Body dysmorphic disorder is something that is hard to describe unless experienced first hand. To the dysmorphic mind, a mirror holds great defining power, and sadly, we never see how beautiful we really are. The mirror creates a monster out of our own reflections, a monster that no one else can see aside from you, and a monster that lurks in the shadows of your mind all day long reminding you that you will never been good enough / skinny enough / fit enough / toned enough / beautiful enough.
We are all given different bodies and different shapes, and true beauty flows when we finally come to a point where we love the shape and skin we are in. Thanks to the ten years I spent in the eating disorder dungeon, I have battled most of my life against wanting any body shape but my own. While, like any addiction, these negative thought patterns can not be erased from my past or my memory, they can be fought and overcome. I have been physically and mentally healthy for six years now, but, from time to time, I am still given the opportunity to be reminded of just how far I’ve come. It is in those moments of opportunity — my moments of momentary relapse, when I look into the mirror and see the distorted, 30 pound heavier monster that haunts me — that I can triumph in the ownership I now have in my image, choosing thoughts of self-love and self-acceptance. As soon as we let go of self-criticisms, we are free to think rationally, and for me yesterday, my rational mind resurfaced in remembering just how unflattering dressing room lighting and mirrors can be. It’s not me. It’s LuluLemon’s dressing room. Period.
Maybe you don’t struggle with body dysmorphic disorder, but maybe your dysmorphia is of a different type and you have a twisted perception of your own worth and potential. However great or small your struggle with your reflection in the mirror, or your reflection in life might be, remind yourself that more often than not you don’t see the true greatness and beauty that you really possess. Mirrors lie, and our internal self-persception can be deceived and tainted by the circumstances of life, so, at the end of the day, know yourself well enough to ignore your negative thoughts and start accepting your beauty for what it is.
If God made you an apple, you will not turn into a pear, and if you are a pear, you can not be an apple. Let us stop wishing ourselves away and start liking the things about us that we are so quick to critique.