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How to Love Yourself and Cure Your Bad Body Fever

Updated on October 1, 2016
Kathleen Odenthal profile image

Kathleen is a 29 year old mom who struggled with anorexia for decades. She is now in recovery & hopes to educate others about this disease.

Do You Find Yourself Constantly Preoccupied with Negative Body Talk?

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What is Bad Body Fever?

Bad body fever is the self-loathing everyone suffers from at some point in time. Bad body fever is neither viral, nor bacterial - rather, it is an epidemic. Curing bad body fever rests on your ability to challenge ideas you have taken for granted.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that defines people by the way they look. We live in a culture that hates fat, idolizes photo-shopped images of men and women and and promotes poor body image and self-esteem. Today's society accepts dieting and body hatred as normal. Although bad body fever causes pain and suffering, this pain has become an integral part of our emotional and psychological make-up - any attempt to heal it can cause resistance and understandable protest internally.

The time has come for both men and women to tackle bad body fever.

Each of us is waging a private struggle inside of our own minds - but knowing that we are not alone can help us recover from this negative sense of self. Learn ways to replace replace self-deprecation and body hatred with self care and self acceptance.

This fantastic body image workbook gives you practical exercises to help you challenge negative body talk.

What Makes Bad Body Fever Flourish?

In today's society, almost everything we see, hear and read promotes bad body fever. Check out the magazine section at your grocery store and odds are the majority of the stories will read something like this, "Lose 10 Pounds Fast!" "Want a Flat Stomach?" "Foods that Make You Fat" "The Miracle Diet You Haven't Tried Yet".

If you turn on the television, you are bound to be inundated with photoshopped standards for beauty that are physically unattainable and advertisements that encourage negative self-talk and body hatred. If you go to the movies, you watch actors and actresses who use unhealthy habits and behaviors just to look good on camera.

It can be hard to find a place in today's society where bad body fever isn't promoted in one way or another. We have come to accept unrealistic standards for beauty and have been programmed to believe that the way we look is the only thing that matters.

Bad body fever is an outgrowth of a culture that makes us feel inferior. We believe that our bodies are deficient because of the way we look. This wasn't always the case. There was a time in history when women were honored for their curves, and fat wasn't considered such a bad word. Today however, our bad body thoughts preoccupy us, constrain us and control us.

Look Within Yourself to Find True Beauty

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Fat Talk - The Language of Bad Body Fever

How often do you say or think "I feel fat"? We have conditioned ourselves to view 'fat' as a feeling, but it isn't. You can't feel fat - you can feel sad, you can feel angry, you can feel joy, but you can't feel fat.

When we say that we feel fat, what we are really saying is that we are uncomfortable with our current emotions and are masking it with our body. We turn our bodies into metaphors for all of our bad feelings - and we find confirmation for doing so everywhere we look.

Our culture is deeply ambivalent when it comes to our physical appearances. Bodies are idealized and denigrated, protected and abused, encouraged and discriminated against, edited and unedited. All of our external influences are filling our heads with false ideals and unattainable standards of beauty. Before we know it, 'fat talk' becomes the only language we know.

Bad body fever tells us that we are not okay, and that our bodies are defective. The cure for bad body fever involves a liberation from all cultural views on body image. To cure bad body fever, we need to legalize our bodies. This is easier said than done. Accepting your body regardless of size requires a great deal of self-nurturing, an ability to ignore cultural messages that encourage negative self talk, and a willingness to finally get to know yourself.

Embracing your true self means allowing yourself to feel the negative emotions you have been burying for so long. It means loving your body the way it is, accepting and appreciating your unique shape and recognizing that you are perfect the way that you are right now.

Learning that you can love your body without having to change your body can be enlightening, uplifting and even life changing.

Bad Body Fever and Negative Self Talk

Dissecting Bad Body Fever

It is important to recognize the intensity with which the vast majority of women evaluate their bodies.

We hate our bodies with a passion, and this hatred is deep rooted, tied to much more than just our appearance. This hatred of our bodies stems from a much more complicated hatred - one fueled by fear, envy, desire and sadness.

When we start thinking about our physical flaws, saying things like "I feel fat", we are really just saying that we are to afraid of feeling our real emotions, so we are just going to concentrate on our physical self.

Bad body fever is able to flourish so easily because it covers up the deep feelings we all have, but are too afraid to feel.

