As I mentioned recently, lately I’ve have been having bad body image days more often than usual. I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time because it’s something I’ve struggled with the past nine or ten years of my life. I even have a post from last October sitting in my drafts talking about how my struggles with body image at the time.
I’ve mentioned my past with disordered eating and body dysmorphia before. I even shared a few tips about coming to terms with your own body in that last post, but I never really talked about what to do on a day to day basis.
So that’s what we’re doing today.
These are things you can do when you want to avoid every mirror and camera. On days where you can’t stop thinking about how much better someone looks compared to you. When all you can think about is how much your skirt is squeezing your waist or when all your clothes swallow you whole. This is what you do:
Tell yourself you’re pretty
First things first, you gotta start making a habit out of complimenting yourself.
Whether that be always saying, “I’m beautiful” when you look in a mirror or setting random reminders to go off on your phone with compliments, you gotta find a way to make kindness towards yourself more prominent in your life. Read more…
It was a Saturday night a few weeks days before I was heading back to Georgetown University for my sophomore year of college. My friends were all going to Applebee’s to eat half price appetizers and spend quality time with each other before returning to their respective colleges and universities.
Instead of joining the girls, I laid in my bed and cried. I didn’t go to Applebee’s that night because I didn’t want to eat. And I knew, that if I had gone and sat in front of all those greasy foods, I would have binged.
I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I knew that I had a serious problem. I knew that if I didn’t want to hang out with my best friends just because I was afraid to eat, something was wrong. Fortunately, with eating disorders, recognizing that there is a problem and wanting to change it is often the first step.
I went back to Georgetown and started meeting with my school dietitian. I began to learn that taking care of myself, was so much more than just what I ate or how often I exercised. I learned to start loving myself and truly caring for my whole being- mind, body, and soul.
After almost a year of working on my eating habits and feeling good about myself in general, I finally found balance with my health. But, what I thought would be a breath of fresh air, was far from it. Read more…
As I write this I’m on a bus back from Edinburgh to Glasgow. A trip I wanted to take to see a few things I missed on my first visit and to finally meet another study abroad friend I had been talking to online for a couple months. I also thought going to Edinburgh would be a nice little day trip to get me out of my usual surroundings. Lately, Glasgow has been really burning me out.
And turns out I needed this trip more than I thought.
You see, yesterday morning when I was all ready to go, bag packed and about to walk out the door, I literally almost started crying. I didn’t want to go. I got scared. Of what? I’m not sure. I’ve been to Edinburgh before for two days completely alone before with no issues. I should have been excited to go back to the city!! Especially since I had found some nice vegan cafesand knew all the cherry blossoms were in full bloom all around the city and castle.
But instead there I was standing in my flat’s doorway, about to cry, trying to get myself to not just go lay in bed all day. I even tried to compromise with myself. “Just go to a cafe here and work Caitlyn. Go back to that vegan coffee shop on the West end.” And while I really wanted to listen to this voice, I just kept repeating, “If I don’t get on that bus I’ll regret it.” So I walked the five minutes to the bus station and got on that bus.
The hour bus ride there I was going back and forth between silently cursing myself for going and praising myself for doing something my mind was screaming at me not to do. But as soon as I stepped off that bus and went to my first destination, the Scottish Portrait Gallery, I immediately felt better. No more regrets, no more sad feelings, no more weird funk. I felt reenergized and ready to allow myself to enjoy life again.
I had been in a weird funk since Wednesday, so I was glad to be back as myself. The exact same kind of funk I was in for almost two months when I first came abroad. I felt depressed, lonely, my social anxiety was awful and caused panic attacks if I had to even think about leaving my room. But because I’ve dealt with this weird funks my whole life actually (just never to the extreme I have experienced here) I’ve picked up on quite a few things that help me survive and not want to give up completely.
Appreciate other people’s art
Over the past few years, I’ve slowly discovered my love for art. I always loved reading, but it wasn’t until I got to college that I also discovered my love of drawing, painting, and photography. Then after going to a hundred million museums here in Europe, I realized I have a thing for just looking at other people’s art, not just creating it.
Sometimes I get in a weird funk because I feel like I’m not creating enough, or the right things. And that has definitely played a part recently. I’ve taken so many photos since being abroad, and editing them has just become this huge chore I never want to do. So when I went to Edinburgh this week, I purposefully left my DSLR at home and just went out to enjoy everything through my eyes, and not a lens. Read more…
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