My entire life I have been insecure about my body.
How I overcame emotional eating & body dysmorphia has been a long journey for me. I was bullied through most of my schooling and even into my adult life. At the young age of 14 I suffered from anorexia which later led into a compulsive eating disorder in my 20’s and severe anxiety in my 30’s. I shied away from cameras purely because I always felt inadequate and not good enough for my picture to be taken.
I have hated my body so much so that even I would bully it! Over exercising, starving, force feeding, over exercises, starving, force feeding, a vicious cycle that continued for years. Sound familiar?
At the time I thought I was the only one who was going through this. It was a complete and utter disconnect and dislike for my body. I would constantly wish I was someone else’s body. I would look at other women and yearn to have what they had. Whether it was their body, their hair, their skin or their confidence, I wanted their freedom.
It might sound a little extreme but if you have gone through it, or you are currently IN IT, it can be one of the darkest times of your life. It can lead to depression, anxiety and even thoughts of suicide. It’s hard to describe to anyone what it feels like when you are so uncomfortable and detached from your body, you don’t recognize the person looking back at you in the mirror.
As started to study and work with women, I began to see patterns forming.
I recognize similar behaviour and traits and I quickly realized that this was something MANY women struggle with this daily. The degrees of intensity varied of course. Some women have severe depression from it while others suffer from mild OCD. Either or it is a serious and debilitating disorder that can ruin ones happiness and life.
Your relationship suffers, your health suffers, your job suffers and your soul suffers. It is a daily struggle with your body and the person you are and it can become exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally.
Before this gets too negative, I am going to tell you this straight away. YOU CAN OVER COME THIS!!! You can develop such complete love and care for your body and yourself that you wouldn’t want to be anyone or anything else! Waking up and smiling with complete joy and love when you look at yourself in the mirror is possible!
Emotional eating & body dis-morphia is a disorder that has been created from our modern world and modern living.
Women are constantly bombarded with distorted images of what their bodies should look like. They are continually been given mixed messages of how they should feel about their bodies and constantly pressurized to achieve perfection at ALL levels of their lives.
We are told to love our bodies as they are, but we are shown underweight women in 90% of our media as being “normal”. Then on the other extreme, there are campaigns that celebrate “big is beautiful”. There are excessively overweight women sharing the message that it’s ok to let yourself go, eat whatever you like and embrace your curves. The reality is, neither of these “ideals” are healthy OR NORMAL!!! I could never relate to these extremes, I still can’t. Beautiful comes in ALL shapes and sizes, but physical AND mental health is a priority over and above ANY dress size!!!
I have gone to psychologist, psychiatrist and counselors. Even though they all do amazing work and have their place in the realm of health, none of them “got it”, because none of them have been through it! Many times it was undermined and down played. It was often labelled as “self-obsessed” or “self-absorbed” when in actual fact it was something that was destroying my life.
It’s not about a narcissistic ego trip, it’s about loving your body completely and being able to live life to the fullest in the beautiful body you have been given.
It took me 18 years to figure it out….The good news is that you can start today!
For years I tried different “diets” and fitness trends, all in hopes to change my body in order so that I can start to love myself more. Little did I know the change had to start within. It was a mind shift that brought about such massive transformation, I couldn’t even imagine it was possible to feel this way about myself until I did!
You might be wondering, “If I have tried everything under the sun, then what is missing?” Here is how I overcame emotional eating & body dysmorphia…
- Nourishment and not punishment
- Nurturing and not neglecting
- Accepting and not rejecting
Oh what a game changer those 3 phrases have been! Now if you are unsure where to start….start with these 3 steps below.
- Best thing you can do is start a GRATUITY JOURNAL where you must record DAILY at least 3 things you are grateful for in your body and life. Mine started out as simple as having eye site, being able to hear and having clean fresh air to breath. As time moved on, I realized it was those simple things that were making the biggest and most positive impact in my life!
- Accept that you are in control of all your thoughts and emotions. YES, external elements (like people or places) can have a negative effect on our mental space but is OUR choice how we react to it and how we allow it to effect us.
If someone makes you angry, it’s ok to get angry HOWEVER don’t let it dictate how the rest of your day is going to go. Allow yourself to feel the emotion and then t]let it go and move on.
- Embrace the amazing phenomenon that there is NO ONE like you and there will never be anyone else like you! You are so special and unique it is almost impossible to describe this special reality. Now see this uniqueness as your doorway to define your own unique beauty. You don’t need permission, acceptance or validation from anyone to know that you are incredible beautiful, from deep in your soul to the very outer layer of your skin!
It’s definitely not a “quick fix” or a “one off” solution! These things take time…..and just like a seed that grows into a beautiful flower, it takes time, patience and nuturing. Do that for yourself!
Today, I don’t starve or over train myself as “punishment” anymore.
There is no more binging or seeking comfort with unhealthy food.
I don’t have negative or destructive thought patterns anymore.
There is an ability to enjoy balance and moderation without feeling guilty or going to extremes.
I am able to identify triggers, overcome challenges and get through obstacles without feeling panic or despair.
I now eat with enjoyment, consciousness and love.
I choose to exercise for health, happiness & pleasure.
My body has become my best friend & I can now see her beauty and celebrate it un-apologetically.
Self-love can be realized! Self acceptance can be accomplished! And BODY CONFIDENCE can be achieved for the rest of your life!
How I overcame emotional eating & body dysmorphia