Body Positive: What I Do When The Thoughts Run Negative

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it – being body positive is a tricky thing. And right now, I’m feeling a little body negative. I’m confident it will pass but as always, pretending that I feel GREAT at all times just wouldn’t be true to myself. And even though I want to be body positive, honesty is more important to me.

Usually, I would say that 6/7 days, I feel pretty darn good.

But for whatever reason, I’ve been stuck on a repeat of that one day where I feel just…gross. Not myself, not good, just overall a bad feeling.

I walked through the mall and knew I couldn’t try anything on because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to judge how I felt in it correctly. I think shopping is much better when you’re in the best of moods, and that’s basically a must for me when over half the stores in the Eaton Centre don’t carry a size for me anyway.

I know it sounds silly, but one of the fastest ways I clue into how I’m feeling about my body is when I have zero interest in getting my photo taken. ‘Cause your girl LOVES a photoshoot (or selfie!) so when I’m not feelin’ myself on film, I know there’s something up.

Photo by Alexa Studio

Like anything else, being body positive isn’t constant

I don’t think it is for anyone because it’s pretty human to have your emotions changing all the time.

And sometimes it’s just an uphill battle to be at peace with yourself.

Anything could affect how I’m feeling too – the weather, my social calendar, who I’m hanging out with (and how often), what I’m watching or reading.

For example, fun fact, the movie Burlesque? Instant confident boost. It’s my (not so) secret weapon and I highly recommend it. Plus the soundtrack just straight up kicks ass.

Anyway.

Here I am avoiding mirrors more than usual (your girl loves a mirror) and I tend to scrunch up my nose when I’m passing my reflection when walking to work.

I went out last week with friends and I noticed myself pulling up my skirt and pulling down my crop top so no skin was showing, which is odd for me as I love a good crop and skirt combo.

At first, I kind of leaned into the heavy feeling, thinking that since I was already feeling worse than why not keep going down that path? Binge eating, takeout every weekend, not walking much at all. And I know that isn’t good for me, or healthy either, but I couldn’t shake it. Can’t shake it? Okay, I’m in the middle of shaking it.

I’m an emotional eater and I know it

Sad? Food. Happy? Food. Angry? Food. Bored? Food.

It’s an issue and not a very good one. And one that I think I’ve always had, and one that I am seemingly always trying to break.

I am not kidding when I say I love food but I think it’s one thing to love food and another to depend on it as, what’s the word, a comfort? Like there’s comfort food, but I take it a bit too far.

I am familiar with binge eating and familiar with the guilty feeling I get after I eat way too much just as a way of trying to cope with whatever I’m thinking. Or feeling. I feel a lot, it’s kind of my thing.

I’ve been called on it a few times (lovinglyish, by family) and it’s something I’m trying to work on. But trying is hard! Better than not trying though, I think that’s something.

It has nothing to do with the number on the scale

Well, okay, I thought it did at first.

But it all comes down to how you feel, right? Instead of the number you see. That’s what I try to focus on. I think that’s always my goal, anyway.

So here I am feeling crummy and it felt like I had just gained a lot of weight. This isn’t me saying that losing or gaining weight is the issue here, but I just felt heavier. And it’s not just physical, but it gets me mentally too. Clothes aren’t fitting the same way, I don’t feel like myself, and my confidence (which I love about myself) takes a dive.

When I stepped on the scale this past weekend when I was back home to see what was up I was surprised to see a very small difference versus what I felt like.

It was a strange reality check of the disconnect between the scale and how you feel.

That we need to listen to our bodies rather than just pay attention to the sizes and the numbers. Because I felt like I was suddenly heavier than I ever have been and to realize that nope, it was just a feeling? It was strange. Slightly relieving, but also a huge neon sign that told me to keep listening to myself and not the scale.

So what do I do?

Photo by Alexa Studio

Well, a few things. Slowly and surely, because I know that above anything it’s important to be patient with yourself.

It’s important to check-in with yourself, know when you’re pushing too hard or when you need to give yourself a little pep talk. You can lean on your friends if you feel comfortable with that, and sometimes I do, but I am a fake it ’til you make it person and sometimes that has me putting on a brave face.

