Breaking down mental health stigma is why I became a personal trainer. My first instinct today was to keep this to myself - stigma still has plenty of influence I’m afraid.
It’s been coming for a while. It starts as a quiet whisper that I am able to counteract at first. However, after a few triggers it can sometimes become loud enough to affect my thoughts and self esteem.
My low self-esteem is at the core of this thought pattern. I know that - and I’m working on it.
It is also helpful to notice my triggers. This time mine are; stress with home learning; stress with wanting to work more than I am able at the moment; no time to myself; buying a whole load of clothes from ASOS to try on today. Starting with a fragile (but improving) self-esteem underpins all of this - but when you begin layering these on - the old thought patterns can find their way through.
So I am experiencing emotions and thoughts today telling me that I am not skinny enough to look good in the clothes I have tried on this afternoon. I began to tell myself that I should lose a few pounds - recognise that cycle anyone??
I could give power to these thoughts and emotions and frog-march myself down the deprivation/result driven exercise/Friday morning weigh day route (well trodden for me). Will I feel better if I hit my target? Hell no! Just makes it worse.
Instead I am being mindful of what else is going on in my life at the moment. I am also remembering my past thought-patterns and behaviours which can reappear when I am vulnerable.
And I am telling you all about it. I’m not keeping it inside. I won’t give my bad body image day the power to hurt me.
I will remember that I love my body. I love what it does for me, how strong and healthy it is, and that it IS beautiful.
A bad body image day - I SEE YOU. I don’t take up too much space.
I just need to pay attention to my needs. And to show kindness to my mind and body. Sharing this with you guys helps with that. I hope it helps you if you experience this. Tell someone and explore it.