How to deal with pictures of your thinner body

Do you find it hard to look at pictures of your thinner body?

If so, you aren’t alone, this is something my clients struggle with ALL THE TIME!

In this post, I share perspectives and coaching questions to help when you struggle to look at pictures of your thinner or younger body.

Listen or read below:

Struggle to look at pictures of your thinner body?

This comes up a lot in coaching sessions, and something clients really struggle with.

Seeing pictures of your thinner body can trigger negative thoughts like, “How could I let myself go?” or “Why am I not as thin as I used to be?” or “If I could only be that thin again”.

But no matter how much of a shock it might be to see pictures of your thinner body, there are things you can do to get yourself out of the negativity spiral that looking at old pictures can cause.

So, I’m going to share with you a few perspectives and coaching questions that will help if you struggle to look at pictures of your thinner body:

Acknowledge that it’s okay to grieve your thinner body

Part of learning to accept your body is to grieve for the thinner body you once had or dreamed of having.

It’s not your fault that you want to be thinner – that’s what we’ve all been conditioned to want. Our culture glorifies thinness and demonises people in larger bodies.

Be self-compassionate and know that you’re not the only person who feels this way!

At the same time, acknowledge that letting go of the thin ideal will set you free to focus on more important things in your life.

So, if pursuing a thinner body hasn’t helped you to feel better about yourself so far, it’s time to try something different.

Remember, bodies change

Bodies change over time – they don’t stay static, and that’s natural and normal.

Why would you expect your 35-year-old self to look like your 20 something self?

If you do, ask yourself where that expectation has come from? Is it realistic? Most likely it’s not!

These expectations are created by multibillion-dollar industries that thrive off a population of women who hate their bodies throughout their life.

What was life like at the time of the photo?

Because society equates thinness with being happier, healthier, and more successful, you may automatically assume that your life was ‘better’ in a thinner body. But think carefully, was it really?

What difference did being thinner make to your life? When you really think about it, maybe life wasn’t any different?

What, if anything did you have to sacrifice to sustain your body at that size?

As one of my clients said, “I was starving myself to maintain my thinner body – I was hungry and miserable.” That isn’t something she wants to do anymore.

Or if you do remember being happier at the time, how much of that happiness was attributable to being thinner? Perhaps the picture captures an experience that felt good, rather than being about your body.

And even though you pine for the thinner you in that photo now, I bet that at the time, you didn’t appreciate your body. There were still things about it you didn’t like.

Let that photo serve as a wakeup call.

Don’t waste any more of your life trying to change your body or wishing it was different. Accept that there will always be things about your body that you like and don’t, and that’s okay.

A life well lived is about the experience in the photo, not how thin you look in it!

I’d love to hear about your experience of looking at pictures of your thinner body, and if the perspectives and questions I’ve shared are useful. Leave a comment below.

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