• Lauren O'Riordan

Why we should stop judging ourselves in the mirror!

"I look wide", "I'm not skinny enough", "You don't look like a personal trainer", "I used to look so much better", "I don't even look like I have muscles"....

Just some of the things I have thought about myself when looking in the mirror.

Why do we criticise ourselves on a daily basis?

We pick faults with everything we see, we compare our bodies to others, we take multiple photos to get the 'best angle' and then we look back at the photo where we thought our arm looked 'too fat', or we 'could do with loosing weight'. The truth is, we don't see the PERSON in front of us.

I am no stranger to feeling this way and the photo on the left is my example of thinking I was "too fat".

Bullying has lasting effects, no matter what age you are. People making comments about your appearance, personality, likes/dislikes or life choices can cause pain and trauma. Yet we do this to ourselves on a daily basis, causing us pain and developing a feeling of unworthiness.

My experience with body image issues stems from my obesity at such a young age. Post weight-loss, I developed an eating disorder and used food as a method of control. My negative views in the mirror, caused me to manipulate food and exercise to lose body fat. This was so damaging to my mental health and made my eating disorder worse, as it progressed to bulimia. I would look in the mirror to see how bloated my stomach was and this would set the guidelines for how many times I would "purge".

Your relationship with yourself is one of the most important relationships in your life. You must continually work on it and keep learning, growing and changing everyday. You must love and give yourself credit for the things you have achieved; for the lessons you have learned and the mistakes you have made. One of self-love and 'vulnerability' is one of the hardest things I have ever done. My journey is not over as I still work at it everyday.

I am by no means perfect and I still have days when I look in the mirror and pick out flaws. The thing that has changed is, everyday I try to see the person behind the judgements. I remember that, I would never say that to someone else, so why would I say that about myself? I am opening myself up to be vulnerable, work on my body image and hopefully pave the way for the people I connect with to do the same.

It's time to start accepting yourself for you, see the person in the mirror and love yourself.

And if there is one day you really struggle to love yourself, or think why am I important? Look at your furry best friend and i'm sure they will give you the answer.

Unconditional love with no judgement.

Thank You for reading!

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