It seems so easy to hate the way our bodies look—to nitpick the things we wish looked or felt differently. Because social media is everywhere, it's hard not to compare ourselves to pictures of people who always seem to look good and comfortable in their bodies.
Maybe you hate your body because you don't feel quite right inside your body—like the gender you’ve been assigned doesn’t match the way you feel inside.
For people with mental health problems, we can hate our bodies because we are constantly judgemental of ourselves. Everything we do or say—and definitely how we look—can never be good enough. It's also tough if a mental illness like depression makes it hard to eat well or exercise. Then we really hate how we look and feel horrible all at the same time.
What can I do if I hate my body?
Part of the journey is learning to love yourself exactly the way you are today. Learning to love ourselves is hard—it takes time to figure out why we feel like it's ok to beat ourselves up. It takes time to heal from bad things that happened that make us hate ourselves. It takes time to figure out what we need to do, the small steps we need to take, to start feeling better.
For some, it's important to look inward and think about whether hating your body is resulting in distorted ideas about how you should look. If you’re thinking about your body in an unhealthy way or engaging in unhealthy behaviors around food, you might have an eating disorder.
Signs of eating disorders can include:
- obsessing over food
- withholding food
- exercising more than you should
- avoiding people you haven’t seen recently so they don’t see how your body has changed
- a distorted body image that isn’t consistent with what’s going on
- seeing exaggerated flaws or imperfections in your body
- weighing yourself every day and feeling panic at small changes. (It’s perfectly normal for your water weight to go up or down 5-6 pounds in a single day!)
An eating disorder is a bit like an addiction. It can control your life even though it feels like you're gaining control. Ultimately, feeding into an eating disorder is dangerous for our minds and our bodies.
If you think you might have an eating disorder, or things feel out of control, please reach out to someone you trust soon. We don't want your struggling to continue—because the longer you wait the harder it is to get better.