What to do if you feel “I Hate my body”
There is not 1 perfect body, there are many perfect bodies.
So today we are going to talk about bodies. It’s no secret a lot of us are extremely hard on our bodies, we criticize them, we sometimes abuse them and oftentimes we hate them. Beauty standards in modern times are so paper-thin that they are not a standard at all.
The fact that different people, different cultures, different countries, think different things just goes to prove that beauty doesn’t have a standard. If the world’s beauty standards change based on time & place, then why are you letting this ruin your life? This isn’t factual, this isn’t true, it’s paper-thin and it will eventually fall off in some years.
Comparison will always rob us of our joys. It could make even the most successful person feel like a failure. So what’s the cause of this negativity? Why are we at odds with ourselves all of the time? Simply put, it’s our lack of self-confidence. Lack of self-confidence is the thing that holds so many of us back from achieving our dream life, our dream bodies, our dream careers because we don’t give ourselves the chance to succeed because we think we don’t deserve it.
To love our bodies, we must first love ourselves as a whole. Your body isn’t a separate thing from your mind, your heart, or your soul. Every part of you is interconnected and a change in one will change the other parts of you too.
What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?
Obsessing over a perceived or minor flaw in one’s own appearance. If there is even a minor problem, the person is extremely concerned. These negative emotions are absorbing. These feelings lead to negative ideas and attitudes, which have an impact on one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. These can therefore negatively impact many aspects of a person’s life, including social activities and employment.
These consuming feelings are not caused by any other mental disorder, such as eating disorders.
Common signs and symptoms of BDD:
- Fixation and ideas about looks.
- Avoidance of mirrors/shiny surfaces.
- Mirror checking-Spending too much time staring in a mirror/shiny surface at the real or imagined defect.
- They have a strong conviction, even if the facts contradicts it (this is also called Overvalued Ideation or OVI).
- Masking the “affected region” (e.g. hats, scarves, make-up).
- Requesting reassurance from others on a regular basis (also known as reassurance seeking’).
- Unnecessary visits to medical professionals/surgeons on a regular basis.
- Unnecessary plastic surgery on a regular basis.
- Skin picking is a compulsive behaviour. To eliminate blemishes/hair, tweezers and nails are frequently employed.
- Social situations, public places, work, school, and so on… are all avoided.
- To keep people from seeing the “flaw,” you could leave the house less frequently or only go out at night.
- Feelings of shame cause people to hide their obsessions and compulsions.
- Emotional issues such as disgust, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and so on.
Many people feel dissatisfied with some aspect of their appearance, although this is a spectrum. BDD is diagnosed when a person’s worry about a body part becomes incapacitating and interferes with his or her capacity to function. This stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways, the most common of which are anxiety and depression. Anyone can be affected by BDD. Body image issues, on the other hand, are most widespread in adolescence, when children begin to compare themselves to their classmates. According to some studies, BDD affects at least 1 in 200 persons, however, the precise figure is unknown.
The blemish or minor imperfection is usually found on the head or face (e.g. hairline, nose, acne, neck, etc.) Any area of the body, however, could be the focal point. Arms, legs, stomach, hips, and other typical places are only a few examples. BDD affects both men and ladies in equal numbers. Men are frequently concerned about their hairline or muscularity. BDD can cause a great deal of stress. Stress can lead to a never-ending quest for unneeded medical and surgical operations, as well as avoidance of everyday chores, job duties, social situations, and suicidal thoughts and attempts, among other things. According to research, up to 80% of patients with BDD consider or attempt suicide.
Causes of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
Eating disorders are frequently associated with body dysmorphic disorder.
What are eating disorders?
Eating disorders are serious medical conditions characterized by significant changes in a person’s eating habits. Food, body weight, and shape obsessions could be indicators of an eating disorder. These illnesses can have a negative impact on a person’s bodily and mental health, and in rare situations, they can be fatal. Eating disorders, on the other hand, can be treated. Knowing more about them can assist you in recognizing the warning symptoms and seeking out medical assistance.
Keep in mind that eating problems are not a choice. They are medical conditions that are influenced by biology.
Who is prone to having an eating disorder?
People of all ages, racial/ethnic backgrounds, body weights, and genders can be affected by eating disorders. Eating disorders don’t affect a standard set of age group, they can affect the youngest as well the young adults & and can even show appearance at the later stages of life. Remember that people with eating problems can look healthy but are actually quite sick. And although the actual causation of eating disorders is uncertain, research suggests that perhaps a combination of genetic, biochemical, behavioral, psychological, and social factors can elevate an individual’s risk.
Types of eating disorders:
There are numerous eating disorders that have been revealed over the past few years. In the list of eating disorders anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder are the most common. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it could be a sign of an eating disorder; seek assistance immediately.
1. Anorexia Nervosa:
Anorexia nervosa patients forgo food, severely restrict food, or eat very small amounts of only a few foods. They may perceive themselves as overweight even though they are dangerously underweight. They might also weigh themselves on a regular basis.
Anorexia nervosa can be classified into two subtypes: restrictive and binge-purge.
Restrictive: People with restrictive anorexia nervosa restrict the amount and type of food they eat.
Binge-Purge: People with the binge-purge subtype of anorexia nervosa restrict the amount and type of food they eat as well. Furthermore, they are susceptible to binge eating and purging (such as vomiting, use of laxatives and diuretics, etc.).
