Shocker! I know! Yes, there are still things about my body and myself that I do not like. Things that are not flaws, but are unique to who I am. I’m working on it…
(See the first post on struggling with body image.)
Will you have body image issues after weight loss? Probably. You will not ever fit the “perfect” standard, Barbie ideal as put forth in our culture. You will not ever meet your own ideal.
If you’ve come to this page in the middle stages of your weight loss journey, or even after you’ve lost a significant amount of weight, and you are still unhappy with how you look, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Body image issues after weight loss is not a topic that the fitness and weight loss industry wants to talk about. The marketing hype tells you that if you just lose the weight, if you “tone” your muscles, have a curvier bootie, follow these 5 quick and easy steps, then you will look how all the air brushed fitness models look, you will be sexy, you will get the guy, and you will be finally be happy.
The fitness industry doesn’t talk about it, but I am talking about it, because of my experience and the experience of women I know. I know curvy, overweight women, (who in my opinion have a beautiful shape), who feel self-loathing. I know very small, thin women (who also have beautiful shape) who feel self-loathing.
The dark secret of the fitness industry is that on the other side of “fixing” your body, you still will not be happy. Tweet This!
And guess what? Other people may still find fault with how you look and who you are.
If you do get close to the fitness model ideal, you will be working your ass off, have time for little else in your life, be starving yourself, have low energy, and likely less strength. Are you willing to pay that price???
Where is the line between being healthy and feeling good in your body, and an having it be an obsession? Every woman has to answer that question for herself.
Where is the line for you?
Much of how you feel about yourself is not because you are somehow intrinsically ugly, or because there is something wrong with you. It is because there is something wrong with our society.
You are not intrinsically ugly and there is nothing “wrong” with you! Tweet This!
Be the most awesome version of you!
Dealing with body image issues after weight loss–Questions to Ask Yourself:
Are you at a healthy body fat for you, right now? (roughly between 18-24% body fat)
(keep in mind this may be different at different times of your life–pregnant, not pregnant, training for a figure competition vs, training for a powerlifting event etc.) If you are not at a healthy bodyfat, you can take steps to change that, but know that there are things about your body that you may like less after weight loss.
If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you may end up with a lot of extra skin. The same thing often happens after pregnancy and breastfeeding. When your breasts and belly are stretched to that extent, there will likely be some tissue damage, and it’s not all going to pop right back to being smooth and tight.
This is not at all meant to discourage you from starting on your fitness journey, becoming healthier, and losing weight. I just want you to know that self acceptance is a combination of work that you do on the outside and work that you do on the inside. Tweet This!
I can help you with a simple no frills plan for getting stronger, burning fat, and tools for changing your mindset–but only YOU can do the hard and sometimes painstaking work inside and outside.
Can you make peace with where you are at right now?
You can celebrate how far you’ve come physically, while still working towards your goals.
Are you a little bit stronger than you need to be?
Can you do what you want to do in life and not be limited? Hike, swim, ski, climb, play with your kids, dig in your garden, get up and down off the floor–goals are different for every woman.
Do you eat a nutritious diet 80-90% of the time?
If you are consistent in your diet and training 80-90% of the time, you will make progress. Striving for perfection is a never ending losing battle, and your energies are best spent elsewhere. Preaching to myself as well.
Are you moving toward your dreams? Are you making the world a better place?
Then regardless of what you think, My Dear, YOU ARE A BADASS!