I feel like the warranty on my body has expired this year. Despite taking care of myself with diet and exercise, things just aren’t looking good as they used to. I know beauty is on the inside, but I’m having a hard time being okay with becoming less attractive. How can I come to accept signs of aging in my appearance? – Anonymous
Oh, my dear Anonymous… This question makes me sad to read because there is nothing more depleting than feeling uncomfortable with your appearance. It’s hard to know if this an appropriate aging concern or if there is some societal B.S. at play here. So, I am going to assume that you are not in your final season of life.
If you’re severely struggling with this, I highly recommend speaking to a therapist. It might be beneficial to find one that has experience with body dysmorphic challenges. In general, I am a HUGE fan of therapy. I believe that this could be a challenge that a therapist could really support you with.
With that said, I have two suggestions that could help you with this.
Fake it ‘till you make it
Have you heard the term, “Fake it ‘till you make it”? There is plenty of evidence suggesting that if you tell yourself something, like a positive affirmation, for enough time you start to believe it. I’d challenge yourself to start a self-appreciation practice. Here’s what that looks like:
- Every single morning take a full minute (longer if you want to get crazy!) and look yourself in the eyes.
- After you’ve done this, tell yourself (out loud) what part of your body, face, personality, etc. you find beautiful.
- Tell yourself (out loud) WHY you find the part you’ve chosen is beautiful.
- Do this every day for 30 days.
You can pick a new body part every day or stick with the same one for the full month. I’d also recommend documenting how you feel about yourself along the way. You don’t have to document your feelings each day, but checking in on day 1, 15, and 30. See what changes happen.
Watch what you consume
I’m not talking about what you eat, as it sounds like you are on top of that already. I mean who and what are you comparing yourself to? What are you consuming mentally that is telling you that you are not beautiful? Are you stuck comparing yourself to fitness gurus on Instagram? Are your parents or partner telling you that you aren’t enough? You are enough and there is something in your life communicating to you that you’re not. So figure out what that is and eliminate it asap! You are beautiful and you are enough.
Sending you so much love,