Symptoms of Anorexia nervosa:
- Extreme thinness (emaciation)
- Affected individual is always seeking ways to be extremely petite and to hold onto that weight, they absolutely dread gaining weight, and they have a hard time maintaining healthy or normal body weight.
- Distorted body image, a self-esteem heavily influenced by views of body weight and shape, or a denial of the importance of low body weight. These symbiotic relationships will develop over time.
Over time, the following signs and symptoms may appear:
- Osteopenia (osteoporosis) is characterised by bone thinning,
- Mild anaemia
- Muscular atrophy and,
- Brittle hair and nails
- Dry and yellowish skin
- Lanugo (fine hair growth all over the body)
- Severe diarrhoea
- Low blood pressure
- Decreased breathing
- Pulse Damage to the heart’s structure and function
Remember Anorexia is a disease that can be lethal. Anorexia nervosa is the mental disorder with the highest mortality (death) rate. Persons with anorexia may die from medical issues and complications related to starving; people with other eating disorders, on the other hand, may die by suicide.
2. Bulimia Nervosa
Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent periods of eating excessively large amounts of food and a lack of control over these episodes. Compensatory behaviors such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these are used to compensate for binge eating. People with anorexia nervosa, on the other hand, suffer from anorexia nervosa. People with bulimia nervosa, unlike those with anorexia nervosa, might well be normal weight or overweight.
Symptoms Bulimia nervosa
- Sore and irritable throat for a long time.
- Salivary glands swollen in the neck and jaw
- Tooth enamel which has deteriorated, as well as teeth that are becoming increasingly sensitive and deteriorating (a result of exposure to stomach acid)
- Other gastrointestinal issues, such as acid reflux
- Abuse of laxatives causes intestinal inflammation and pain.
- Purging causes severe dehydration.
- Electrolyte imbalance (sodium and calcium levels that are too low or too high)
3. Binge-Eating disorder
Binge-eating disorder involves a condition where an individual has absolutely no control over the amount of food they are consuming, they are in no position to evaluate their eating Periods of binge-eating are not followed by purging, severe exercise, or fasting, as is the case with bulimia nervosa. As a result, binge-eating disorder patients are frequently overweight or obese.
Symptoms Binge-eating disorder
- devouring abnormally huge amounts of food in a short period of time such as 2 hours.
- During binge episodes, you should eat quickly.
- Even if you’re not hungry or full, you should eat.
- Consumption of food till uncomfortably full
- To prevent shame, people eat alone or in private.
- Distressed, humiliated, or guilty about what you’re consuming
- Dieting on a regular basis, possibly without achieving weight reduction.
Treatment of eating disorders:
It is important to seek treatment for eating disorders as soon as possible. Suicide and medical consequences are more common in those with eating disorders. Some people who have eating disorders also have additional mental illnesses (such as depression or anxiety) or drug addiction problems.
Psychotherapy, medical aid and monitoring, dietary counseling, and medicinal drugs are all a part of disorder treatment strategies.
- Take help from mental health professional to provide psychological therapy.
- Take help from registered dietitian who guide you to take proper nutrition and make meal planning.
- Take help from your partner, parents or other family members.
- Take proper medications for eating disorders
How to develop a love for your body?
For starters, let’s establish that loving yourself isn’t just about being selfish. We are frequently taught that putting yourself or your wants first is selfish and that you should devote your energy to helping others. Self-love is precisely what it sounds like: it is the act of loving oneself. It entails accepting all sides of yourself, good, terrible, and ugly. We all have defects, and part of self-love is learning to accept those shortcomings.
Self-care and self-love are frequently as simple as providing the same respect and attention to yourself as you do to others. We are often our own worst enemy, as the phrase goes. Self-love entails getting past the negative thoughts and beliefs that others have placed onto you and going forward. You have the power to create an atmosphere in which you may make mistakes, learn from them, and succeed.
1. Exercising and a Healthy Diet
We won’t go into too much depth here, but you already know how to choose a decent practise to follow.
Ponder how much more you could accomplish if you invested little time and energy worrying about your physique and appearance. Take a chance on one!
Recall a point in your life when you were content with your appearance. Tell yourself that you can feel that way again, even at this age and in this body.
4. A list of only pros
Compile a list of ten positive attributes about yourself that doesn’t include your appearance.
Tell your body how much you appreciate everything that it has allowed you to do throughout the day every night before you go to bed.
6. Positive talk
Consider this: your skin replaces itself every month, your gut lining replaces itself every five days, your liver replaces itself every six weeks, and your skeleton refurbishes itself every three months. Begin to respect and appreciate your body for what it is.
7. A list that is factual
Make a list of all the things your body is capable of. It’s a good idea to read it and contribute to it on a regular basis.
8. Eat, Rest & Surround yourself with good company
When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re exhausted, take a break. Assemble a group of people who remind you of your inner beauty and power.
9. Self Respect
Consider your body to be a vehicle for your dreams. It ought to be respected. It must be respected. It has to be fueled.
10. Create your own personalised inspiration board
Make a list of persons you admire: people who have made a positive impact on your life, community, or world. Consider how crucial their appearance was to their success and achievements.
If you ever feel like ” I hate my body.” then don’t get depressed, take some help from professional and never get any negative thoughts in mind.