DISCLAIMER: Nothing is a replacement for seeing a therapist specialized in eating disorders or a dietitian who will support you in healing your relationship with your body.
Beauty standards prevalent in modern society are impossible to reach for many average people. Striving for and failing to reach digitally altered standards or to completely alter our own bodies in an unsustainable way can cultivate negative feelings towards our bodies and make it difficult to respect, love, and listen to our bodies amidst all of the negative noise and feedback in our culture.
You may have body image distress if you've experienced the following:
1. Obsessive calorie counting or intense guilt when you eat "unhealthy" or "bad" foods.
2. Distress around weighing yourself or not weighing yourself.
3. Feeling mentally or physically anxious if you miss a workout.
4. Comparing yourself to your friends, family, or strangers and experiencing feelings of shame, guilt, or jealousy of other people's bodies.
5. Refusing to eat certain foods and if you do, feeling like you have to compensate in some way so that you'll feel okay.
6. Not buying or wearing certain clothes because you're afraid of how other people might view you.
7. Thinking about food all the time, even when you're not eating or preparing to eat.
8. Feeling inadequate in your body, no matter what you do.
Want to takes some personal steps in healing your relationship with food and your body?
Here are some quick tips to start the process.
1. Set a daily intention of what will be enough for you mentally and physically. This might mean that you just wake up, that you just focus on drinking water and eating three meals.
2. Practice body neutral statements when you notice yourself speaking negatively about your body. For example, instead of feeling the need to praise a specific body part that you hate, you can make statements about how it works for you. For example, "my stomach protects my organs."
3. Listen to your physical ques. If your body is exhausted, take a break from working out that day. If you feel under stimulated, find an activity that can give you energy.
4. Delete any shaming physically objectifying accounts that you follow on social media, including those that hyper focus on weight/body shape.
5. Practice curiosity about what your body needs, rather than judgment for what you have done or cannot do.
Pivot Counseling, PLLC offers BCBS covered telehealth and in-person therapy for individuals struggling with Anxiety, Depression, Relationships, and Eating Disorders in Durham, NC. For more information regarding individual counseling, please go to www.pivotcounselingnc.com, or follow us at www.instagram.com/pivotcounseling or www.facebook.com/PivotCounseling