5 ways body shaming is ruining your life & what to do instead

5 ways body shaming is ruining your life & what to do instead

Body shaming is insidious. It shows up as judgement of ourselves and others that can damage us in many ways, and prevent us from having happy, healthy bodies, and most importantly living life!


1 – It prevents long term weight management

Body shaming actually causes the very problem it’s trying to solve. When you feel shamed by yourself or others, you are even more likely to overeat to comfort yourself and skip exercise because you don’t feel like you fit in at the gym. Body shame might “motivate” you to do a crazy restrictive diet, where you might lose a few kilos for a week of two, but damage your metabolism and chances of lasting slimness and health.

Do this instead: Practice body love regardless of your size

When you practice making choices out of love for your body, you are more likely to choose things that make your body feel good. Body shaming and diets go hand in hand leading you to misery-ville. Instead think about nourishing your body for life. Ask yourself when making a choice: does this truly nourish me? Am I loving my body with this choice?


2 – It erodes your self-esteem & feels terrible.

Shame is one of the most damaging emotions for your self-esteem. Your self-shaming inner critic eats away at your sense of self-worth, not only does it feel really bad it prevents you from creating success in your life in every area. Low self-esteem leads to poverty thinking, dysfunctional relationships, and health problems, and more.

Do this instead: Focus on your strengths & practice self-compassion

We all have things in our lives that we might like to be different. But instead of beating yourself up about the past, talk to yourself like you were your own best friend. Be as compassionate with yourself as you would your bestie. Compassion allows for you to be fully human. Instead of focusing on your flaws, focus on your wins and strengths. Keep a success journal to remind you of all your wins, achievements and successes.


3 – It stops you enjoying your life.

I have heard my clients say over and over how they didn’t go to the beach with their kids, missed their school reunion, or even a friend’s wedding because they “had nothing to wear”. This has little to do with your wardrobe, and a lot to do with your sense of self. When you shame yourself it doesn’t matter what you wear it will look terrible. Self-shaming will prevent you from enjoying incredible moments of love and connection that make your life wonderful.

Do this instead:  Get out anyway.

Practice being shame-less! Brazenly wear that swimsuit you like, even if you have cellulite. Go to the reunion, even if you’re a few kilos heavier. Wear something that is comfortable and a nice necklace, get your hair done and go have fun. Focus on what your body enables you to experience, instead of how it looks.


4 – It can damage your experience of pregnancy.

Body-shame can ruin your experience of pregnancy, one of the most magical times in a woman’s life. When you fear how your body will change, or think that you’ll never get your figure back, it can prevent you even falling pregnant, as your unconscious fears create stress that block your fertility. When you do fall pregnant, body-fear and self-shaming for the few extra hormonal kilos can stop you from enjoying creating a relationship with your beautiful growing baby. Then once you have a baby, body shame can be the worst of all putting extra pressure to bounce back to bikini shape, causing you to stress out, in the very vulnerable time when you need to be resting and bonding with your baby.

Do this instead: Trust your body. Allow for miracles.

Having a baby is a miracle. Women’s bodies have been doing this for millions of years. It’s just modern pressure to look a certain way while that is happening that messes up your experience. Focus on the miracle you want to create. Trust your body, LOVE it and give it what it needs, and you will experience the miracle. Gentle movement and nourishing foods will help you regain your shape in good time. Don’t rush it. Allow your body to do what it needs to, and focus on the miracle.


5 – It stops you connecting with your loved ones.

Body shame actually makes you really self centred. You’re focused on yourself and all the flaws you perceive in yourself. When your attention is on yourself, you don’t notice or connect with your loved ones.

Do this instead: Compliment and connect.

Stop thinking about yourself. Instead shift your attention to your loved ones. Look them in the eyes. Listen to what they are saying, imagine opening your heart to them, and complimenting them. Practice seeing the beauty in others – inside and out and it will help you to find the beauty in yourself.


Try these new practices to break the habit of body-shame and love your beautiful body today!

Comments (2)

  1. I love reading these articles as I’m looking for inspiration and advice but it always seems that the focus is on younger people. Even the photos are of young people. Just because you are 50+ doesn’t mean you still don’t have the same issues as when you were younger. Pregnancy doesn’t come into it of course but dealing with an ageing body is compounding the issues that already there. I would love to read about how older women cope who battle self esteem issues with an ageing body. Thanks.

    • Thank you Ingrid for your wonderful comment. I agree that I do write with an emphasis for younger women, as I still am pretty young myself. at 34, with two young children, I can’t write with authority from personal experience about dealing with self-esteem and body image as you age. (However I will more as time goes on) BUT I can write as a coach how to deal with those issues, and I will consider how I can better serve my more mature readers and those in different life-stages. I can get some guest authors to write content that addresses these issues too. You’ve actually given me some wonderful new ideas to help serve you better. Thank you!

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