How To LOVE Your Body – No Matter What
By Kimmi Sterner
Are you the type of person whose mood is determined based on your opinion of what you see in the mirror each day?
Do you skip parties, celebrations, or any kind of get-together, just because the thought of getting dressed and trying to make yourself look good is the most daunting thing you could ever imagine?
Even though you enjoy working out, are you afraid to go to the gym, just because you don’t want to be in front of people?
You’re not alone, my friend – like many women, I myself have struggled with body image issues for years and years.
You can debate all day about where and why those issues began, but the fact of the matter is that they’re here and they can have a huge negative impact on your life.
Why Do These Negative Thoughts Plague Your Mind?
Think about the times when your body image has had the most negative effect on your life. During a break up? After you got fired from your job? During the grieving period of the loss of a loved one?
There’s one big thing that each of these situations have in common: STRESS.
Your body image issues are your way of deflecting other stressors and focusing on a different part of you that you do not like very much or that you think you can control. People use this same coping mechanism by focusing on their career or lack of romantic relationships.
Your body image issues are a source of distraction.
Personally, I know that my body image issues are always the most prevalent during times of transition or the holidays where I get stressed out about family matters or expenses.
I came to this realization a couple of years ago and, although it did not solve the problem, I am able to recognize these thoughts and look to solving any other issues that are causing me stress. I can also start to forgive myself for having these thoughts.
There was a time where my body image issues did not rule my life. I remember days where I would literally get an adrenaline rush thinking about how fun my workout would be the next day. Now, I just worry it will be painful, because my body aches from depression.
I would jolt out of bed at 5:30am on Monday mornings, excited for what was ahead. Lately, I try to sleep as long as I can so that I don’t have to face the day and have the world see me.
I was excited to pick out my outfits for the next day and dress up. Right now, I get scared for my best friend to visit, because I can’t even get the confidence to put on nice clothes.
I am going through a depressive season, filled with all kinds of fears and worries. With those fears and worries comes a negative body image. To distract myself from what I am really fearing, I turn to the mirror and criticize every piece of my body and the decisions I made that day that might have affected it.
Change And Self-Acceptance Is Possible
I know that I can get back to the excited, energetic, fashionable person I once was because I have been through this before – and I won! I know that you can and WILL get through it too.
To get started, you must first address the issues that are really fueling your fears, because ignoring them and focusing on criticizing yourself is definitely not productive. I encourage you to look at the rest of your life and think about what’s really going on what else is shaking your confidence.
I personally have started to make some changes based on my own evaluation and with those changes has come HOPE. The destructive thoughts are occurring less and less throughout the day and I can step out of my house with a more confident stride.
If you find yourself being unkind to your body – do ONE thing TODAY that will help move you closer to solving the other concerns in your life and watch as your confidence rises and your life changes.
Have you noticed that your body image gets worse when you are stressed? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
If you think you might have a body image issue – visit the National Eating Disorder Association for more information and resources.
Kimmi Sterner is a 20-something newbie to Los Angeles and is currently working as a Fitness and Wellness Coordinator at UCLA, with years of teaching group fitness classes under her belt. A recent graduate with herMaster’s in Health Promotion from University of Mississippi, Kimmi is eager to provide knowledge, resources and inspiration to others, which fuels her fire and gives her purpose in life. She’s already making an impact on the world and through her words, she’s excited to expand her reach to help even more people here at Fitlife!
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