What if some sneaky individual switched out all the mirrors in your house for the kind you see at carnivals and fun houses? (What, exactly, is fun about seeing yourself all squished and stubby?) Would you be distressed by what you saw over the bathroom sink, or on the back of the closet door if you didn’t know it was the mirror’s problem, not yours?
You know what? I still don’t believe them. What I see in the mirror and feel in my clothes MOST of the time is closer to that bloated form in my dream. Body image has been an issue for me as long as I can remember, even before adolescence, the result of years of ballet classes, a few painful comments made by influential individuals, and a morbidly obese grandmother.
Mirrors (and photographs, and scales, and tape measures) lie. The truth of who you are is within you, not on the outside. Yet nearly all of us are affected mentally, emotionally, socially, and sometimes even financially by negative perceptions of some aspect of our physical being. It’s backward. What’s on the inside should be in control, not what’s on the outside!
The next time you find yourself struggling with the image in the mirror, put your clothes on inside out. It’s equally silly to wear your clothes inside out as it is to let your physical shape control your mood! If you need to make a change in your diet or exercise program, do so, for the sake of your health, but be aware that the negative feelings won’t necessarily disappear with weight loss or toned biceps.
It will take a mental diet of positive thinking and thought exercises to make that change!
Mayo Clinic article on BDD