Remember it is about real health, not destroying your body
  • Begin removing the triggers that send you down of path of self hatred, body loathing, the negative image you have of yourself and replace these with positives influences.
  • This isn't about denial. We all have areas of our selves we need to change, grow, become better in. True self love is about being brutally honest with the things we need to change, but not in a negative manner. Identify your struggles and decide if you are going to work on them or not. Identify your strengths and decide if you are going to pursue them further.
  • Once you have identified the struggles, spend some time reflecting on where these came from, how they have impacted your life, and a deep reason why you want to overcome them. It will take an insanely big why to overcome the struggles. 
  • Enjoy the beauty around you.
  • Be around others who have self confidence and love of self, positive influences. Being around others who constantly talk about or demonstrate how much they dislike themselves, their body, finding the wrong and fault in everything, negative will rub off on you. Find others who will help you up level your life, pursue your greatness. 

These are just a few ideas. You know where you need the most "love of self". Take the time to reflect on where these emotions and feelings came from, other underlying factors and work through them. Until you work through the hurt and pain, you will walk the same path. Let's tackle these demons together.

Love yourself enough to change.
Obesity is a disease of malnourishment. 
Jenn