Let’s talk about body image and self-confidence. I know that it can be so hard to FEEL confident and strong and sexy and beautiful. Struggling with your relationship with food and your relationship with your body go hand-in-hand a lot of the time. And I also know that this can be even harder around the holidays or times in your life when you are out of your routine and out of your normal day-to-day experiences.
For example, when I was struggling with my eating disorder, I felt fat and fluffy and unattractive a lot. Part of that came from my relationship with my body and not feeling confident and part of it came from my relationship with food and not feeling comfortable with how food made me feel physically.
I know that these feelings can feel more intense when we are out of our routines and maybe eating foods that we wouldn’t normally.
It can also feel more intense when we are in different social situations that we don’t feel comfortable in or maybe there’s a lot of food involved.
If you’re struggling with this, first of all, I want you to know that you are not alone. A lot of us struggle with these same things, and it is OKAY to feel the way that you feel. I want you to have a lot of grace and compassion with yourself. If it were your best friend who was feeling this way, what would you say to them? Practice saying those same things to yourself. Your feelings are valid and real. It is not helpful to shame yourself for them or try to stuff them down – that just makes it worse in the long run. So, have compassion and empathy towards yourself and how you are feeling. It is OKAY. If it is helpful, view your feelings as a friend/something outside of you.
It is sometimes easier to have that compassion and grace towards anxiety, feeling fat, or whatever else it is, when you view it as a friend or another part of you.
Talk to the anxiety or the feelings and let them know that you see them and that you appreciate them trying to take care of you, but that you are okay. This may feel really strange or weird at first, but it is helpful.
If you are feeling really uncomfortable in your body physically, due to food or anxiety, I want you to practice small things that help you feel more comfortable and at peace. If you are experiencing a lot of gas pressure or stomach discomfort due to food, don’t be afraid to take some anti-acid medications. If you are feeling really full and uncomfortable after eating, practice doing something fun and distracting after you eat in order to take your brain off of your body. It’s SO important to listen to our bodies, but sometimes in the healing process we need those distractions.
If you are feeling really anxious, try calming techniques like breathing exercises, a weighted blanket, or meditating.
As always, remember that food and health and your body want to be your friends. But they are also VERY patient and compassionate towards you – so don’t feel guilty if you’re not there yet. Take care of yourselves in the small ways, and reach out if you need help.
A podcaster, wife, health/wellness coach, beach lover, and musician. She specialises in nutrition education, meal planning, and developing sustainable habits. She passionately works with her patients to help them build healthier and happier relationships with food, exercise, and themselves.
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