The Effect Of Social Media On Body Image

How does social media impact your life when it comes to food, body image, and confidence?

As we start the new year, I think that it’s really important to be intentional with our time on social media. Social media is a BEAUTIFUL platform for connecting with others, running a business, or keeping in touch with people who live far away, but it can also be harmful to our mental health.

For people who struggle with eating disorders, body image, or feeling like they are not enough, it can be really easy to slip into the comparison game when scrolling through social media.

People usually post all of the good things in their lives; the perfect angles to make their bodies look thin or strong; the food that they eat in a day; and the accomplishments that they are proud of. All of this is okay and good and fun, but it is easy to forget that it is the highlight reel.

How many times have you started looking at how someone else looks in pictures and started to compare your body to theirs or started to feel bad about your body? Or maybe you saw someone’s entire day of eating and started to feel guilty or ashamed at how much or how little you ate that day.

Have you ever seen someone post about all of the followers or all of the clients that they have and started to feel like you weren’t doing enough or weren’t as good or popular as them?

What about seeing someone posting pictures of their amazing, perfect relationship or partner and you started feeling like your relationship wasn’t as healthy or passionate as theirs.

There are so many pictures and videos and words on social media that portray beauty and perfection and having it all together, when the reality is, there is SO much more that goes on behind the scenes. However, it can be so hard to stop comparing your life to others when you’re scrolling through the highlight reel of their lives. If you find that social media is a struggle for you in this way, it’s okay to put up some boundaries and rules for yourself. Maybe you need to stay off of social media for a couple days each week; maybe you need to set a timer for yourself when you get on social media; or maybe you need to take a break all together.

No matter what, I want you to remember something the next time you’re scrolling through social media.

You don’t get to see the whole picture. What you see of other people’s lives and bodies and food is what THEY choose to show you. People typically show up on social media with all of the good, but they have their struggles and issues too. No one’s life is perfect. No one is always perfectly healthy, even behind what looks like a perfect body. No one has a perfect relationship. Remember that the next time you’re scrolling through all of the “perfect” pictures. You are so beautiful and worthy and ENOUGH – even when those negative, comparing thoughts creep in. Your life is yours, your body is enough, your food is your friend – focus on THAT.

Abby Horst

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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