Body Dysmorphia and How that Affects People’s Lives

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Your Amazing Life
Your Amazing Life
Body Dysmorphia and How that Affects People's Lives
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Welcome to “Your Amazing Life” and thanks for being here. We discuss tools and tricks to create an Amazing Life in this blog. There are a few powerful ways you can support us. It would help if you subscribe to us and leave a rating/ review, in it leave your top takeaways from what we talked about, and also interact with the community on the Facebook page. Next, be a hero to your friends and family and share it with them… Lastly, sponsor it. Your support makes a massive difference. Check out the show notes for links to the subjects we discuss and if you have any topics, you would like me to address just put it in the private Facebook group. I want to give a couple shout outs first to my follower Elana and to my Indiana tribe. I appreciate them, growing and sharing the podcast with their friends and family. Let’s get into Your Amazing Life.

We spoke about this a little in episode 219. Let’s start with real world examples of when and how this starts. I just saw this video but it has been around for quite a while. This video is of a 4-year-old getting her hair done and she tells the hairdresser “I’m So Ugly.” It is not uncommon for body dysmorphia to start this way. The hairdresser tries to tell the girl how beautiful the girl is. The young girl has so much energy tied up in the message that she is not pretty or enough. Body dysmorphia can easily start this early. In fact, this young girl had most likely thought this more times before saying this. The crazy thing about body dysmorphia is that there is no reality to it. Ariyonna, this young girl 4 years old already has preconceived ideas about her beauty. Her ideas and her looks don’t match. I felt this way about my red hair as a child and weight as an adult. My sons both have my build, which means they are skinny. Even when I worked out, I did not get ripped. I don’t get this big chest or well-defined muscles. You might say “I’m wiry.” One of my sons wants to be buff. He’s a dancer and wants to have hard, well defined muscles. The bottom line is he doesn’t like the way he looks. Then there are the actors and actresses we watch most of whom have problems with body dysmorphia. If you question this, look at all the ones that are constantly having plastic surgery and tummy tucks done. Some of these stars even come out and talk about these problems. We talked about a few of the stars in episode 173 and what they went through. The bottom line is body dysmorphia can start at any age and be based on any part of your body.

Where does the evidence come from, behind these kinds of thoughts?  The truth is there is no evidence. The focus is on a “perceived” defect or flaw in one’s body. But when you have body dysmorphic disorder you intensely focus on parts of your appearance and image. The people suffering from this take it to the extreme. Think about how many times you look at yourself in the mirror each day? Are you seeking out cosmetic fixes or procedures to overcome perceived flaws? Do you look for reassurance from others about how you look?  Do you fixate on your face, nose, wrinkles, hair, skin breast size, muscle tone or genitalia? But all these dysmorphic ideas have no evidence in reality. 

As these ideas continue to grow, they can start to appear in experiences such as eating disorders. Eating disorders show up as anorexia, Binge Eating Disorder (BED), and four other feeding and eating disorders. Dysmorphia also can play a part in depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse, behavioral health issues, and disfigurement due to repeated surgical interventions. I’m sure you can think of people in the news that have suffered from at least one of these. It is not hard to see how one can go from being preoccupied with the apparent flaws your body has to being on this list. These problems are very common in fact there are more than 3 million cases per year in the US alone. This is another one of those difficulties that there is no lab test you can take to find out if you have it. If body dysmorphia is left unchecked, the list of complications is serious and deadly.

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We have been discussing body dysmorphia. How some of us look at our bodies and concentrate on a particular flaw that we perceive? It can be any part of our body, our face, muscle tone, weight, or sometime smaller like a scar or wrinkle. We talked about how it affects some kids as early as 4 years old. We also talked about how this has no part in reality, just a perceived idea of what our bodies should look like. We then talked about the number of problems that come with this thought process. Eating disorders, depression and the like. Body dysmorphic thinking is a large problem in the world today.

Body dysmorphia is based on the thought of how others view them. It is about fears that you have. You fear the things you believe others will see in you. It is a good practice to include journaling, breathing, and meditation. Your ideas once written down will be observed and you will more easily be able to move past them. Once written down you might be able to see how the view you have accepted is just perceived and not as real as you originally gave it credit. Rid yourself of things that cause you to have low self-esteem. If clothing doesn’t fit you well donate it. If friends or relatives bring you feelings of not being good enough, put some distance between you and them.

You may be comparing yourself constantly with others. You may set unrealistic goals for yourself. Instead of trying to set up outcome related goals make better choices on what you eat. Eat less processed foods and more fruits and vegetables. Eat with mindfulness. Take small bites and chew with the purpose of experiencing the food and experience. Instead of spending hours in the gym Walk or ride a bike three days a week. As you make small changes, they will have a lasting effect. These small changes will also be easier to maintain.

Next is to change the story you tell yourself. Change the parts that are stored in your muscles and cells. Your story is what is creating the beliefs you have about your body. You have the power to change your thoughts. Change your behaviors. The behaviors you have adopted are the ones that keep you feeling the things you feel. Explore the difference between self-improvement and extreme or obsessive behavior. Are your feelings obsessive or extreme?
What is the outcome you are looking for? 

Get to know you! What are you feeling? Are other things bothering you? Do you have problems with anxiety, depression, insomnia, or substance abuse? To treat body dysmorphic disorder, you will have to get in touch with the real you. You will need to overcome any underlying conditions. It is important to know not just what you feel but why you feel it. You need to begin to see yourself as you really are. The amazing, beautiful, person that is in there must be seen by the eyes in your head. It will not matter what others see until you can differently interpret the information coming through your eyes.

If you are tired of suffering, and beating up on yourself, if you have extreme thoughts about how you “should be”; If you want to struggle less and enjoy more. If you want a truly amazing life that is more connected and complete, you need the “you have value program” If you are willing to make some changes, be kind to yourself. I would love to help you to create who you are actually capable of becoming.  Contact me, ken@creatingyouramazing.life.

“Next time you’ll hear about… Does results matter if you don’t put in effort?

I want each of you to know I appreciate each and every one of you. My friends, this blog is about you. If something I said resonated with you, I would love to hear about it. By following me you get to hear about me, my dreams, my goals. You get to know me, hear what I’m thinking and learning about. Well, I want to hear from you. I want to know what is going on for you. The ways you can tell me about what you are learning about and going through are: #1 you can talk with me on the Facebook Group or #2 set up a time to talk with me so you can tell me about who you are and what you want. #3 Sponsor some of the episodes that have made the biggest difference for you. #4 If you haven’t yet, please subscribe to this podcast and leave a rating and review. I would love to discuss how you can use these tools and others to get your amazing life!

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