Improving Body Image – Part 2

Now that I survived the first official heatwave of the summer of 2013, I finally feel like moving my body again. When it’s so hot and humid, I struggle to find the motivation to exercise, take walks, or do any of the other things I normally do with my body. Generally, after a few days or weeks of less than normal physical activity (due to heat, fatigue, illness, vacation, etc.), I find my inner critic chiming in with unhelpful thoughts like, “You’ve ruined your figure! You’re so fat. You’re lazy. You are beyond help. You’ll never be skinny.”

Today is no exception. From the moment I woke up, my inner critic has been attacking me with such thoughts and it’s been a struggle to counter them. So, I figured I would do what I normally do when I’m struggling with negative body image — write!

In another post called “Improving Body Image“, I mentioned some helpful ways to improve body image and it seems that I now need to go back and take some of my own advice.

One thing that helps me enormously is to do whatever I can to reinforce the reality that body shape and weight have no relation to self-worth. When my inner critic says, “You’re so fat. You’ll never be skinny”, I can say, “So what? What does having layers of fat on my body have to do with who I am as a person? Fat does not equal lazy!” That last part is important.  I didn’t realize until recently that my inner critic strongly believes the media hype that fat equals lazy, unmotivated, untalented, unsuccessful, etc.

If you want to read more about the push to dissociate fat from laziness, check out the posts from the Health at Every Size (HAES) blog. I really admire their advocacy for people of all sizes and their focus on health, not shape or weight.

It’s amazing how much better I feel already. Writing always helps, as does reaching out to those who care. Thanks, as always, for reading! I welcome your comments and feedback, either on this blog or at my email address: megansbook2006[at]yahoo.com.

Peace, joy, and health,

Megan

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