cant talk to anyone irl about this so here i am lol. my mom used to make comments about my body, and how id be so much pretty if i lost some weight (when her comments started getting to me i looked up my bmi (ik bmi isnt the best assessment of weight/ health) to see if i was really that bad and i was normal leaning underweight) that kinda helped me, and i felt better for a while, and her comments on my body stopped (but her comments on her own never did) but i guess in quarantine it got to me more than i thought lol i started browsing the ed side of tumblr and downloaded a calorie tracking app, for two weeks i ate less than it recommended (im an overachiever lol) but i didn't lose any weight (technically i did but it wasn't visible so it doesn't really count lol) but the whole time i was terrified of depriving my body of fuel, accidentally starving myself, and overall doing more harm than good(which is why i refused to purge or fast) so i deleted the app and stopped. this was one or two years ago, so i thought it was over it, but lately the little nagging voice thats been telling me how much better id look and feel if i lost weight is getting louder (and more convincing). i want to lose weight but I don't want to do it unhealthy/obsessively or spiral out of control. any advice? (i dont think i had an ed, just an unhealthy relationship (ig fear would be more accurate lol) w/ calories/food in general)
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Thank you for opening up and sharing this information with me. I know it can be hard to feel like you’re going through this alone, so I want to ensure you that we are always here to listen.
I first want to start by saying that it is never acceptable for someone to make disparaging comments about your body, even if it is someone in your family. It looks like you mentioned your mother has also made comments about her own body and appearance, so you may or may not be aware of the idea of projection. If you’re not familiar with this idea then a basic explanation is when someone unconsciously transfers their own feelings or emotions onto someone else. From what you’ve described, it seems that your mother is placing her own insecurities and negative body image on you, which has left you feeling self-conscious about your own body. Remember that her comments are not a reflection of your worth or value as a person.
It’s more than understandable that the cumulative stress of quarantine and the comments from your mother have led you down this path of an unhealthy relationship with body image and food, but know that there are ways to move forward. It’s also not uncommon for these thoughts from the past to resurface. Just know that these are just thoughts, and thoughts don’t always have to be acted on.
One way to cope with these thoughts is to practice self-compassion. Reminding yourself that you’re valuable and deserving of love and respect can help you counteract the negative self-talk and build a more positive relationship with your body and self-image. Body neutrality is another idea sort of related to this. Body neutrality is the idea of accepting your body as it is, without judgment or attachment to your appearance. By focusing on how your body feels rather than how it looks, you can develop a more mindful and intuitive approach to eating and exercise.
This article provides practical tips and strategies for practicing self-compassion, which can help reduce self-criticism and promote self-acceptance: https://positivepsychology.com/how-to-practice-self-compassion/. Sometimes practicing body positivity can be really hard, especially when you feel like you don’t have the most positive mindset right now. Try reading this article to understand more about body neutrality. It provides a few practical ways for incorporating this idea into your life: https://tinyurl.com/52z8t7j4.
It’s great that you’re trying to refocus these negative thoughts into bettering yourself in a healthy way. I can give you a few tips on how to start. First, try to challenge these thoughts by not focusing on weight or a number on a scale. Remind yourself of all the positive things about your body. Focus on your overall health and nourish your body with balanced meals and physical activity.
Second, you can try surrounding yourself with positive influences and friends that can encourage you to make healthy choices. Have you ever sought therapy to help you work through these negative voices/thoughts? A therapist or counselor can help you to develop coping strategies and build self-confidence. If a therapist isn't financially viable for you, Asking Jude has pay-what-you-want, remote peer counseling services; for more information, contact email@example.com.
Don’t feel pressured to get over these thoughts in a set amount of time. Be patient with yourself and remember it’s possible to build a healthy relationship with your body.
Here you’ll find guidance on how to navigate weight loss after experiencing disordered eating, including tips on developing a healthy mindset and setting realistic goals: https://tinyurl.com/2x9zh69b. "Healthy Eating Plate," created by Harvard University, provides practical advice and a visual guide for individuals to adopt a healthier and balanced diet: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-eating-plate/.
If you’d like to develop a healthy exercise routine, try reading this article that provides practical tips for recognizing and managing triggers, choosing the right exercise environment and equipment, and seeking social support: https://tinyurl.com/3vtmcnkw.
Finally, if you ever need to talk to anyone, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Here is the link to a national toll-free helpline, online chat support, and phone number: https://tinyurl.com/2z4ydwbc. Please take care of yourself and always be patient. Feel free to reach out again if you need to.
We’ll be happy to help,