Bad body fever doesn't discriminate - people of all shapes and sizes can suffer from this condition.

The Consequences of Bad Body Fever

There are many consequences of suffering from bad body fever. Negative self-talk creates poor self-esteem, a poor self-image and can even lead to an eating disorder, or another unhealthy coping mechanism. Bad body fever can cause us to rely on procedures to improve our appearance, diets to help us lose weight, and can even push us to unhealthy extremes like starvation and compulsive exercising.

Bad body fever can also cause us to turn back to food as a way to cope - burying our emotions further inside of ourselves by binge eating. Self-contempt never leads to healthy, lasting changes. Bad body fever is exhausting and depressing.

The cure for bad body fever lies in changing the way we think, feel and live our lives. It involves an acceptance of emotions the way they are and acceptance of our bodies as well. Curing bad body fever isn't easy, but it's possible. And once you free yourself from this cycle of negative self-talk, you will be amazed by the way you feel.

Bad Body Fever Traps You in a Life of Sadness

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ACT is a form of psychotherapy that provides you with powerful tools to help you accept the challenges in your life. This book utilizes the principles of ACT to

Losses That Come Along with Curing Bad Body Fever

Curing bad body fever is difficult because it has served an important purpose in our lives for a long time. If it didn't do anything for us, it would be easy to get rid of, but bad body image is a coping mechanism - which is why its hard for us to let go.

For years, even decades, we have used food and negative self talk to help us avoid painful emotions. Ridding ourselves of bad body fever means accepting the pain that comes with feeling strong emotions. It means acknowledging why we adopted this negative self talk in the first place.

When we cure our bad body fever, we lose the false hope that weight loss is the solution to all of our problems, we lose the distraction that has helped us avoid our real problems and emotions, and we lose the strange comfort that comes with our self-abuse.

Parts of us will resist our attempts to cure our bad body fever, but those parts don't have our best interest at heart, and we must continue through the resistance if we ever want to be free.

Body Image Survey

Which of these best describes how you feel about your body?

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Curing Bad Body Fever

Curing bad body fever is a process - and a long one at that. Because we have developed bad body fever as a way to cope with negative emotions, the cure relies on our ability to change the way we deal with emotions when they arise.

Some people can rid themselves of their bad body fever by themselves, others require assistance from a therapist to change their negative thought patterns. Finding what works for you takes time and patience, but is so worth it in the end.

The key components of curing bad body fever include letting go of the idealized beauty standards set by society, learning self-acceptance, dealing with your emotions, ridding your head of 'fat talk' and recognizing the importance of self-care.

With effort, you will slowly but surely begin to feel independent and strong - knowing that you are fine just the way you are.

Bad body fever tells us that we are not okay, and that our bodies are defective. The cure for bad body fever involves a liberation from all cultural views on body image. To cure bad body fever, we need to legalize our bodies.

This is easier said than done.

Accepting your body regardless of size requires a great deal of self-nurturing, an ability to ignore cultural messages that encourage negative self talk, and a willingness to finally get to know yourself.

Embracing your true self means allowing yourself to feel the negative emotions you have been burying for so long. It means loving your body the way it is, accepting and appreciating your unique shape and recognizing that you are perfect the way that you are right now.

Learning that you can love your body without having to change your body can be enlightening, uplifting and even life changing.

© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal Romano

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    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thank you Lisa. Boy do I wish we could go back to the old, OLD ideals of female beauty, like curves, but I don't know if that will ever happen sadly.

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 3 years ago from New Jersey

      I think society has caused this body fever. Remember all those skinny models? Well I think they look terrible. Love yourself from within and you will than love who you are. Can we eat better? Sure Can we exercise more? Sure. But do it to be healthy, not because society tells us too. Great article.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thank you! It is a topic near and dear to my heart and I hope to publish a book one day on the subject. I appreciate your kind words!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Such an important subject really!! Well done!

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 3 years ago from USA

      This is a great hub and well put together and much needed today. Voted up plus. thanks for sharing it. Have a great day. 7521433p

    • Janellegems profile image

      Janellegems 3 years ago from United States

      Excellent hub. Well said and well written. Society has made some unrealistic standards of beauty and bases in how we look. Thanks for sharing how to be free from the beliefs and negative thoughts patterns about ourselves and what true beauty looks like.

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