What to do when you’re having a ‘Bad Body’ day

Lovely ladies, do you ever have those days when NOTHING in your wardrobe feels good? Mornings when you find yourself surrounded by a wasteland of dumped clothing, discarded outfits that made you feel frumpy?

Lovely ladies, do you ever have those days when NOTHING in your wardrobe feels good?

Mornings when you find yourself surrounded by a wasteland of dumped clothing, the clock a ticking time bomb until you leave for work.

I’ve battled with god-knows-how-many mornings like this. And whilst I’m not saying I am totally immune to ‘bad body days’, I do have a much better handle on them now.

In this article, I’ll be sharing my experience of what’s really behind ‘bad body days’ and what I do to deal with them.

‘Bad Body Days’ - Are they ever really about your body?

In my experience, when I’m beating myself up about my body image, it’s really got nothing to do with my body.

It's much simpler to blame uncomfortable emotions on your body image than to explore what's really going on inside. Sometimes, when we feel bad about ourselves or circumstances in our lives, it can feel temporarily easier to pigeon hole this bundle of emotions into a category called ‘I hate my body’.

As much as we berate it, feeling uncomfortable about our body size or shape actually offers us some sense of control. Weight is something that’s theoretically easy to change with exercise and diet. It implies that to feel good again, we simply need to lose weight and change the way we look.

Then magically, the storm clouds will clear, there’ll be rainbows and unicorns...

If only happiness were so simple! 

Feeling a healthy, comfortable weight (whatever that means for your unique body) is really nice, I’m not denying that. But is it a panacea to all our problems? No.

Does being thinner make all our issues and uncomfortable emotions magically disappear? Unfortunately not.

As painful as this can be, I have found that 'fixing' my problems means feeling my problems. Once we shine light on the things that are bothering us, we are empowered to go about changing them, really getting to the heart of the matter.

These days, I know that ‘bad body days’ are an inner cry of help to pay attention to something. It may mean that I require an extra little self-care, rest, self-confidence boost, centreing, stress-management or even sleep!

Sometimes, it can also be a little reminder that I really do need to focus on foods that make me feel vibrant or move a little more. When I genuinely notice body changes or my clothes genuinely start to feel a little tighter - I don’t freak out these days. I lovingly thank my body for doing what it’s designed to do (that is, to store the extra calories I have eaten to protect against starvation) and think about what foods and exercise my body might be asking for.

So next time you’re ‘feeling bad about your body’, instead of beating yourself up, could you view it as an opportunity to ask yourself how you could treat your body with extra love and care? Here's some steps to put this all into action! 

Step One. Journal an ‘I feel’ list.

Stop. Drop your clothes. Whip out a pen and paper and spend even as little as five minutes writing your feelings down.

To start with, it may be about your body.

  • I feel gross. I hate the way I look.
  • I feel frustrated. Nothing looks good on me.

But as you work through it - free flow writing if you can - other things may start to emerge.

  • I feel anxious. Nothing’s going well at work.
  • I feel judged. My performance isn’t measuring up and my boss thinks I’m bad at my job.
  • I feel stressed. There’s not enough time in the day to do my tasks properly.

Then aha! Your worries about body image emerge as a veneer for your real concerns - in this case, not being ‘good enough’ at work.

Step Two. Ask yourself this simple question.

This one phrase has literally changed my life:

“What can I do today to take good care of myself?”

Write that down and look at it daily! So often, we are focussed outwardly on taking care of everything else; work, family, friends, the kids, housework. And we forget about the most important thing to take care of, the thing that all of this hinges upon working properly…

You.

It is my habitual practice to reflect on this phrase throughout the day. I have four stickers displayed around my home to remind me.

It doesn’t require you to stop. It doesn’t require you to fight anything. It doesn’t even require immediate or drastic action.

Simply getting into the habit of asking yourself this question allows you to build an awareness of what you really want and need.

Taking good care of yourself, fulfilling what you really want and need, is one of the best proactive measures against a ‘bad body day’ that I know of. How can you feel bad about yourself when you know how to make yourself feel good?

Step Three. Put it in perspective

Take a really humble look at how lucky you are to have the body you are in.

If you have a body that is whole and healthy, you are truly blessed. 

Our bodies deserve so much more honour for the work they do for us. Body image concerns seem kinda superficial and tend to shrink a little in the light of gratitude and a wider perspective.

Step Four. Create rituals of self-care

I have noticed that ‘bad body days’ used to strike me more often when I felt stressed, rushed and harried first thing in the morning.

On the contrary, when I breathe spaciousness into my morning routine and take time for little acts of self-kindness and care, I simply can’t help but feel good.

This means many little things, sometimes on different days. But here are some of my favourite simple pleasures:

  • Neatly ironing my clothes the night before. I love slipping into fresh and crisply ironed clothes after my morning shower.
  • Drinking my morning coffee outside and allowing myself to daydream for 15 minutes as the birds wake up.
  • Cleaning my feet in the shower with a homemade coffee scrub. So often, a shower is a jump in/jump out affair. Scrubbing a part of my body that serves me all day long feels really good and very refreshing.
  • Morning meditation.
  • Doing a mini face peel as I make the bed.
  • Lighting incense or a candle first thing in the morning whilst I make coffee. It fills the house with a beautiful scent that delights the senses.
  • Cleaning up properly after breakfast so the kitchen is clean and beautiful when I come home from work.
  • Listening to an inspirational or funny/uplifting podcast (that’s often on the drive to work).
  • Sending texts to friends or family good-wishing them a beautiful day.
  • Surprising my partner with a fresh juice or lovingly packed lunch.
  • Rubbing some beautiful essential oil into the base of my neck.
  • Doing something productive to get a head start on my day - a simple load of washing, cleaning the bathroom basin, or some chore that’s been bothering me.

I don’t do all of these every day but I do something, nearly always. Perhaps create your own list and repertoire of rituals to start your day feeling full and calm.

Step Four. Throw out the clothes that don’t fit (I DARE YOU!!)

Take a moment now - please - and find a piece of clothing that you’ve been saving to fit back into ‘one day’. (Ladies, I know you have a pair of jeans or ‘that dress’ that you’re holding onto.)

Hold it, sense it...How does it make you feel?

Does this clothing inspire joy and pleasure? Does it uplift and empower you?

Or does this item bring up feelings of guilt and shame? Does it sap your energy? Make you pick on yourself? Does your energy drop when you feel into this clothing?

So many of us hang onto old items of smaller-sized clothing the way we clutch the false dream of weight loss making our lives all better.

This doesn’t make us move toward a future of bright vibrant health and happiness. These reminders keep us looking backward at a past version of ourselves that somehow feels more worthy than who we are today, locked in comparison of how we’re not good enough right now.

If you resonate with any of the above, please let that clothing go. Donate it, sell it, burn it, I don’t care but it truly does not have a place in your wardrobe.

Cleanse your wardrobe of these de-energising items and feel the real weight lift - the weight on your mind!

I also encourage you to buy the best quality clothes that you can afford.  It’s so liberating to open up my wardrobe and be greeted with a suite of options that spark joy and that I know are tailored to fit properly and feel nice. 

 

So there you have it! A few of my own personal strategies for dealing with 'bady body' thoughts if they try to creep in during my morning routine...What's your personal favourite? And do you have a tip of your own to share? 

 

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