Thank you to everyone who submitted questions, I loved answering all 36 of them. For your connivence, I’ve separated them into five sections as sub pages under the FAQ tab: Fixing Your relationship with Food, Building Positive Body Image, Recovery Resources, Celiacs & Tummy Troubles, and Just fun stuff. Feel free to skip ahead. Take what you need and if you don’t see your question, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can add it!
If listening & seeing is more your style than reading, check out the video below for my five minute explanation about how to start building positive body image. Looking for more? Keep reading for the full length answers to your top questions.
1) What is your number one tip for girls who struggle with negative body image?
Remember that your body is always changing and can look ten different ways in one day, one hour even. So if you’re not liking what you’re seeing in the mirror at the moment – just remind yourself that it’s probably not what you’ll see tomorrow. That bloat that’s driving you crazy is just one of the ways your body looks. That glimpse you just got of your thighs is just another angle. It’s not forever.
2) What steps did you take to work on loving yourself?
If I had to break it down into simple steps and not ramble on for ages, here’s what they’d be:
3) Who would you say you admire and has helped shape your sense of self love.
On my darkest days, I used to ask myself how my grandma would feel if she heard how horrifically I was speaking to myself and about my body. And I’d cut it the f*** out simply because she is my role model and an angel on earth and I am part her and that really used to help me. Of course, I also want to thank a few social media accounts that really spread body positivity and self love on a daily basis: @nourishandeat , @iamiskra , and @bodyposipanda to name a few.
4) How do you cope with bad body image days?
PHOTOS! It may seem counterintuitive to take pictures of your body when you are not exactly loving how it looks, but here’s how photos lead to my bad body image revelation. You take a photo of your body and really focus in on the part you’re finding difficult to love. Don’t flex, don’t find good lighting, just be. Put that photo side by side (I use picstitch) with a picture in which you think you look amazing. Where you look straight up hot. Look at those two images. Are they both your body? Yes. Is the one that you like looking at any truer a representation of your body? No, it’s just a different arrangement. And here’s the thing: our bodies arrange themselves in a million different ways per DAY! We bloat, we get rid of water weight, we eat a burger and the scale drops, we run three miles and the number goes up. Don’t try to make sense of it. DO use this mantra (my fave): “Silly body, not sure why you’re making my belly stick out or thighs jiggle today. Not sure why you don’t look as cute as in that other photo, but you’ll go back to it. This is temporary. This is fine.”
5) What do you do if you crave a LOT of food? Ex. Crave chocolate and want to eat all the chocolate?
I remember in the darkest days of my eating disorder when I was so rigid about restricting foods I considered even slightly “bad”. Then whenever I started to get sad or had a drink or two I’d eat every “bad” food in sight. Cleaned out my previous sorority house once. So I guess my answer to this is: the more you practice intuitive eating and allow the food you’re craving into your life, the less you will crave ALL of it. Going with the chocolate example. when I first started intuitively eating there were times I bought a big thing of chocolate and ate it all – because I wanted it. I felt guilty as heck but I went with it. And I kept going with my cravings and once it sunk in and my brain caught up with the fact that it wasn’t being deprived anymore, it stopped wanting everything at once. It learned that I could have some chocolate tonight, and still have more tomorrow night. There would be no repenting or excluding.
6) How long did it take you to love your body?
20 years and counting. It’s something I work on every single day and that many of you reading have helped me do. I want to be better for you, for me, for the future young women of this world.
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