One of the best feelings in the world is looking in the mirror and feeling good about yourself. Confidence is something most of us struggle with at some point in our lives. When you are on a weight loss surgery journey, your body changes drastically in a short amount of time. This can cause a lot of body image issues because our mind cannot keep up with how fast we are losing. There are some days where we feel strong and beautiful and other days where we feel disgusting. I can speak from experience that this can be extremely destructive. I have noticed that on my poor body image days, I am in a bad mood all day. However, on the positive body image days, I feel unstoppable. So, how can we have more of those wonderful days?
One thing I have started doing on poor body image days is focusing on self-care. For example, if I am feeling low, I go get my nails done or do something that will lift my spirits. I have learned that I must do something to make me feel good about myself. Another thing that has helped me is going to the gym. Even though the thought of it sometimes sounds awful, I feel better after every workout. No matter what it is, do something that makes you happy. It can be easy to use these days as an excuse to eat bad, but don’t let those thoughts take over. You might find pleasure while eating tasty food, but you will feel horrible afterward.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and I am ashamed of my loose skin. That is not the way we need to think about ourselves throughout this weight loss surgery journey. It is so easy to think negative thoughts about yourself, but I promise you it will not do anything but make you feel worse. I try to look in the mirror and notice the positive things about myself which are not necessarily weight-related. I sometimes will even say those things out loud. It helps to actually hear the comments you are thinking in your head.
As a bariatric patient, you will have ups and downs with your body image. It is not an easy task to work through those body image issues, but it is possible. Look in the mirror and be proud of your loose skin. You worked so hard for that! Even when you are first beginning your journey, look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are, because you are! No matter what size you are, you deserve to love yourself. We all have goals for ourselves and that is perfectly healthy. However, not loving yourself until you get to that goal is not healthy. This will be a long journey and it will go a lot smoother if you focus on the good. Spend time with yourself and find things that make you happy.
Every stretch mark, love handle, and loose skin is part of your story. When you start loving yourself and focus on getting healthy, both mind and body, you will feel stronger every single day. Do not sit around waiting to hit your goal weight. Do not rely on other people to define your self-worth. Do not wallow in your negative thoughts. Get up, get moving and focus on you!