How I Overcame Distorted Body Image
Today, I want to share with you a story of one of my many ups and downs in health and fitness. Here I was healthy and doing so many things, and yet, an obstacle started to form early in my formative years and continued into my adult years. Fortunately, my choice led to my determined attitude in so much of what I do. Let me tell you my body image story! You might find that you are in the middle of it. Please let me know so we can hug each other (electronically), or feel free to contact me to chat.
Read about my BLOAT problem overcome here.
Here goes! Let’s start with body image. My body image was already ingrained in me by my caring mother when I was in high school or possibly younger, as she told me that my thighs were large. I’ll never forget this! I’m sure she was honest about it, whether it was taken as good or bad, that was up to me.
So, there are 2 ways to go with this and with any problem. I can choose to become sad and go towards comfort foods and get larger or I could choose to get smaller with greater determination. I chose to exercise and get rid of them. However, can you imagine the extreme path I could have taken?! This well meaning comment could have lead me to eating and exercising disorders. Honestly, I entertained this but thought that it was so wrong. When it comes to body image, many women have thoughts that they want to get slimmer, that their body isn’t good enough and so on. I’ve often told women about their comments to their daughters and how it can become so powerful, leading them to emotional problems, because that’s what eating and exercise disorders are. They are all emotional problems! With the symptoms showing up as binging and purging (bulimia) and starving (anorexia), and also exercising to burn as many calories as you take in (exercise anorexia). I’d say I might have leaned towards exercise anorexia, but fortunately, none of the disorders became part of me.
Over time, they have definitely slimmed down and look athletic, so I’m told! I’m grateful that I didn’t go through route of disordered eating or exercising, but I’d say I easily could have! Even into adulthood, I’ve had thoughts that my body isn’t good enough. It took a photo of me with my running friends, who I consider very slim, for me to also know that I’m part of the slim runners! Finally, I know this but it took decades to understand that I’m fine! And it’s still a work in progress.
I urge anyone reading this to consider what you say and the impact on girls and women. We lovingly want to help people get healthy and trim but not give them a possibly body image issue that can easily stay with them well into adulthood. The best thing you can do is show young women and girls the fun of exercise and the delicious healthy foods. That’s my mission now! Not to lose weight, although that’s important, but to focus on health and fun in the process.
I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to comment so we can hug electronically and so I could possibly help you out! Or contact me.