Acting “As If” You Were Already Body-Confident 

By Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LCSW-C 

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We are not born hating our bodies. Rather, body-shame and internalized fat-phobia is learned through our culture. The positive aspect of this, is that body-hatred can be unlearned through time and practice. 

As a therapist in private practice in Rockville, Maryland, I help my clients to learn tools and strategies that will help them to uncover body-appreciation and body-confidence.  

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An Exercise  

One exercise that can be helpful at the start of someone’s journey from body-hatred to body-confidence, begins with asking the person to describe what their life would be like if they were confident in their bodies. They could write a response to the prompt, “What a day in my life when I’m body-confident will look like.” 

This could include activities or things in their life that they have “put off” or avoided due to body-shame. I also explore with clients, other aspects of their life that are negatively impacted by their feelings of body-loathing. 

It can be helpful for the person to start challenging themselves in small and manageable ways, to take actions “as if” they already were body-confident. For example, they might decide to go to the pool with their kids in a bathing suit or venture out into the dating scene. Repeating these actions over time can actually help them to challenge some of their unhelpful beliefs. 

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Life Is Too Short  

After all, life is just too short to allow your unhelpful thoughts about your body to dictate your actions and diminish your happiness. When you start to practice actions “as if” you were already body-confident, you may just find that your mindset begins to shift.  

 

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