Health

Change Your Body Image

Walking through life with a dislike for your body is like having a big black cloud hovering over your head. Everything feels grey and oppressive and you feel trapped inside a body that you, at best, tolerate.

When you’re at war with your appearance and you constantly engage in wishful thinking, you put a limit to what you will achieve in your life. When you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, you cannot live up to your true potential and you seriously hurt your relationships and your career.

Life with a bad body image is not only anything but fun but it is also a certain way into mediocrity.

Don’t believe me? I know exactly what I am talking about. I cannot remember a time after the age of 7 during which I did not despise the way I looked. I felt like my body was that weird thing that was attached to my head and its sole reason for existence was to make me unhappy.

At the ago of 10, I developed anorexia nervosa and struggled with this illness for fourteen long and miserable years. From the day I was born, my brother had physically and mentally tormented me and I was convinced it was because of the way I looked.

So, I turned against my body and engaged in very destructive behaviors. I thought that I would be happy once I reached a perfect weight. However, the opposite was the case.

The less I weighed the more I hated myself.

During those years, I did not accomplish a lot in life. As a child, I had huge plans. I wanted to have a thriving career and express myself creatively. I had always been a great student and I was even able to skip a grade. I knew that I was going to make a difference in this world.

But as my body started to become a prison, the gates closed and my power and creative force were put behind bars. I simply was not able to flourish as a person and therefor could not develop the emotional and physical strength I needed to live my dreams.

When I committed to recovery about a year ago, I faced a lot of challenges regarding my body image. I was terrified of the prospect of having to gain weight and I had no idea how I would come to terms with a new appearance.

My body image went from bad to worse to good to amazing.

Today, I am deeply and passionately in love with my body. I love it despite the fact that it does not look at all like the shapes you see in fashion magazines. I love my curves and I celebrate them no matter what the beauty industry says.

How did I come to this point?  It was quite simple, to be frank.

All I needed to do was drastically transform my thoughts.

Yeah, so, I lied. It is not that easy as at all. But it is the only way of eternal self-love.

If you are an avid reader of this blog, you are hopefully   already convinced of the importance of the right mindset.

Redefining old and limiting thought patterns will help you thrive in your life and in your career. When you believe in yourself, others will too. When you love yourself, others can too. When you commit to something 100%, you will achieve it.

It is all a matter of completely transforming the way you think about yourself and the body parts you secretly or quite openly hate.

So, let’s attack those negative thoughts and turn them into positive, self-affirming ones.

Whenever you stand in front of your mirror and you loathe what you see, simply start telling yourself that you adore your reflection. It doesn’t have to be true at the beginning, but bombarding your mind with positive comments is the first step to rewiring your brain.

Pick one body part a day and focus on it, not with despair and judgement, but with love and affection. Embrace the flaws you see and recognize them as your unique characteristics, parts that make you stand out.

Fake your thoughts until they become a reality. Whenever you feel doubts rising again, ignore them or try to see them as a challenge to come up with a phrase to turn the negative around.

Would you really like to be known for what size of jeans you wear or do you want to be known for the person you are?

When you waste all your time and energy by feeling bad about yourself, you stand in the way of growing as a person. I cannot even begin to count the number of hours I spent focusing on loathing certain body parts. I cannot tell you how many days I ruined for myself because I felt trapped and did not know how to get out.

I missed so many opportunities because I focused on the wrong things and I am certain that you are doing the same. What matters in this life are relationships, personal development and finding a fulfilling and meaningful job. All of this can be done, no matter your body shape.

However, it cannot be done if you reduce all your worthiness as a person to a number.

If you walk around with a sad expression, nobody will notice you, not even if you wear a size 00. However, if you walk around with confidence and a sparkle in your eyes, you will be admired, no matter the shape of your body.

Start working on getting to know your true self today and you will be able to completely transform every aspect of your life. By forming a loving relationship with yourself and your body, you will deepen all other relationships you already have.

By feeling comfortable in your skin, you will get that promotion or start that product you have always dreamed of creating. Your entire life will turn around in positive ways.

Success in life, whether material or emotional, has nothing to do with your weight, but with your attitude.

I am the best example of this. Since I decided to simply change my mindset, I have grown as a person, I have become more self-confident and I have started my own business doing what I love: writing and positively influencing people’s lives.

A few weeks ago, I even published my first product. I could not ever have done any of these things, had I still been preoccupied with my hatred for the body I was given.

The same can be true for you. Change your body image and your life will seemingly effortlessly transform itself.

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Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is a body image expert, self-love advocate and the author of Love Your Body The Way It Is. Join her newsletter and receive your free 3-part video series helping you to break free from your obsession with food and your body.