Body Image Issues

Hi there! I’m currently a student who just started school and I’ve been dealing with body image issues for a few years now. Sometimes I miss the good old days when I didn’t really care, but now it’s always on my mind and it’s been bugging me for quite some time. I was overweight a few years back and some comments were made about my body, and I wasn’t really comfortable with it. However, I didn’t think much about it back then. That was till I found out someone very close and important to me also made the same comments before, and this really affected me. I started becoming extremely conscious of what I looked like in the mirror, such that every single time I walked past a mirror I would look into it and feel bad about how I looked. I would be filled with self-doubt and my thoughts would always be self-deprecating. To be honest, I just didn’t like how my body looked at that point in time. That was when I started to cut down on food by extreme lengths. At first, I would eat less rice, or less meat, but then it gradually got worse to the point where I ate only vegetables for meals and sometimes 2 or even 1 meal a day. I even went to the gym, sometimes twice a day. This led to an unhealthy cut-down of weight, leading me to lose more than 10kg in the span of 1.5 months. By that time, I thought I would be happy with my body, and I thought all my concerns would fade, and it was true. For a period of time, I became happy about my body, and I liked the way I looked, though I understood fully how unhealthy the route I took to achieve it was. But slowly, I relapsed to my old ways and started looking in the mirror again, scolding myself for the littlest of things. Sometimes I would feel very bloated after a meal and feel self-conscious about it, thinking I had put on weight again even if it’s just water weight. I would regularly check myself in the mirror to see whether I’ve gained weight anywhere, to see if I might return to the body type I was before the entire weight-loss journey. That was a constant fear, a constant worry in my mind. In current day, I’m still a little insecure. There’s still a lot of things surrounding this that’s on my mind. For instance, my parents would always call me “too skinny”, or tell me to “eat more” and “gain weight”, but when I look in the mirror, that is not the image that I see. This makes me really confused. Am I really what I see in the mirror? Or am I what people say about me? People said that I was fat before, and now they either praise or scold me for being too skinny, but in the mirror I would always see something different. I would always doubt in the end. Is this normal? What can I do about it?


Hi @jinx

Thank you for opening up about your experiences with body image concerns. It takes courage to share such personal struggles, and I want you to know that your feelings are valid.

It sounds like you’ve been on a challenging journey, and the impact of comments about your body, especially from someone close to you, has deeply affected your self-perception. The cycle of extreme dieting, exercise, and self-criticism can be emotionally and physically exhausting, so it does make sense to feel the way you do right now.

It’s common for people with body image issues to experience confusion about their self-perception, especially when faced with conflicting comments from others. The reality is that how you see yourself may not always align with others’ perceptions, and that’s okay. It’s important to prioritize your own feelings and well-being rather than seeking external validation.

What you’re describing is not uncommon, and it can be helpful to explore these feelings with a mental health professional, such as a counselor or therapist. They can provide support and coping strategies to process through these complex emotions and develop a healthier relationship with your body :slight_smile:

I encourage you to develop a balanced and sustainable approach to nutrition and exercise, which can contribute to both physical and mental health. Additionally, discussing your concerns openly with your parents or other trusted individuals in your life might help them better understand your perspective and provide more supportive feedback.

Remember, your worth is not solely determined by your appearance, and seeking professional help can be a good step toward building a healthier and more positive relationship with your body and self-image.

Do let us know how you’re coping and if you’ve managed to reach out to a professional. We’ll be here to support you. Hear from you soon.

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