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 Post subject: Skills to cope with body image struggles
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:50 pm 
orange is a state of mind

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10 Ways to love your body:
Image

I'd like to challenge everyone to tackle these 10 steps today and every day. If all 10 are overwhelming for you, try taking on one or two at a time. For example:

10 things I like about myself that have nothing to do with my appearance:
1. My ability to dance gracefully and create art with my body.
2. I am a loyal and faithful friend/wife.
3. I am compassionate.
4. I am an animal lover and my animals love me!
5. I am intelligent!
6. I am a DAMN GOOD cook!
7. I am funny!! I make my friends and family laugh often.
8. I can run 3 miles without stopping! Wow!!
9. I can sing and have starred in musicals before!
10. My fiery and fierce personality! I will fight for what is right no matter the cost.

Your turn! what can you do off the list today!?


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 Post subject: Re: 10 Ways
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:39 pm 
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I've been doing number 4 on the first list for a while now and I've found it to be really helpful. It's been a good exercise to acknowledge the things my body does for me that allow me to live the life I want to live.

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 Post subject: Skills to cope with body image struggles
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:42 am 
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Something most of us struggle with, regardless of our actual weight, shape or health. Some ideas here on how you can combat those thoughts:

Quote:
'I Feel Fat': How to Feel Instantly Better in Your Body
By Greta Gleissner, LMSW
12/04/2012

I cannot tell you how many times throughout my life -- especially during the 17 years I struggled with bulimia -- I said the phrase, "I feel fat." I could be having a perfectly pleasant day, only to suddenly find myself drowning in negative body image. Sometimes the trigger was situational, like putting on a pair of jeans that just came out of the dryer, feeling overly full after a meal or catching a glimpse of myself in a storefront window while shopping. At other times, a more insidious, pervasive type of body dissatisfaction prevailed in that nothing triggered the feeling. It was as if the feeling seeped into my skin and, in an instant, I felt like X body part had tripled in size even though, rationally, I knew that wasn't possible. "I feel fat"; three words that were seemingly benign when standing solo, for years had the potential to ruin my day (and my sanity) when aligned to form a complete sentence.

In Western culture, where success is defined by one's ability to fit into society's prescribed and unrealistic ideal of perfection, it isn't surprising that a large percentage of women have body image issues. The overvaluation of extreme thinness and devaluation of internal beauty saturates every media outlet. So, wherever you go, whatever television show you watch and no matter what billboard or magazine you read, the message is clear: You can never be thin enough. Because of this ideology, you certainly do not have to have an eating disorder to have body image issues. With so much societal pressure, there were many times when I felt hopeless that I would ever feel good in my body. I would be misrepresenting myself if I said that I never experience body image issues. However, I'm here to tell you that there is hope! Below are some tools that helped me along the way in my body image recovery. Tools that can help you feel better about your body in an instant!

1.) Acknowledge and Identify: When I notice that "I feel fat" feeling, the first thing I do is recognize that I am having the feeling. The second thing I realize is that fat is NOT a feeling. The phrase is actually a thought. Furthermore, "feeling" fat is often easier than feeling angry, hurt, lonely, etc. That leads me to wonder in what way my emotions may be making me feel emotionally full or fat. I try to first identify what is going on for me emotionally.

2.) Choose: I remind myself that when my negative voice tries to disrupt my happiness with intrusive body image thoughts, I have a choice in how I respond to those thoughts. I can choose to listen to the thoughts and fuel self-hatred, or I can choose to change the thoughts and reinforce self-love.

3.) Make a Decision: After I recognize I have a choice not to feel badly about my body, I decide to do something different. Sometimes a decision is all it takes. No one is forcing you to hate your body, so make the decision not to.

4.) Shift the Focus: After I choose NOT to listen to negative body image thoughts and make a decision not to dwell on it, my next move is to shift my focus onto something else. Think about it: The more you focus on something like fear or a body part, the larger it becomes.

5.) Support: When body image issues arise, the last thing you probably want to do is be around others. I have found that surrounding myself with positive people in my life actually help because it gets me out of myself. Feeling connected with others can actually help squash some of the perfectionism and criticism tied to body dissatisfaction.

6.) Appreciate: Instead of focusing on how your body looks from the outside, think of all of the wonderful attributes and strengths your body has from the inside. Make a gratitude list of all the things you appreciate about your body.

7.) Redefine: Create a new definition of beauty. If your body dissatisfaction is driven by the feeling of an inability to measure up to rigid societal standards, then think about how you can offer yourself more flexibility around your personal definition of beauty.

8.) Stop Comparing: The more we compare, the more we feel despair. When we compare, especially when experiencing body dissatisfaction, we are going to see all the positives in someone else and negatives in ourselves. Comparisons are not usually helpful, even if we are in the best of mental states.

9.) Have Compassion: In moments when body image issues come up, I am usually feeling critical in some way about myself. If I dig deep, most of the time I realize it is not about my body. My body is just the go-to negative coping mechanism I utilize in the moment. What I need most when I am feeling and focusing negatively about my body or myself is to treat myself with kindness. Beating myself up will not help me, but doing something nice for myself that pertains to self-care will. If you must focus on a body part, do it with compassion and get a manicure and pedicure!

