Sadly, and unfortunately, sometimes we unexpectedly catch sight of ourselves and find that we don’t really like what we see at the moment. Whether it’s the shape of our nose, our bodies, or hair, unfair body expectations can wear on us and make us feel ugly one day despite feeling beautiful on other days.
Recently, we stumbled across a Reddit post that asked users how they manage to cope when they have negative thoughts about their bodies. Beyond being helpful, the answers were invigorating.
Check them out below.
Try saying three nice things about yourself each day.
“I look in the mirror and don’t look away until I say 3 nice things I like about my body. Eventually, it became second nature and now I’m vain af.” –not_doing_that
“Ummm… this may not be helpful to you. But to be totally honest with you, what’s helped me more than any sort of self-love type of approach was just realizing that, to be blunt, I have two options: I can either change what I dislike or else accept that it doesn’t matter. I spent years working on my physical self-esteem with, honestly, limited success. At some point, though, I realized that it doesn’t actually matter. I’m not important; details about my appearance are even less important; and me spending time agonizing over it is a pointless self-indulgence. The more I thought about that, the more I found it to be kind of liberating. I’m one person in six billion. Nobody cares about my looks or my self-image but me, and I have other things more worth my time worrying about. I’ve changed a few things I didn’t like. I fixed my teeth, for instance, and I get some Botox and fillers these days. The rest of it, it’s just like… meh, time to move on. I still have my insecurities for sure, but I no longer wallow in them the way I did.” – user
Think of your future self.
“Two things I have adopted in all the many many years of abysmal body image and eating disorders and all that shit:
Remember nobody notices/cares about my “flaws” as much as I do. I am literally deciding their importance. So instead of saying “ugh I’ve got rolls when I sit/my thighs touch because I’m lazy and disgusting and nobody will ever love me,” I can instead start saying “I have rolls when I sit because I have fat in my stomach, which is necessary for my body to function correctly. My thighs touch because that is how my legs look when I am at a healthy weight.” etc etc and then it goes from an assignment of value to just an objective fact about me, like my blood type or my shoe size.
Remember that when I am 80 I am not going to lose sleep over not being 10 lbs lighter or two inches taller or blessed with a nicer bum. I’d be far more likely to regret a pattern of avoiding social situations because I don’t feel pretty enough, or to regret not having many pictures with my loved ones who are gone because my hair was messy or I wasn’t wearing a flattering outfit. Like, I never look at photos of my loved ones and think “damn, she should have avoided the camera, she looks bloated and tired.” I’m like “Oh I remember that trip to visit my auntie, and how good her cooking was, and how cool it was to learn that she loved the same author I did and that conversation we had when I couldn’t sleep and she told me about being my age and I realized she understood me…”
I frequently have to check myself to make sure I’m focusing on the shit that matters and not hiding who I am just because I don’t think the package I come in measures up.” – glorioid
Work hard on making yourself feel happy with yourself in the ways that you can healthily control.
“I’m heavier than I ever was when I hated my looks. These days I think I’m pretty fab, I work hard to be a pretty cool person, and I work reasonably hard to look good and stay in decent shape. I’m nowhere near physically perfect, but I love myself holistically and I figure life is way too short not to eat chocolate, put my butt on display in a pencil dress, and any number of other things my 18-year-old twig of a self would have been mortified about. Turns out there’s more to life than obsessing about how I look in a negative way. If I’m going to obsess about how I look, I at least try and do it in a positive way now. I also realized that if you’re a healthy weight, confident, and well dressed, you’re basically going to be attractive. Perfect is not a requirement in any other area of life so there’s no point making it one of my own.” – grittex
“I remind myself of how incredible the human body is and try to think of the amazing things my body does to keep me alive and let me enjoy the world. Who cares if I don’t look like a model? My heart pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood every day and my bones are as strong as granite. How cool is that? Also, I try to remember that I don’t owe the world attractiveness for daring to exist. It’s not my job to be visually pleasing.” – tomorrowistomato
“It depends on how I hate it. If it’s something about my body screwing up (getting sick, tripping and breaking something, not being tall enough to reach something) I sulk and get over it. I’m lucky enough that my body is mostly healthy (no chronic illnesses to deal with, or things like that) and I have to accept that sometimes it’s not going to cooperate. But when it comes to appearance: I try to remind myself that my looks are just one part of me. I step away from the mirror. I focus on some aspect of my looks that I can control (maybe my face is covered in acne, but I can put my frizzy hair in bun to manage that issue) and ideally try to remember the things I like about my body. While it’s not uncommon for me to look into the mirror and frown at how gross I look (the scowl really doesn’t help), it personally only bothers me for as long as I’m looking at it. So I usually try to make it look a bit better (brush my hair, do makeup, etc.) if I can, or else I just try to focus on something else. I have ADD though, so my attention span doesn’t usually allow me to dwell on it any longer than 2 minutes after I finish looking in the mirror.” –BundleofAnxiety
“I stopped judging other people. I grew up in a very judgmental family, struggled with an eating disorder for years, and constantly compared myself to others or even silently picked out things on other people I didn’t like to try to make myself feel better. As soon as I stopped doing that, I felt infinitely better. Instead of thinking “wow, that shirt/dress etc are too for him/her” I thought ” wow, they look good in that color” or “props to them for wearing something they’re told they ‘shouldn’t'”. When I made that change it became easier to apply that same way of thinking to myself.” –hanchan21
Having a baby is arguably the greatest miracle of life. Rumor has it, breastfeeding your baby takes second place. Extensive research has revealed that breastfeeding can provide mother and infant all kinds of benefits including providing her with proteins that stimulate against allergies and eczema. What’s more, it can make vaccines more effective and make babies smarter. But what ways can it affect your body?
