Brittany is sitting outside and smiling while holding a post-it note that reads "weight loss won't fix negative body image"
⚠️I once believed losing weight and shrinking myself would solve most of my problems. If there were less of me, then there would be less to hate. The issue was that I couldn’t selectively reduce my size without also reducing my life.
I didn’t always hate my body. The concept of body image was not frequently spoken about. I had low self-esteem when I was young, and it progressed into anxiety and depression. My peers constantly reinforced the notion that I was ugly. I felt rejected because of my looks. I interpreted this further into meaning my body was wrong, and it was up to me to fix it.
I began obsessing over my appearance. My inner turmoil seeped through my skin and translated itself into self-destructive behaviors, which were diagnosed as anorexia. My eating disorder promised me that if I focused on losing weight, it would distract me from my deeper issues. But of course, it only served as a bandage while masking my true pain. My plight was that I did lose weight, and nothing fundamentally changed. In fact, I was just as miserable, and had developed a host of dangerous new concerns.
At my lowest weight, my body dissatisfaction was at its highest. My self-hate overshadowed my true reflection. I could never see myself accurately in the mirror. But I could see that I was not pretty enough to have earned the satisfaction of fixing my body. I had believed the path to happiness and beauty could be achieved through external means. I relied on numerical feedback, such as a number on the scale, calories eaten, and time spent exercising to measure my success. Unknowingly and unfortunately, I had it all wrong.
Negative body image is a product of a negative sense of self. Therefore, it cannot be fixed without first fixing your self-image. There is no such thing as a sustainable “goal weight” when it’s used interchangeably with happiness, acceptance and confidence. The weight loss will never be enough. You can’t lose negativity by losing weight. You can gain a positive sense of self by recognizing your body isn’t the problem, and never was. ~Britt💜
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