10.) Gain Acceptance: Finally, accept your body in this moment. Imagine how different your life can be in this very moment if you stop trying to berate, change or control your body and instead allow yourself to accept your body for what it is. When we accept, we let go of the struggle.

If you notice, each of the ten tools begins with an action word. Taking action is the "how" of change. We all have the ability, when we are ready, to take action. Don't put it off any longer. Get into action and you can feel better about your body in an instant!

Huff Post

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Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: 'I Feel Fat': How to Feel Instantly Better in Your Body
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Omg I'm starring this page for these testing days i am having at the moment. Thanks again for this xxx

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 Post subject: Re: 'I Feel Fat': How to Feel Instantly Better in Your Body
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:33 am 
orange is a state of mind
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This is so good!!! Love it!

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"Embrace not just any reason to recover, but every reason. Over time, you will...embrace one of the best reasons to recover - you are worth it."


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 Post subject: 8 Ways To Cope When You’re Stressed About Your Body
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:59 pm 
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The timing of this coming across my newsfeed is particularly apropos for me, and I hope some of it resonates with other members who are struggling as well. Be careful on the "movement" one, and note that it is called "movement", not exercise. Depending on your current health, movement might be gentle stretching, and not a long run, so don't let your ED define the terms for how to cope:

Quote:
8 Ways To Cope When You’re Stressed About Your Body
By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

We’ve all had those days when one look in the mirror spikes our stress levels. (I still do.) For many of us, that’s when the inner critic starts ranting and raving. Before we know it we’re bashing our bodies and berating our qualities as a whole.

But it doesn’t have to escalate to an all-out brawl between you and your body. Here are several ways to cope without fueling those negative thoughts and sinking your self-esteem. Some of these can be done in the moment; others can be done later in the day.

1. Take long, deep breaths.

Stress and shallow breathing go hand-in-hand. The more stressed out we are, the more shallow and short our breaths (and vice versa). Taking several long, deep breaths helps to calm your body. It’s a signal to your system that there’s no need to panic.

2. Ask yourself, “What’s the kindest thing I can do for myself right now?”

I know your inner critic’s inclination is to unleash a firestorm of negativity. But, while difficult, kindness is the best approach. And it can come in many forms. The kindest thing might be to simply say, “I’m upset right now, and that’s OK.” It might be to make yourself a cup of tea. Or to curl up under the covers. Or to put your hands on your chest and keep repeating, “kindness.”

3. Move your body.

My body image can take a negative turn whenever I’m anxious. For me, the best antidote to my anxiety is movement. It’s like movement helps to shake the anxiety out of my system, letting the negative energy out (and away from me). What are your favorite ways to move? What physical activities help you feel alive and energized or comforted and calm?

4. Create.

This is another way to shift the stress out of your body. This gets you moving. It provides a healthy distraction. And it reminds you that you’re more than a body. You’re a whole human being who creates things. Like meals, music, doodles, drawings and new dance moves.

5. Focus on the little miracles.

According to Jeffrey Brantley, MD, and Wendy Millstine, NC, in their book True Belonging: Mindful Practices to Help You Overcome Loneliness, Connect with Others & Cultivate Happiness, a great way to reconnect with your body is to notice the little miracles it performs every day. They write:

Quote:
The next time you’re in motion, focus on your breath. Each breath is an opportunity to reconnect with the ever-present moment of now. Each breath is powering your body’s ability to follow through on your next desired movement.

Imagine each breath giving life to the body you use every day for so many tasks and demands.

Now, be mindful of your body in motion, however subtle — the bend of your wrist, the feel of your foot making contact with the ground — and acknowledge it. For example, the next time you lift your arm to reach for something, acknowledge what your body does for you by thanking your body: Thank you, arm. Thank you, wrist. Thank you, hand.

In this step, follow another movement of your body, however subtle or small. For example, pay close attention to the next blink of your eye. Imagine the number of muscles and nerves are coordinating within your body to execute this important activity — the movement of the lid, the sweeping motion of the lashes, the moistening of the cornea, and so on. Take this moment to acknowledge your body: Thank you, brain. Thank you, eye. Thank you, vision.

Take this small moment to celebrate your body that has served you so faithfully and enduringly. Think about how it has been a dedicated ally and aid to you all of your life: Thank you, body! Thank you for your endless service. There is only you and your body here now, in this moment. Ah, this magnificent body!


6. Ask yourself, “What do I need?”

If you’re used to bashing your body, when you’re stressed out, that might be the tape you play. Instead of setting the record to repeat, stop the cycle. Ask yourself what you really need. Maybe you’re sleep-deprived, and you need some rest. (Not getting enough sleep can definitely make you easily irritated and frustrated.) Maybe this has zero to do with your body and more to do with an argument you had with a friend. Maybe you’d like to call that friend or feel the sadness about your disagreement.

