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The Cure for Bad Body Image Days

Some days, no matter how positive our body image might be, we still feel unattractive, start nit-picking at a body part, think our clothes fit too tight or feel terribly uncomfortable in our own skin.

And as a result, we don’t want to get out of the house. In fact, we’d rather do nothing at all.

I mentioned on Friday that I caught myself saying, “I am ugly.” It just spewed out while I was in front of the mirror getting ready for dinner with my boyfriend. And that made me a bit concerned.

But there are days when no matter how hard you try, the mantras don’t help, thinking how amazing your body is can’t seem to pull you out of the rut and your inner critic just keeps getting louder and louder.

On days when you feel like the worst-looking person on the planet or the _______ (fill in the blank), even when you feel like you’d like to crawl out of your skin, take a minute and stop. Seriously, just tell yourself to stop.

And then put life into perspective. Yep, that’s  the cure. Don’t think so much about your body image (or your body), and just think about life and what you enjoy.

Here’s what I mean: I recently came across a post on the blog Marc and Angel Hack Life about 44 priceless moments money can’t buy. In the post, Marc shares a list of simple and priceless pleasures that readers of his sister site had submitted. Here’s a sample of my favorites:

Realizing you were smiling the entire time you were talking to someone, right after you hang up the phone.

Picking and eating fresh fruit right off the tree.

Time with the love of my life.  Last May, my husband of 27 years was diagnosed with cancer and given 3 to 6 months to live.  We prayed, cried, loved, and laughed.  Now, 11 months later, we are still savoring every smile, kiss, and breath.  We know these moments will end sooner rather than later, but we are so grateful for the time we do have together.

The tears of joy that flow when you see your beloved for the first time after a 10 month deployment to Iraq.  All the months of struggle and loneliness are washed away the second he gets off that plane.

The first sight of daffodils poking through the snow after a long, hard winter.

To start you off, I also wanted to share my list. The next time I utter “I am ugly” or feel something to that effect, I’ll return to the below words, my own simple pleasures.

My List

  • Seeing my dad and grandma in my dreams, where I can talk and interact with them
  • Riding my bike
  • Laughing
  • Listening to a moving piece of music
  • When my boyfriend holds me and I feel safe and at peace
  • Eating a food that brings me back to a happy memory
  • Writing a sentence that sings and fully captures precisely how I feel
  • Reading a sentence that sings
  • Watching a baby do anything
  • A warm breeze against my face

What simple yet priceless pleasures would make your list? What little yet big moments do you treasure?

Write them down. I promise that once you get started, you won’t be able to stop. Personally, I could keep going but you might stop reading. 🙂 Try writing your own list of 44 even. Or just add to the list from time to time, right after you’ve experienced a wonderful moment, big or small.

Put these tidbits up on your inspiration board. Write them down on a small note card and keep it in your purse. Devote a page to them in your journal.

That way, today or any day when you feel like there’s something not right about your outfit, your appearance or your body, and you simply can’t get out of the body image blues, turn to your own words.

Let your words remind you that there are too many beautiful moments in life to miss because you don’t think you’re good enough to leave your front steps.

Life is too beautiful to miss cooped up on the couch with your inner critic.

Enjoy the simple pleasures. I promise you that you’ll never regret that you did.

The Cure for Bad Body Image Days


Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com. She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.


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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2014). The Cure for Bad Body Image Days. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2010/08/the-cure-for-bad-body-image-days/

 

Last updated: 12 Feb 2014
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