Help! I hate my body!
Do you often think, “I hate my body!” ?
In a culture where body loathing is normalised, it’s not uncommon to have thoughts like these.
BUT even though body dislike has (sadly) become part of everyday life, you don’t have to live this way.
You can choose another way.
So in this post, I’m taking you through four steps to help you move beyond body hate.
Watch or read below:
You’re not alone
Rest assured, you’re not alone if you think, “I hate my body.”
I get emails and messages from women telling me, “I hate my body and I don’t know what to do about it.”
Not only do these women feel shame about their body, they’re also ashamed that they dislike their body! It’s a double whammy of shame!
Is body love the answer?
So if you dislike your body, what can you do to begin to unstick yourself from this?
Kicking the feeling of, “I hate my body”, isn’t something you do overnight, but it is possible to begin to make a few small shifts towards more neutral feelings about your body.
Remember, you don’t have to go from body hate to body love, and putting that kind of expectation on yourself piles on more pressure and can lead to even more shame.
It’s okay to feel just ‘okay’ about your body or not even give it much thought at all.
Moving beyond body hate
If you’re struggling with body loathing, here’s four steps you can take to move away from feelings of body dislike:
Firstly, know that you aren’t alone in the way you feel
Think of all the emails and messages that I receive from women who tell me that they dislike or loathe their bodies.
I’m not saying you should revel in other women’s body misery, BUT, I am saying that it is (sadly) a shared human experience.
You aren’t weird or abnormal for feeling this way, and you certainly aren’t alone. This realisation can sometimes bring a huge sense of relief.
Secondly, accept that you are experiencing body shame or hate
When you try to stuff down or push away feelings, it can make them become bigger and louder because you are denying them.
When you experience strong feelings of shame around your body, try saying out loud, “I am having the feeling that I am ashamed of my body.”
Notice this phrase isn’t “I’m ashamed of my body.” You’re simply acknowledging the feeling like an observation, which helps to detach you from the intensity of the emotion.
Thirdly, acknowledge the role society and media have on the way you feel
If you feel hate or shame for your body, take a moment to acknowledge that you weren’t born hating your body. It’s something that you have been conditioned to do.
This conditioning comes from society as a whole, and particularly advertising media promoting products and services that profit from you disliking your body.
Body dislike doesn’t have its origins in YOU – external messages have been INTERNALISED by you.
Finally, explore and understand the feeling of hate or shame
What does body hate or shame really mean to you?
Hate tends to be an ‘umbrella’ term for things about your body that aren’t as you’d like them to be. What is it about your body that makes you hate it? And do you really hate ALL of it?
To say that you ‘hate’ your body implies that there is NOTHING to appreciate about it, which isn’t true. That’s a very all or nothing view.
Try balancing out the feelings of shame or hate with appreciation. There are things about your body to appreciate, so what are they?
How does it feel to balance out the things you dislike with the things you appreciate? Do you still think that you hate ALL of your body?
I really hope these four steps will help you move away from feelings of body dislike to more neutral feelings, so please give them a try.
I’d love to know how you get on with these steps. Please leave me a comment below.