Let’s talk about Body Dysmorphia for a moment.
While it’s talked about – I don’t think it’s actually TALK TALKED about as it should be in the Bariatric Community.
I see over and over again how many people post about body dysmorphia in a few of my groups that I’m in and all I see is “OMG, me too!” or “Girl, you look great. Get out of your own head.”
While I know the intentions are great, we’re missing the mark here completely. When people are posting about they are feeling as if they are still in their “old body” that was X amount of pounds or stones, they are screaming for help on how to overcome how they feel about their body image.
This journey isn’t just about the physical transformation. It’s so much more than that. It’s a mental, emotional, and spiritual transformation as well.
Learning to love yourself through it all is one of the biggest challenges you will face along this journey – but it’s also one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself.
About a month ago I was trying on jeans for the first time in like, FOREVER. I was looking at myself in the mirror while trying on a size 16.
🙌They fit PERFECTLY!🙌
I tried on a size 14 next. They were a little snug, but I was able to zip and button them – so it was a freakin’ win if I ever had one in the past 10 years.
Even with that win though, I still see the “old me” the fat me – body dysmorphia is a bitch ya’ll. It really was messing with my head over the past 7 months. Dealing with 30 years of bad body image of myself has really been my biggest struggle since I started my journey.
I still FEEL like the fat me even though I’m almost 130 pounds down from the weight I was when I started this whole journey in November 2021. It’s like my head and heart just aren’t ready to accept the new me yet.
Does anyone else feel this way?
How do you deal with it?
Can’t Shed The Old Me
A Poem About Body Dysmorphia
A silent struggle that’s far below the surface,
A war against one’s own reflection, no remorse.
The skin looks like a mask, a stranger stares back,
In their own body, they’ve become so out of whack.
The inner voice is loud and full of dread,
Fear of judgment from those who are misled.
The distorted view with no escape in sight,
Distorted vision from the pressure to be “right”.
Thoughts soon turn to despair as they see their shape,
Nothing seems to satisfy or bring elation or escape.
Anxiety and dread continue as they survey their form,
Agonizing over features others wouldn’t even deem ‘the norm’.
Discomfort overwhelms when being seen in public places,
Uncertainty took over with no reprieve in sight for days.
Self-worth becomes nonexistent as self-esteem decreases,
Perception wavering between reality and an imagined disease.
Images linger even if the person turns away,
Memories of the past haunt me as nothing else could ever say.
Physical pain sets in as insecurity deepens its hold, and Mental anguish increases until it’s unbearable to behold.
But still, hope lives on and there is a future to pursue—
A chance for redemption where peace and joy can ensue.
It’s so crazy because before I had my surgery, I had a sort of “reverse” body dysmorphia if you want to say it. I never realized I was as “big” as I was.
Losing the 130+ lbs I’ve lost so far has made me realize how BIG I was and how much better I already feel.
People with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) go to great lengths to hide or fix what they perceive as defects, like wearing tons of clothing even when it’s hot out, getting multiple plastic surgeries, or avoiding social situations altogether.
I have stood in front of a mirror for what seems like minutes to realize it’s been at least 30 minutes staring at, poking, pinching, and “tucking” my skin because it’s still very surreal for me.
How I’m Working to Overcome my Body Dysmorphia
When I get dressed in the morning I have to keep reminding myself NOT to go for clothes that are too big on me. I ended up eventually going through all of my clothes and anything that was more than 1 size bigger than what I’m currently in was put in a garbage bag to donate so I stopped reaching for the “big girl” clothes. I leave a garbage bag in my closet for clothes that are too big so I put them immediately in the bag.
Now whenever I see that bag in the closet, it reminds me of how far I’ve come on my journey and serves as a reminder not to give up. Knowing what’s in the bag, helps me to stay motivated! Every time I put on clothes that fit, I feel so proud of myself for persevering and staying determined to reach my goal.
I’m not dwelling on my past body image of myself. Which is probably the hardest thing for me. Any photos I have of myself from before up on the walls, I have taken down. I don’t want, nor do I need to see how big I used to be.
I’m pampering myself more. Take longer and more relaxing showers, make sure my nails are painted, and maybe even put some makeup on.
I’m wearing what I want to wear. If it’s comfortable and fits me right – I’m wearing it. I stopped asking my family “Does this look okay?” because if I feel confident in it, I’m wearing it. My happiness & confidence levels have increased dramatically since I started doing this.
Here are some steps to overcome body dysmorphia:
- Recognize and acknowledge the problem: The first step is to recognize that you have a problem with body dysmorphia.
- Seek professional help: Consult a therapist or counselor who can guide you through your journey of overcoming body dysmorphia.
- Practice self-care: Engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies you enjoy.
- Challenge negative thoughts: Learn to identify and challenge negative thoughts about your body by replacing them with positive affirmations.
- Surround yourself with positivity: Surround yourself with positive people who uplift and support you, and avoid those who bring you down.
- Limit exposure to triggers: Avoid situations or triggers that may exacerbate your symptoms, such as social media or certain types of media.
- Focus on health over appearance: Shift your focus from appearance to overall health and well-being by adopting healthy habits such as eating well-balanced meals and exercising regularly.