Gaining weight is extremely difficult during recovery – and perhaps even more difficult once you are weight restored. Body image challenges typically persist long after weight restoration.
When I fractured both of my femurs and was in a wheelchair, I gained a significant amount of weight. I felt terrible about myself. I was stuck feeling sorry for myself and shaming my body.
One night when I was really struggling with body image, a friend of mine pretty much just told me to knock it off. He said,
You have skin that keeps you warm. You have eyes that let you see. Think about all the amazing things your body can do rather than focusing on how it looks.
He made a good point. When we obsess over the superficial aspects of our bodies, we forget about what our body does for us – it does so much just to keep us alive!
The list method
Now whenever I am having bad body image, I list all of the reasons I should love my body and it really does help me feel better.
When you find yourself shaming your own body, repeat these words to yourself:
I have skin that keeps me warm.
My eyes that let me see the world.
I have a heart that beats.
I’m thankful for lungs that breathe.
My ears can listen to the birds sing.
I have a nose that can smell the flowers.
My mouth can smiles.
I have toes that wiggle.
And I have a mind that thinks brilliant thoughts, but sometimes tries to trick me into thinking badly about myself – so I won’t let it!