We’ve all been there! Body Confidence coach Judi Craddock talks about how to deal with those ‘bad body’ days. Acknowledging them is a good start!
After years working on my body image, I still have days when I don’t feel great about my appearance. I call this a ‘bad body day’.
Being body confident doesn’t mean you’ll never have days when you think negatively about your body. Rather, a healthy body image helps you to bounce back from body negativity and not let it drag you down. A body confident response is one that acknowledges negative feelings, but doesn’t allow them to sabotage your happiness.
If you’re prepared for bad body days, you’ll bounce back from body negativity much more quickly. That’s why having a bad body day plan is so useful.
When a bad body day sets in, here are some strategies you can build into your plan:
Trade expectation for appreciation
I love this really simple technique from Tony Robbins. Emotions such as frustration, anger, perfectionism, and anxiety arise when we experience unmet expectations. When you expect a lot from yourself (including your body) and others, you miss out on the joy in the moment.
Robbins suggests that once you realise that expectations are ruining your peace and joy, you switch your focus to gratitude. What can you be grateful for in this moment?
When you’re stuck thinking that you hate your body it’s because you have some expectation of how it ‘should’ be. You’re comparing it to others, a younger version of you or a societal ideal. Switch your focus to what you are grateful for about your body in that moment. Is it healthy? Is it rested? What does it allow you to do?
Re-connect with your body
When you’re experiencing negativity about your body, you’re disconnected from it. If you’re berating your body, it’s as if it isn’t part of you. You don’t trust it because it doesn’t look or behave in the way you want it to. When you’re disconnected in this way, it’s impossible to feel kind or compassionate towards your body.
To help you become re-connected with your body, try a full body scan. Starting at your feet and working your way up, focus on how each part of your body feels without judgement or evaluation. Doing this scan will help calm any negative feelings you’re having. From this calmer place, you can connect with kinder, healthier thoughts about your body.
Journal or speak out your feelings
Bottling up negative feelings about your body won’t help you to feel better about it. Allowing your feelings out will help to dissipate their intensity.
When you’re having a bad body day, either speak out loud or write out what you’re really feeling about your body in that moment. Here’s something I’ve said to myself recently:
“I really don’t like my body today. All these negative feelings about my skin are coming up for me. I’m annoyed with myself that these old feelings are creeping in again, but I know it’s perfectly normal to have days like these. The best thing I can do is to acknowledge these feelings and be patient with myself. I know that this feeling will pass.”
Be kind to yourself
When a bad body day hits it’s easy to start beating yourself up, telling yourself that you’ve failed at body confidence.
On my bad body days, I sometimes tell myself I’m a fraud, and that my body confidence tools and techniques don’t work. Then, I remember that body confidence is a journey. You don’t suddenly love or appreciate everything about your appearance. Acceptance occurs over time, and your body confidence will constantly be tested.
The best thing you can do on a bad body day is be kind to yourself. Tell yourself you are a human being. Whatever you experience, it’s okay – you are constantly learning and growing.
Make time to do something you like on a bad body day. Read a book you love, do an activity you enjoy, have coffee with a friend, whatever makes you feel good.
Bad body day?? Bring it on! You got this!!