It’s not exactly my idea of a good time, but the alternative is no longer acceptable. I am cracking down and doing everything I can to take control of my self-esteem and body image. The media and all the abuse I took from relatives and peers are not going to control me anymore. Whatever it takes, I’m going to take this BDD and kick its ass.
Over the last three days I’ve been doing something new. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m hoping it will help. When I get up in the morning I no longer go into the bathroom and leave the light off to avoid the mirror. I turn the light on and stand in front of the big mirror that takes up most of the wall behind the dual vanity. I look at myself and really think about what I see. I look at myself from various angles and really think.
First I try to look at what I like. My hair, my skin, my hips, and so on. I really think about *why* I like them. I describe those parts to myself in my head. I really focus on the good feeling I get from liking those bits. Then I look at the rest. Of course, this is the hard part, because my mind wants to tell me that I have this problem bit and that ugly bit and on and on. I pay attention to those thoughts and address each one. I try to remind myself of reality, not the exaggerated perspective that the media and other people put into my head.
For example, I have some stretch marks. “They’re gross and ugly!” my mind screams. BUT! They’re not the deep kind, so that’s good. They’re only there because I lost 30 pounds of fat, so that’s a plus. I have awesome natural lotion, so I can make them fade, and that’s good. My brain focuses a lot on my belly too, which I think is huge and gross. Then I look from a side view and realize that it’s just a small bump. My mind rebels because looking down and touching it it seems horrid, but I have to focus away from the negative. I also remind myself that it’s not permanent, I’m doing yoga and eating well, and I can make it slimmer.
I go through this every morning now with various parts of my body. It’s really challenging. My brain wants to go to that “but look!” and “eww!” and “it’s SO nasty!” place, but I can’t let it stay there. I have to take control back. I’m also reminding myself through reading and just using this big brain of mine, that the media sucks. It’s evil. It has screwed up a large part of the world. This isn’t ME, it’s the media and other people that made me this way. I can get those thoughts out and learn to love myself. I have to. The alternative is unacceptable.
I wonder how other people overcame BDD. Do any of you out there have methods you used to get your self-esteem back and learn to love a body that doesn’t meet media standards?