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Ending Bad Body Thoughts

Updated on October 16, 2016
Kathleen Odenthal profile image

Kathleen is an entrepreneur who runs her own photography studio, Life in Pixels Photography. She is passionate about small business.

Most Women Hate Their Bodies - Let's End the Body Hatred - End the Stigmatism

Recognizing Bad Body Thoughts

In order to stop our bad body thoughts, we need to learn how to recognize our bad body thoughts first. For many of us, shaming our body has become so natural that it can be hard to tell what thoughts are self deprecating and what thoughts are not.

We live in a culture of shame. We live in a culture that tells us it isn't okay to be fat, and we live in a culture that tells us that it isn't okay to be angry. This compounds the problem and makes our bad body thoughts louder than they have ever been.

Once we can accept the premise that a bad body thought is never actually about our body, we can start to search for the real issue that is causing our bad body thoughts. Next time we recognize a bad body thought pop up in our mind, we need to ask ourselves, what has happened recently in our life that has upset us, made us mad, disappointed us, or left us with some other unpleasant feeling.

Recognize that bad body thoughts are just coping mechanisms to help us ignore uncomfortable feelings is key.

This workbook was one of the best books I ever used during my recovery from anorexia. It contains a plethora of exercises that teach you how to challenge negati

If We Could Stop Hating Our Bodies

What do you think would happen if we could stop hating our bodies? We would...

  • learn to eat when, what and how much our bodies need
  • overcome our fear of not being on a diet
  • look in the mirror and like what we see
  • decode our fat talk to reveal our real concern
  • stop trying to measure up to society's ridiculous and impossible standards of beauty
  • learn to accept ourselves - our bodies as well as our feelings - unconditionally

Eight of ten women say that they are unhappy with the person they see in the mirror. That is a depressing statistic. Just imagine a world where we all appreciated our bodies and accepted ourselves as we are - what kind of world would that be?

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

Body Image Survey

If you could change one thing about the way you look, what would you change?

See results

Addressing Your Bad Body Thoughts

Once we can recognize our bad body thoughts, we can begin to address these thoughts. Curing negative body image relies on our ability to stop the bad body thoughts - recognizing and addressing the thoughts is just half of the battle. Once we can address the thoughts, only then can we begin to move past the thoughts and ultimately learn how to think differently altogether.

In order to start addressing our bad body thoughts we need to:

  1. Apologize - The first step in addressing our bad body thoughts is to apologize to ourselves. We owe ourselves a HUGE apology for the way we have treated ourselves. Only once we truly regret the self-shaming and self-hatred we have come to know, can we start to embrace an attitude of self-acceptance and self-love.
  2. Challenge the Authority of Our Bad Body Thoughts - After we apologize to ourselves, we can begin to challenge our bad body thoughts. When a body-shaming thought pops up, question the thought. Think about it for a minute, and try to find any validity to the statement. When we start to challenge these thoughts, we will notice that the thoughts start to get quieter and quieter, and more and more infrequent.
  3. Set the Thought Aside - Now that we can challenge our bad body thoughts, we can begin to let them flow in and out of our mind without paying any attention to them. When we notice a thought, we simply ignore it and shift our attention elsewhere.
  4. Learn from Our Bad Body Thoughts - After some time, once we are comfortable with our bodies, we can start to examine and dissect the thoughts. When we say that "we feel fat." We are really saying that we feel hurt, we feel sad, we feel lonely or we feel angry. Identifying what is behind our bad body thoughts can help us get through the real challenges in our life.

Moving Beyond Bad Body Thoughts

We have now learned how to recognize and address our negative self-talk. Now what? Now we need to learn how to move beyond these thoughts that have ruled us for so long. By decoding our bad body thoughts, we identify our real fears and our real problems.

Now, what do we do with this laundry list of problems we have been burying for most of our life? We deal with them - one at a time, and at a pace that we are comfortable with. We start to be more nurturing to ourselves.

We all have within us a nurturing caretaker who has been suppressed for years by our shaming self-talk. When we learn to move away from the bad body thoughts, our nurturing caretaker steps in and provides us with unconditional love and acceptance.

When we move away from our bad body thoughts we can start to appreciate ourselves, as well as others, for who we are as human beings.

Think about it like this - If you, as an adult, lived with someone who was as abusive to you as you are to yourself, would you stay there? Would you maintain and foster that kind of relationship? Hopefully not. Stop putting yourself through abuse you wouldn't take from others. Stop the bad body thoughts today.

Stop Shaming Your Body

Learning to Befriend Your Body

Identifying, decoding and stopping our bad body talk - creating an atmosphere in which all of our thoughts and feelings can exist free of disguise is only the first step in curing our bad body fever. The next step is learning to befriend our body.

Learning to befriend our bodies the way they are isn't easy, especially in today's society. For years we have attacked, berated and ridiculed ourselves because of our appearance. We have only just begun to challenge our bad body talk. Now we need to befriend our bodies?

In order to take this unprecedented prescriptive, we must be willing to view ourselves in a way that we have never viewed ourselves before. We must be willing to stop defining ourselves by numbers, by sizes, by shapes, and more importantly, we must be willing to stop comparing our bodies to everyone else's.

We are unique and we are special. When we can learn to love ourselves, and recognize just how special we are, only then can we push aside the negative self talk and learn to befriend our body.

© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal


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