Here’s what you can expect.
1. While you breastfeed, your body releases oxytocin and prolactin, which means you’re going to feel *really* good.
@ChristianSerratos / Instagram
Breastfeeding your baby is an emotional experience. Your body becomes flooded with oxytocin when you breastfeed, which is nature’s way of ensuring mom wants to breastfeed. Every breastfeeding mammal produces is laden with casomorphin, which has a sedative effect on your baby. Your body does this to solidify the bonding experience between you and your baby.
2. That means that most moms experience mood dips when they stop breastfeeding.
@phbulous / Instagram
Of course, some moms are very happy to scrap their nursing bras, while others can suffer from hormonal mood swings once they wean. One way to help prevent a severe mood dip is by weaning very slowly. An abrupt stop to breastfeeding might feel like whiplash to your body, which has been flooded with oxytocin and prolactin for months at this point.
3. You lose 5 to 10 percent of your bone mass within the first six months of breastfeeding.
While you’re pregnant, your hormones change, and you lose the estrogen that is typically there to protect your bones, so once you start breastfeeding, you start leeching calcium like crazy. That lack of calcium also leads to an increase in risk for gum disease. In order to combat this lack of calcium, it’s important to take at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Think dark leafy greens, fortified orange juice or fortified almond milk, and it will help.
5. The good news is that you’ll eventually have stronger, healthier bones than you did before.
@lalecheleagueusa / Instagram
According to a 2012 study by Osteoporosis International, women who breastfeed for 33 months or longer eventually have stronger, larger bones than moms with less than 12 months of breastfeeding.
6. Your boobs are about to hurt way more often.
@lalecheleagueusa / Instagram
Except, this time, it won’t be your body’s monthly warning that your period is on its way. For the first few weeks of breastfeeding, when your boobs start to ache, it means you need to wake up Bebé and feed her. You can take a warm shower before nursing to help with milk flow and will have to apply cool compresses to your breasts between feedings.
7. You may notice hard, marble-sized lumps in your breasts.
@24kspray / Instagram
That’s also normal. If you’re breastfeeding still, it may be a clogged milk duct, resolved by massaging the area as you breastfeed until that side goes dry. If you’ve already weaned, it’s likely your body absorbing its own milk.
8. Your boobs are going to deflate after weaning, pero no te preocupes–they’ll perk up in six months.
@florkubana.style / Instagram
If you’re starting to feel at all anxious about the entire breastfeeding process, remember that everything is temporary. Once you “dry up”, it might feel like your boobs are hangin’ low, but that’s just a natural temporary loss of fat. As your body comes back to equilibrium, fat will return to your boobs.
9. While breastfeeding, you may experience vaginal dryness, tightness or tenderness.
@ursuburbanhippie / Instagram
That’s because your body has produced lower estrogen levels while breastfeeding. Some women experience a lower libido while others experience a higher libido while breastfeeding. Either way, you can absolutely use a lubricant to relieve the symptoms and go about your business.
Don’t fret. It’s the most normal thing in the world for you to squirt breastmilk when you’re feeling aroused. It’s also far more common to not want to have sex at all, given the body’s production of prolactin, which you need to produce breastmilk, but which also decreases the libido.
11. The longer you breastfeed, the longer break you’re likely to get from a period.
@oakandhoneyphoto / Instagram
Some women get their period immediately after birth, though they aren’t typically ovulating until six months later. Far more often, while mothers are breastfeeding, they’re also delaying their period. Breastfeeding is high energy work.
12. You’ll probably lose weight while breastfeeding.
@wonder_woman_marlene / Instagram
Breastfeeding burns an average of 200 to 500 calories per day, and you’ll want to make sure you’re eating as often as you’re hungry to ensure optimal nutrition to the Bebé.
13. For mothers with a history of carpel tunnel, you may need extra support while breastfeeding.
@ursuburbanhippie / Instagram
Make sure you relax your grip on Bebé and have enough pillows to support your arm (one under the arm), your back and even between your legs. Stretch your fingers and circle your wrists between feedings.