Having a bad body image day? Here’s what to do when your body image and self-esteem spiral, or you’re around people who body shame.

We’ve all been there when a casual conversation gets hijacked by bad body talk – and it feels ick.

“I’ve earned my breakfast now.”

“I’m going to need to go to the gym after this.”

“I look ugly in everything I wear.”

“I’ve eaten rubbish all week. I’ve got to be good.”

“I’ve gained weight and I feel disgusting.”

Sound familiar?

Yeah, no one ever warned us of the wild rollercoaster ride that diet culture talk sends us on…On a day-to-day basis sometimes!

Allllll aboard the emotion train.

Don’t worry, I’m on it with ya, screaming next to you.

Weight and body insecurities

Diet culture talk. It’s pervasive. It breeds insecurities.

It’s disheartening and restrictive – and it spreads. 

Often, it’s something we do on autopilot because we’ve been told for so long we’re supposed to feel bad about our bodies. All that negative noise can be hard not to internalise.

Especially if you’re having a bad body image day.

Overcoming body image issues

But it doesn’t have to be this way forever. Yes, you can learn how to feel good about your body.

Body confidence is not out of reach for you.

Here’s what to do in those instances when your own neg body talk spirals, or you’re around friends or family (does your mum, or another loved-one, comment on your body? This blog post might help) trapped in the vicious cycle.

Crank up my Body Confidence ❤️ Feel Good Playlist ❤️ on Spotify and learn how to stop negative body talk in 7 steps.

1. Notice your thinking

Separating the emotion is a simple but powerful tool. Tell yourself, this is comparison, or this is anxiety. This isn’t you.

And if you need a few more tips on how to stop hating your body, you are going to like this poddy episode: “I hate my body!” But what next?

This episode is exactly what you need on a bad body image day. Image: Lyndi Cohen
This episode is exactly what you need on a bad body image day. Image: Lyndi Cohen

2. Forgive yourself for not being perfect

It’s okay to have high standards but complaining about your body won’t make you healthier, skinnier or happier. At a minimum, don’t give the sucky self-esteem thoughts power by saying them out loud.

3. Set the precedent

By not dissing your body or others around your friends or family it gives a subtle cue you won’t participate in diet culture (diet culture can be sneaky. Here’s how to tell if you’re on a diet in disguise).

My tummy might have rolls, but does that make me any less a person? Nope. Image: Lyndi Cohen
My tummy might have rolls, but does that make me any less a person? Nope. Image: Lyndi Cohen

4. Keep a compliment diary

Save nice things people say to you in your notes on your phone. When you need to pick yourself up on a down day, you can read through the good vibes.

5. Go into compassion mode

Be helpful and encouraging to those close to you when they’re hating on their body. Let them feel heard, but not judged and take steps to feel better about things, like instead of meeting for a boozy dinner, eat a home-cooked meal together, or go for a morning walk and coffee.

If you can’t meet up in person, a walk and talk can also do the trick. Image: Lyndi Cohen

6. Consider a mantra

Sounds a bit woo woo but it’s a nifty fallback when it feels like everything sucks. One I enjoy is “I am enough. I am essential”. It’s a circuit breaker for my brain when on a neg spiral.

7. Focus on health

Not size – and question expectations and body ideals if you’re up for talking about it. Then challenge yourself and your mates to only use positive body talk. That means thinking about your body as more than weight – but something that can dance, laugh, think, question, and a gazillion cool things more.

Need a little extra support? In my FREE 30-day challenge I’ll teach you how to say goodbye to crappy old-school diet advice and create a healthier relationship with food. Click here to sign up for F*CK DIETS Challenge.

Bye bye bad body image days!  Image: Lyndi Cohen
Bye bye bad body image days! Image: Lyndi Cohen