• Ali Hall

June 2021 Newsletter - How To Cope With Bad Body Image Days

Updated: Jul 6

We’ve all been there. We wake up, and for whatever reason, we just aren’t feeling ourselves like we normally do. Maybe you saw an unflattering photo that triggered you, or put on an old piece of clothing that no longer fits. Or there may seem to be no reason at all.

This happened to me recently. I went to a Braves baseball game and had an amazing time with my friends, and honestly was feeling pretty good about myself going in. All it took was one unflattering picture to trigger me to spiral down the hole of all my past body image/dysphoria and eating disorder issues. I woke up the next morning feeling terrible about myself- a mindset that I did not want to be in, going into my best friend’s wedding weekend. I could have sat and wallowed in it for a week if I had let myself, but instead I immediately decided that I had to shift my headspace. These are the 5 things that helped me get back in to a better mindset.

  1. Remember that this a completely normal thing. There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re not a failure, and it happens to everyone. The fact that your body can stay the same but your opinion/feelings about it can vary from day to day is just further proof that your body is not the problem. Body image can be affected by a number of outside factors- hormones, fatigue, stress, and even other emotions. Remind yourself of this and don’t make things worse by shaming yourself for feeling this way. Feel your feelings, acknowledge them, and then get ready to remind yourself of the truth- your body is not the problem.

  2. Dig deeper- more often than not, a bad body image day likely has a deeper root. For me recently, these feelings about my body had less to do with my body itself, and more to do with my anxieties around being the only single bridesmaid in the wedding I was about to attend. How did I get to the bottom of this? Start to question your feelings to get the problem- for example- I don’t like my body today. Why? Because I don’t like this photo. Why? Because I think my arms look big. Why? Because I’m pudgy around my bra line. Why does it matter? I’m not sure but I don’t like it. Why? Because I feel undesirable..... BOOM there you go. Once you get to the bottom of it, you can start to speak truth/affirmations in to the lies.

  3. Affirm your truth- Break out a pen and paper. Start to write out all the negative thoughts you’re having about your body- just stream of consciousness. You’ll be shocked at how mean we can be to ourselves. Imagine saying these things to your best friend- let me guess- not only can you not imagine saying these things to someone you love, you probably wouldn’t have thought them in the first place. Once you finish- scratch out every sentence (or if you’re feeling dramatic you can rip or burn it) and flip every sentence to a positive affirmation. So instead of “I feel undesirable” say “I am desirable.” Or you can even form it into a question “why am I so desirable to the right people?” This triggers your brain to start looking for answers to support this question. Do this with every bad comment you had about yourself and keep repeating them throughout the day. Make sure to add in all of your amazing non- physical attributes as well. You’ll be surprised how quickly this can change your mood.

  4. MOVE- go for a walk, do your favorite workout, dance around your living room. Just do something that makes you feel strong and alive. **Now I will preface this by saying that if you are doing this for the purpose of weight loss or changing your appearance- it will have the opposite effect. Figure out if working out in this situation is a win for you, if it doesn’t feel like a win, don’t do it.

  5. Make a playlist that makes you feel like a bad bitch. OK - I know, I know. This sounds so simple but I’m telling you it works almost as good as affirmations. Go find all the songs that make you feel like the powerful, sexy, badass that you are and listen to it on repeat

Moral of the story- bad body image days happen to everyone- but you don’t have to let them control you. These are some very practical ways that you can take back control, and refocus your energy back to where you want.

It’s also worth noting that these days, additionally do not negate all of the hard work you’ve done to improve your relationship with your body. You are still a confident, strong, inspiring woman, and don’t let anyone or anything make you feel differently.

Love, Ali

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