Change up routines

I am very aware that the gym could help me feel better, but I am also very aware of the stress that going to the gym gives me.

Even if we have one in our condo, I get mini-flashbacks to going in university at Brock and catching guys smirk at something to do with me as I try to work out in peace. And people who say that ‘no one’s looking at you at the gym,’ are full of shit.

Pardon my language, but unless you’ve felt the eyes and caught the stares, smirking or not, you just don’t get it.

So why force myself into something that I dread? Makes little sense to me.

Instead, I’m trying to walk more. I love walking, and I love the area I live in, so why not take advantage?

The other day I got up before work as the sun was rising and walked along the water and it was amazing. Sure, it wasn’t an overly long walk, just an hour or so, but it was such a refreshing start to the day and something I want to keep doing. Once cramps stop me from curling into a ball of nausea every morning, but that’s just for a few more days.

Eating wise, I am totally one who tries to do drastic changes and fails. Big time. Call them fads, call the diets, whatever – I try and it doesn’t usually go well.

To be clear, I am not saying if you feel bad right now about how you’re feeling or looking, you need a diet. Hell no. What I am saying is to listen to your body and try and change things up. Maybe that’s less meat (it fills me up, but leaves me feeling weighed down) or less carbs (not the best for blood sugar levels, and is hard for your body to break down but like so damn tasty I know), even just for a week or two to give your body a break. And I’m coming out of maybe two months of eating whatever whenever too often, and not listening to what would make me feel good versus what tastes good. I hope that makes sense, I would never want anyone to read this and get the wrong message.

Currently?

Trying my hand at intermittent fasting and it is not at all what you think, and the goal isn’t to lose weight drastically or anything! Because ‘fasting’ can have different forms, and some are days at a time and that is a nope for me. I get hangry waaaay too fast.

At first, the idea was a huge red flag to me, and it’s not for everyone, but I read a lot about it and I’ll see how it goes. Or at least to help me think more about what’s going into my body, and at what time.

I’m going to let Samantha take it from here, as this is where I first heard of it and she does such a good job of keeping it real (and for her makeup vids too by the way, totally worth watching!).

 

 

I’m not going to layout my eating schedule because that is just not my jam, mostly because I’m still figuring it out, but right now my focus is to not eat at night. Which I am horribly guilty of…second dinner and dessert? Hello, yes. And turns out it’s also easier to figure out when you’re not a big breaky person – I love breakfast, but my tummy isn’t my friend most mornings and I have a job to get to.

Having a plan though, and the mindset of trying to eat dinner before 7 and then not snack all night, isn’t a brand new idea for anyone. Rather, it’s what a lot of people do. Just not me, until not…ish, it’s been like two days. Like I said, always trying new things in hopes of resetting bad habits.

Social media but with caution

It’s no mystery that I love social media but it can be a not good place sometimes. Both in and out of the body positivity community.

As summer rolls in, there are endless memes about getting ready for the beach and having a beach body which for the most part I find funny. But sometimes I get tagged in one too many and it nags on me a bit. Kind of just chews away at the self-esteem I’ve worked so hard to build up.

And then there’s the body positive thing.

Because the essence of the movement is to love your body, and sometimes I do not, but I want to. I try to. I mean I even decorate myself in tattoos so that I can have pretty things to look at when at a whole I don’t think it is.

If I want to lose weight, it’s seen as a negative thing online. And I don’t think it always has to be looked at that way if done properly and done with a good outlook you know?

For me, I think of it as making changes to feel better and if I lose weight then it’s more of a side-effect, and I hope that makes sense to those still with me here.

I know this was a lot to read, and I know it’s a lot to take in.

When I write rambles like this it leaves me tired but in a good way – like I’ve emptied my head out and can start fresh again.

If you have bad days, I’d love to hear how you handle it. Any size, I know this can affect anyone at all, and sometimes we kind of just internalize it for the sake of that ‘body positive movement’ and that’s not always fair to ourselves.

Just know that everyone has bad days, but that that’s okay because bad days don’t last forever.

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