Bad Body Image Days. We all get them.
No matter how shit hot we feel or how passionate we are about screwing diet culture and societal beauty standards or how comfortable we’ve become in showing off our scars, skin and cellulite, we can still be struck by those days where we look in the mirror and just feel a bit, ugh.
Personally, even though I feel like I’m through to the other side of a bad coupla years of hating my body, I still get those days too, but now, rather than crying over it, cancelling plans or buying into those herbal teas that promise a flat stomach but actually just make you poo yourself, I’ve developed a few little strategies to better deal with a bad body image day.
1) Don’t put on those jeans.
Y’know, the ones with the slightly pinchy waistband? It’s total self-sabotage.
You’ll spend the day hyperaware of your body and super uncomfortable. And you deserve to feel comfortable, no matter what your body looks like.
Put on something that ideally makes you feel bangin’ and is comfy, maybe something floaty or elasticated, and shove those jeans to the back of the wardrobe. Or better yet, get rid of ‘em completely.
2) Stop ogling yourself.
This is perhaps a controversial one, but when I’ve found myself at a gross level of self deprecation, I avoid mirrors if possible.
This isn’t for everyone: I get that some would prefer to face facts, stare themselves straight in the eye and yell some positive mantas (more power to ya!), but I find that in this scenario, I’d only be looking to further criticise myself.
I’d be inspecting the flab on my arms, pulling the rolls of my tummy, cursing my inny-outy hips and today, right now, that isn’t going to serve me at all.
Not looking in the mirror helps to remind me that it doesn’t matter what my body looks like. My body is just the vessel I use to muddle through my life and experience pizza. It doesn’t need checking.
It’ll still be there tomorrow (fingers crossed) if I don’t ogle myself when I get out of the shower.
Tomorrow, when I feel a bit better, I’ll look at myself again, maybe I’ll do some mantras too, but looking in the mirror is not going to be driven by a positive behaviour today.
3) Don’t make any crazy weight loss promises.
If you’re not chill with your body now, loosing 5, 10, 200 pounds isn’t going to change that.
It’s within the diet industry’s economic interest to push the idea that smaller you = better you. Thinner you = happier, cooler, better dressed, more confident, maybe even doing a bit better at work you.
They want you to think that the key to unlocking the next Pokemon level of yourself is by changing your body.
But it isn’t.
Lemme tell you from experience: I like myself more than I did two stone lighter and a set of washboard abs ago.
Happiness isn’t waiting for you in a pair of size six skirt lads, so cutting carbs isn’t going to make a bad body image day go away.
4) Tackle the root cause.
Whenever I sense a bad body day coming on, it’s never actually my body causing the problem.
It’s my mindset.
Whenever I felt down or anxious or tired or stressed, an easy thing to control was my body and diet.
So if you’re in the midst of feeling inadequate, recognise how you feel and try to figure out why that might be.
Have you spent too long scrolling Insta today? Spent too long around people who criticise fatness? Are you stressed, tired or anxious? Try to get down to the bottom of it, because it’s not your actual bottom that’s the issue.
5) Remember that your body is literally the least remarkable thing
You’re probably a great listener or are absolutely bossing it at work or make a really light Victoria sponge or are the most fun to take on a night out.
Those are the types of thing people appreciate in others (the good cake bit, especially).
You’re seriously underselling yourself if you think your mates are hanging out with you because of your dress size.
Make a list of things like this, tiny things are totally great about you, and try to remember them as you go through the day.
What things work for YOU on a bad-body-image day?