This question gets asked all.the.time. Especially by the plus size community.
I am sure other sized ladies are out there not liking themselves as well, but the plus size ladies seem to voice this one more often, at least in my space of eating psychology and intuitive eating.
Of course I do not know the circumstances that got you (personally) to the place where you do not like yourself very much or at all.
But I have certainly been there.
My clients have been there.
And there's a couple of things you can do right away to help you get out of this rut.
Because let's face the music, this is quite an awful place to be.
Before we venture there I want to address the use of the word FAT. Some may take offense to it's blatant use as I have, and not being a fat person some may think I have not the right to use it, however for me, and because of the strategies I am about to share with you, it is not a word of negative connotations. It's just a word that describes larger bodies. Same way thin describes other body types. And I do not personally believe that fat or thin are in a contest for beauty or better in anyway. Because of strategy number 2 I have taught myself out of societies stigmas and see all bodies for what they are, beautiful, interesting space suits. #innerbeauty
Imagine, looking in the mirror and feeling yuk about what you see. It happens to the best of us, I still look in the mirror sometimes and not recognize myself occasionally, the aging process turns you into your mother and that is a shock no matter how good your genes are.
But if you look in the mirror and don't like anything that you see, you feel your body is too large and perhaps you're even struggling to do fun things you want to do, with such a large body, then that can be a hard place to get out of.
Here's some examples...
"Is there anyone here who likes themselves? I read so much self loathing and internalised fat shaming, I find it all very discouraging."
I'm not going to go deep into the psychology behind these comments or explain how you go about the process of finding root causes because that is a coaching program or book.
What I can do is offer two strategies that will help you deal with self dislike NOW.
Strategy Number One: Practice Self Care
This is not some fad.
It is a very real coping strategy for life.
When I was going through a tough time, my health coach continually encouraged self care practices.
So I took baths, practiced more yoga and mindfulness, long walks in nature, read books, spent time on the phone with close understanding friends, took my time and generally became gentle with myself.
That challenging time past, but lo and behold another came and when it did, not once did I binge eat to cope. What I did was lean into my already habituated self care routine. It saved me.
So you need to spend some effort considering what self care will look like for you because it's different for us all.
Consider what you have been putting off, like joining a salsa class, painting, spending more time with your kids, anything that you know brings you happiness and glimmers of joy but that you put aside because you're busy or distracted.
Start to prioritise you.
Once you do that, healthy habits start to form.
Don't go all out, start off small.
Add one self care practice to your routine at a time.
For me it was returning to my Sunday beauty care routine.
I'd put the family ahead of my need for a long bath soak and face mask but it didn't make me a better person. And, it sent a message to me and everyone else that my needs were not important.
Mindful self care is self prioritisation.
It builds habits that start to tell your subconscious that you matter, regardless of how you look.
That is what we are aiming at. And it builds over time, where one day you wake up and you're having a hard day but rather than eat several blocks of chocolate you know you need that massage.
You will start to radiate a quiet confident ease.
Because life has become a little more about making sure you're looked after.
And you're not relying on anyone else to get you that feeling.
That is powerful self like.
Don't you agree? Let me know in the comments.
Strategy Number Two: Curate Your Social Media Feed With Role Models
We're living in 2020, there are a tonne of plus size ladies out there who love their bodies and don't see a problem with being larger than size 8. And flaunting it!
Find them and follow them.
They are not trying to lose weight, they are not on a diet.
They are out there living their lives as models, dancers, actors, business owners, singers.
And they base their success largely on how they look! Large!
They have the same day to day issues that you and I have but they're have found a way to embrace themselves and continue living on their own terms. These are the women you need to have popping up regularly on your social media feed.
Read their captions.
Comment and engage with their audience.
Share your own stories.
And soon you will find that women who look like you are happy and you can find a way to be happy through exposure to their mindset and lifestyle.
If you're not in a larger body, just find women who look like you but are living a life of more contentment that you. They have found a way to accept themselves.
Be careful though that you do not follow women who look like you but are pessimistic or depressed. Or engage too much in the comments when people are being depressed and lost. Having that in common with someone can seem comforting at first, "oh she is just as f*ed up as me" but soon it will grind you down.
Instead make sure you follow women that represent where you want to be.
Confident, content with yourself, loving the skin you're in, healthy habits and mindset.
***Let me know in the comments who you're following for role model inspiration.***
And p.s. I intentionally enhanced my feed a few years ago with women of all shapes, colours and sizes to broaden my appreciation for body types and the women that live in them, what they think, feel and do.... and it helped me immensely in eliminating any uneducated remaining stigma I might have had remaining.
If you implement these two strategies within a couple of weeks to a month you will be feeling better. Within a few months you will be a different person.
I can almost guarantee that.
Because I bet if you are hating on yourself you are certainly not looking after yourself (the thoughts say it all) and you are exposing yourself to unhealthy representations of women.
We come in all shapes, colours, and sizes and we are the ones that need to start celebrating ourselves.
Do not wait for society to validate you, it won't.
Validate yourself with these two strategies and change self dislike into self respect BIG TIME.
Hope you found this useful, let me know with a wink or comment below.
If you want to find out if you're sane around food and body, take the quiz.
If you're ready to have someone in your court helping you put these and more strategies into place to heal food and body issues, grab your FREE FOOD & BODY ASSESSMENT.
Eating Psychology Coach & Yogi
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