Acting “As If” You Were Already Body-Confident
By Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LCSW-C
We are not born hating our bodies. Rather, body-shame and internalized fat-phobia is learned through our culture. The positive aspect of this being learned is that body-hatred can be unlearned too, through time and practice.
As a therapist in private practice in Rockville, Maryland, I help my clients to learn tools and harness strategies that will help them to uncover body-appreciation and body-confidence.
Here’s An Exercise
One exercise that can be helpful at the start of someone’s journey from body-hatred to body-confidence begins with describing what life would be like if they were confident in their bodies. They could write a response to the prompt “What a day in my body-confident life would 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. They might, for example, 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 and change some of their unhelpful beliefs. Because really…
Life Is Too Short
After all, life is just too short to allow 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. You may just find that you love yourself and your body… and your life.