In today’s world, we are constantly inundated with messages from both personal and impersonal sources regarding body image. This can make the journey to self-love and self-acceptance challenging. It can be even more challenging if you have a condition, such as PCOS which may cause weight gain from hormonal imbalance, insulin resistance, and other skin issues. Instead, you may feel you have no control over your weight with PCOS.
If you ask yourself, “Why do I want to lose weight while living with PCOS?”, you might look more deeply at your values rather than listen to negative self-talk. It is more important to heal your hormones and regulate your menstrual cycles than to conform to an idealized image or expectations of others.
Learn to respect your body
It is more difficult to take loving care of something that you do not respect. Respecting your body is a way to learn to love yourself. We are all meant to look different, be unique, and personally define what brings our life personal meaning and fulfillment. Taking care of your body so it can carry out its functions for everyday living is what is important.
Learn how to best nurture your body with healthy nutrition and physical activity. For example, choose healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods. Choose complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, over simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates and many plant-based foods have been proven to improve insulin resistance, which is commonly experienced with PCOS. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and give your body the movement it craves. Get adequate sleep. Meditate or relax to reduce stress. Practice self-care and do positive things for your body, both physically and mentally, including watching a favorite movie or TV show, listening to your favorite music, dancing, reading a good book, or chatting with a friend.
Use social media wisely
With the growing influence of social media, self-worth can be defined by appearance for some people. Correlational studies have proven that social media usage is associated with body image issues among young women and men. Studies also show that this association may strengthen over time.
Look to follow body-positive content that can positively impact your self-perception. Delete and unfollow sources that cause you to feel less than good. Find communities or support groups that can help you uplift your mindset and maintain a positive self-image.
Surround yourself with people who lift your spirits
To help you heal, surround yourself with people who appreciate and remind you of your personality, talents, and strengths. Spend time with family members and friends who love, accept, and support you.
Connecting with people on similar journeys can make it easier to stick to your PCOS goals and address your body image.
You can take care of your body physically and mentally only when you start respecting and nurturing it with a healthy lifestyle and beliefs. Stop negative self-talk and avoid comparisons to others. Focus on yourself with love and compassion. Changing deeply held negative beliefs may be challenging, but change is always possible.