How to deal with a bad body image day

Can you think of those days when you just feel ~good~ maybe your hair is doing it’s thing, or you are rocking a new outfit, or you’re just feeling yourself? You might not link anything specific to result these days, but we’re normally pretty happy when they come around! On the other hand, there are days when you might feel ‘blah’ – maybe you’re upset by how your clothes fit, feel like you don’t look or feel yourself, or are feeling out of sorts. These days can feel just as random as a ‘good’ body image day, but often, our reaction to them is more extreme and exacerbated by our diet culture and history with dieting.

‘Bad’ body image days happen to everyone – from the person on the cover of a magazine, to you, me, and everyone you pass on the street. They are tough and when they come up unexpectedly, can feel overwhelming, frustrating and sometimes scary. Diet culture loves these days because they make you an ideal candidate for their diet pitch by saying “if you diet you’ll feel better about your body, be thinner, and therefore happier, and feel more confident!” But, when you think about your history with dieting, has diet culture kept these promises? And at what cost?

Why ‘bad’ body image days are like bad hair days

We’ve all had bad hair days – you know when it looks flat, or just isn’t holding up like you’d prefer. When this happens, it can be frustrating and annoying, but for the most part, you can move on and still have a pretty great day. If you tell someone you’re having a bad hair day, they’ll likely tell you “Ugh those are the worst, you look pretty much the same as yesterday to me!”

A few hacks to a bad hair day might be – a ponytail day, wearing a headband, some dry shampoo etc. It would be pretty extreme if you decided on every bad hair day that you needed to shave your head, dye your hair or get a perm, right? Even if you’re uncomfortable for the day, you know that this feeling will pass, or you can do a few things to make you feel more comfortable and have an okay day without going to extremes. (Imagine if every bad hair day, you cut off all your hair??)

So, what if you thought of your ‘bad’ body image day in a similar way to your bad hair days?

Here are a few tips to start with and questions to ask yourself:

Body image is a moving target and there are many factors that impact our body image day-to-day. It is completely normal to feel like some days are tougher than others, but you don’t have to do it alone! If you’re interested in getting support and working 1:1, I’m accepting new clients for virtual nutrition therapy and body image work.

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