7. Start and end your day with guided meditation.

Guided mediation helps to relax your brain and body. This week Rachel shared two beautiful meditations, one for the morning, the second for night. You can find many soothing guided meditations online. Here are other meditations to try.

8. Evaluate your environment.

Is there something in your space that’s making you stressed out? Maybe it’s clothes that are too small or ill-fitting. Pack them away, give them to a loved one or donate them. (I just gave a bunch of clothes to my boyfriend’s sister. They fit me, but I just didn’t feel great in them anymore. She ended up loving everything.)

Maybe it’s the scale. Toss it. If you’re not ready yet, try weighing yourself less.

In her book Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance, Rosie Molinary has a great challenge about weighing ourselves regularly. She writes:

Quote:
Step away from the scale. Do not give a little number on a little box on the middle of a floor somewhere in your house the power to dictate how you feel about yourself. Let your outlook be your guide. Choose an amount of time that seems challenging, and for that period, stop weighing yourself and focus instead on how your body feels.


When you’re feeling bad about your body, it can also feel like there’s no other option. You might feel stuck in the muck of negative thoughts and feelings. And there’s no getting out.

But you can de-escalate the firestorm, and feel better. I hope the above tips give you a good start.

What helps you cope when you’re stressed about your body?

PsychCentral

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Whispered words of wisdom,
Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: 8 Ways To Cope When You’re Stressed About Your Body
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:30 pm 
feeling out the orange

Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:43 pm
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great post! Good things to remember.


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 Post subject: Re: 'I Feel Fat': How to Feel Instantly Better in Your Body
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:49 pm 
feeling out the orange

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Thank you for this, it was really helpful today.


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 Post subject: What Bad Body Image Days Can Teach Us
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:03 pm 
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Really good set of skills to help you turn a bad body image day into a learning opportunity.

Quote:
What Bad Body Image Days Can Teach Us
By Margarita Tartakovsky
December, 2013

This week I mentioned that those bad body image days — the days we hate our bodies, the days we forget to listen to ourselves, the days we’re this close to starting another diet — have something to teach us.

The key is to listen and be curious. Raise questions. Explore the hidden parts. Explore the puzzle.

Those down days may teach us how to be kind to ourselves even when we feel incredibly uncomfortable in our own skin. They may teach us what depletes or distresses us. They may teach us what doesn’t work, paving the way for the things that do.


Here are some questions that may help you learn from a bad body image day. You might want to explore these in the moment or the next day.

  • What’s different about today than on other days when I feel good about my body?
  • When did I start feeling this way? (Maybe it was after stepping on the scale, reading a page from a women’s magazine or getting into a fight with a friend.)
  • How can I navigate this situation so it’s not so triggering? (Can you toss the scale, cancel your subscription and communicate better with your friend?)
  • What emotions am I experiencing?
  • Am I projecting those overwhelming or negative emotions onto my body?
  • If I were to have a dialogue with my body, what would it say? What is my body trying to tell me?
  • What do I need today? Have I responded to those needs?
  • What’s the kindest way I can respond to how I’m feeling?
  • What is really stressing me out?
  • Am I exhausted?
  • If I am, how can I structure my days so I’m less depleted?
  • What is really beneath my desire to restrict my eating?
  • What do I think it’ll solve?
  • Is there a healthier, more nourishing alternative?
  • Why does this person always seem to trigger me? (Is it their negative demeanor or their many demands or their incessant body bashing or diet talk?)
  • How can I avoid this person or set a boundary with them or change my own reactions so I’m not as triggered?

Again, if you’re not ready to explore these questions in the moment, simply acknowledge that you’re having a bad day. Pause, take a few deep breaths and feel those feelings. Or acknowledge their presence and refocus on something else.

The bad days are rife with learning. They’re rich with information and insights we can use to take better care of ourselves. Keep asking questions. Keep exploring. Keep asking, why, how come and what does this really mean?

What have you learned from the bad days?

PsychCentral


So, what have you learned? By asking these questions, does it seem like some of the things you do are the ED's way of intentionally triggering you, and if so, what would be a better action to take than something like, say, stepping on the scales or hanging out with someone with an ED whom you often feel big around?

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Let it be.

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 Post subject: Re: Skills to cope with body image struggles
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:44 am 
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Quote:
20 Things to Do Besides Berate Your Body And Yourself
By Margarita Tartakovsky
PsychCentral

I used to spend many minutes criticizing my body — specifically bashing my belly and my hips — and other traits like my indecisiveness and incessant worrying.

In fact, I’m sure that over the years, it adds up to hundreds of hours spent hurling insults at myself.

Many of us do this. We think we’re too big or too small, our skin is too dimpled or too pale. We dislike certain personality traits or amplify our supposed flaws, thinking they’re permanent, unshakable.


It’s easy to do. Over time this bashing becomes a habit. It becomes a cycle we fall into. One mean thought leads to another, which leads to another.

But it’s a habit we can change. We can change this habit by replacing it with other habits and activities.

Here are 20 ideas.

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Let it be.

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