The Effect of Poor Body Image on Relationships

cute photoHey friends! So I haven’t talked about body image in awhile, so I thought I would give it a whirl. About 5 years ago my body image was in the gutter. I was also in a relationship with a wonderful man, who cared about me like the Earth cares about the Sun. He loved me, just the way I was, but there was a problem with that: I didn’t love me just the way I was.

I would always marvel at his intelligence and would ask him to explain his homework and classes. He was funny, silly, and loved to make puns with me. You’re probably thinking, but what does this have to do with  body image? I’m getting there. Don’t worry.

My poor body image put a huge strain on our relationship. There were days when I couldn’t even cuddle with him because I felt shitty about the way I looked. He loved my curves, but some days I would just throw my arms up and say “I can’t! I’m feeling too ugly”

As I look back on this experience, I am purely awe stricken. Here was my boyfriend, who loved me unconditionally but I couldn’t reciprocate because I was so unhappy about my body image.

With a whole lot of courage from myself, as well as my boyfriend, I took up a running class. I even managed to find a running buddy, who is still my friend to this day. When I started to learn what my body was capable of, I began to think of how it functioned, and not how it looked. I saw my body as a vessel that could potentially improve race scores, and I was focused on improving my running technique.

I was elated. I consistently told my boyfriend about how I was improving, and he was so supportive all the way through.

happinessWhen I took up running, my body image issues weren’t magically cured. Poor body image is something that can take over your every waking moment of every day. During that period, there was not a period where I would wake up, swing my legs out of bed and say “Ew my thighs are gross.” I worked out 5 days a week, and did a lot of walking up and down the stairs of my university campus. (I will tell you that there are a lot of stairs!!)
I am about 25 now, and I finally feel good about the way I look., and most importantly- how I feel as a person.

I feel that it is very difficult to talk about poor body image.  without it leading to body shame. I find that talking about poor body image leads to a ripple effect: one girl says she feels fat, then the other says she is so ugly, and so on and so forth. Also one thing: one cannot FEEL fat!! It`s not an emotion!!

We need to build an alliance and stand strong together. Fat and skinny shaming is not the answer. Accepting each other, and our selves, as well as being able to talk about body image in a healthy way is key. I would know, I’ve been there ;).

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9 thoughts on “The Effect of Poor Body Image on Relationships”

  1. Well I never thought about it like that, “You cannot feel fat it is an emotion.” But what about when you feel bloated? You can feel physical sensations in addition to emotions. Never the less I love this post. Great work. People have to stop shaming themselves before we can eliminate fat and skinny shaming, shame is a choice. I am glad you found the strength to help yourself.

    1. Hi! Yes you can definitely feel physical sensations, but the emotion of “being fat” doesn’t make sense. Do you see what I’m getting at?? Yes we definitely have a long way to go! Thanks for reading and commenting!!

      1. It makes zero sense, what you feel is low self-esteem and distorted body image after people put you down AKA fat. You are welcome, thanks for tackling a difficult subject matter.

  2. What we choose to think has a tremendous affect on our perceptions. Thank you for this reminder, an importance for our self-esteem, our needed boost to get us through.We are all beautiful gifts for this world to enjoy =)

  3. Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog while looking into other writers with Epilepsy. I’m thrilled to see this post at the top of the page! I’ve been living with Epilepsy for most of my life and, due to ever-changing medications, my body goes through constant changes. It can be so difficult to keep a positive perspective, especially when there is a clear correlation between my body image and my epilepsy medication…something that cannot be eliminated. It’s so refreshing to read your thoughts and experiences about it. 🙂

    1. Hi Leila!!
      Yes it can be definitely difficult to be positive with regards to changing epilepsy medications and how that impacts your body. I remember when I was on Topiramate I lost 15 pounds! Yikes!!
      Glad to hear you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  4. I love this post 🙂

    Thanks for sharing! We should all think about body image in this way – basically, to embrace who we are inside and out instead of run from it. To hear you say these things is a big improvement – congrats babe 🙂

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