My Battle With Negative Body Image Six Months Later

Earlier this year, I opened up about my battle with negative body image. It was scary to share such a vulnerable part of myself, but it also was therapeutic to put my feelings into words. Now here I am six months since that post. A lot has changed for the better!

My Battle with Negative Body Image Six Months Later
 
The biggest lifestyle change that I’ve made and committed to is running. Gosh, it probably sounds ridiculous to say this but running has quite possibly saved my life. Well, my mental health at least. Becoming a runner throughout this year has provided me a sense of accomplishment, which in turn has boosted my confidence and sense of self-worth. I mean, I went from being able to barely make it three minutes on the treadmill to finishing two 5k races this summer. One of which I placed first in my age group! Now, my workout days are my favorite days. I feel at my best when I’m on the treadmill. My body is strong and continues to prove me wrong when I challenge and push myself outside my comfort zone.

Another added benefit of running regularly? Weight loss. While my issues with body image didn’t start or stem from a simple desire to lose weight, it’s still an added benefit. I’m happy (and proud!) to share that I’ve lost seven pounds since May! Numbers have never been my focus or motivation; instead, I’m glad that my clothes are fitting better and I just feel better overall. More like myself. More confident. That’s all I could ever want or hope for.

Unfortunately, I’d be kidding myself if I thought/said that my body issues are no more after only acknowledging them six months ago. Ha ha. YEAH RIGHT. Even with all the positive physical progress, I still struggle hard with the mental/inner-voice side of things. I know that I just said that I feel more confident these days, and I do. But, when I have an off day I have a really off day. (Kind of like right now while I’m writing this post!) So basically throwing all that confidence out the window. Still berating myself in the mirror and saying ugly things. It’s not pretty. Even though I feel okay, some days when I look in the mirror it just doesn’t show or come together. And, I recognize that my initial reaction shouldn’t be to verbally abuse myself. Nasty habits die hard. I’m not perfect, and I’m definitely a work-in-progress.

That said, when I have an off day I’m working toward replacing those negative feelings with positive affirmations. Even if I don’t feel okay head-to-toe, if I can compliment myself on one thing – no matter how small – I take it as a personal win. Everyone also tells me to try the trick that if I wouldn’t say something to my friend then I shouldn’t say it to myself either.

Well, thanks for letting me share a little progress update on my battle with negative body image. It might be something that I always struggle with, but I’m upbeat with the growth that I’ve made in a relatively short amount of time. I hope that being open and transparent about my own experiences can start an honest and positive conversation. I’m always here if any of you want/need to talk!

Do you have any positive affirmations that you share with yourself or others?

For more health and fitness talk, check out how I trained for my first 5k and my first 5k experience.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. I love your open + honest approach, babe! Brave of you to share because you’re going through what we’re ALL going through (at least at some point) and don’t always have the guts to talk about. Kudos! Plus you’re a major babe and I’m so proud of you for rocking those runs!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    Posted 11.9.17 Reply
  2. first off, SO happy for you that running has made such a positive impact on your life. seriously. high fives and hugs.
    as for the mental stuff, talking to yourself or berating yourself in front of the mirror.. have you made specific steps to work on that? besides the positive affirmations i mean. because your journey sounds exactly like mine. exercise helped me, but mine has always been about weight so it was hard to use something like that as something to help my mental health when it was also helping me lose weight, if that makes sense? so when i didn’t lose weight, i got cranky at the exercise that was supposed to be helping me. i also did the positive affirmations till i was blue in the face, but the thing that really stopped me from scrunching my face in disgust when i looked in the mirror, or calling myself fat ugly etc was not trying to drown out the voice with positive things, but rather just telling it to shut up or shaking my head no. yes, i’m sure i looked like a crazy person in a public bathroom shaking my head and telling myself to shut up but i would 100% rather be crazy than hate myself 😉
    again – so happy for you.

    Posted 11.7.17 Reply
    • Thanks, girl – your support through all of this means more than you’ll ever know! Our experiences/journeys do sound so similar, and no I haven’t tried just telling the negative stuff to shut it. The positive affirmations help (depending on the day), but since I’m not really focused on losing weight (still a positive benefit), I don’t find myself cranky with anything relating to exercise. If anything, I’m cranky on the days that I don’t exercise! I’ll try that in the mirror, though and just own whatever’s going on in my head and tell it to take a hike.

      Posted 11.8.17 Reply
  3. Karly I love hearing how your outlook has changed on this over time! Awesome that running has made such a difference for you! This is the kind of motivation I need;)

    Posted 11.6.17 Reply
  4. Pamela wrote:

    Congratulations girl! I am SO happy to hear that you’re feeling more confident! And hey, losing 7 lbs is definitely something to be proud of! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

    Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • Oh, trust me – I’m definitely proud of that! Definitely not what I was setting out to do, but I’ll take it. Thanks, girl!

      Posted 11.8.17 Reply
  5. Ashley wrote:

    This post makes me smile so big! So happy that you found something that you love and that just makes you feel good!

    Posted 11.6.17 Reply
  6. SO happy to hear this amazing update! Sending you all the more hugs sweet friend <3

    Green Fashionista

    Posted 11.6.17 Reply
  7. The Adored Life wrote:

    YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO PROUD OF YOU GIRL!

    The Adored Life

    Posted 11.6.17 Reply
  8. Good for you! You look great!! But I always think that you look beautiful. I have also always admired how honest and open you are too. Keep on being your fab self girl!! 🙂

    Posted 11.6.17 Reply
  9. So proud of you girl! Running is such a great, healthy habit to pick up and it sounds like it has been such a good thing for you.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    Posted 11.6.17 Reply
  10. Debra Stachelski wrote:

    Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your struggle, I think a lot of us struggle with these issues but don’t talk about it. I’m so proud of what you’ve accomplished with your running so far, and happy to hear all the positive effects it’s had for you!

    Posted 11.6.17 Reply
  11. Christina Sotherden wrote:

    I’m so glad that you shared and things are going well and your happy with the change! I’m so bad at running but even incorporating walks into my daily routine always makes me feel so much better about myself and just happier in general!

    Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • Elle Woods was definitely onto something when she said endorphins make people happy, ha! Any sort of exercise lifts up my spirits, too. 🙂

      Posted 11.8.17 Reply
  12. Biana Perez wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your update Karly! So glad you’ve seen a positive change in yourself and found a love for running. I can’t say that I have any positive affirmations, but I can only see that as a positive thing in starting your days with a few kind words towards yourself! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    Posted 11.6.17 Reply