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How Can Journaling Help with Positive Body Image?
Journaling allows us to take ideas out of our subconscious and construct concrete ideas we can then choose to accept or reject as facts. Having a list of body positive journal prompts to draw from can help us fully formulate how we are feeling about our bodies, and where those ideas came from.
Too often we assimilate our subconscious thoughts as part of ourselves. A part of our identities. For thoughts related to body image, this can be we don’t recognize that how we think and feel about our body is often simply a collection of preconceived biases pressed onto us by social customs and traditions.
Journaling about how we feel about our bodies, and digging back into what may have initially triggered these thoughts can give us a lot power in dismissing negative thoughts surrounding our bodies.
9 Journal Prompts About Body Shaming
In our culture, body shaming starts young and often. This is especially true for women. Here are some journal prompts that can help us unravel what put the ideas in our head that our bodies were bad.
- When was the first time you realized some body weights, shapes and sizes held more value than others? Try describing what the day was like if you can. How old were you? Who was involved? How is this experience still holding power over you?
- Most people would agree that racism and sexism are harmful. Write out a list of 3 reasons why these things are harmful. However, most do not see the ways in which weight bias is harmful. List 3 reasons why it’s difficult for you to see racism as being harmful but not weight bias.
- What does it mean to be objectified?
- Where do you feel like you are allowed to take up space? Even if it means disappointing or frustrating someone? How has this empowered you in your career, school, or other goals.
- If you were to walk down the street without any social consequences, how might your clothing style change? Your hair? The way you hold yourself?
- In what ways have you experienced “body image abuse?” For example, someone telling you you should eat less, go to a gym, or otherwise take up space in a way that fits their needs?
- What is the difference between being an object of desire and desired?
- We are told by westernized society that being “fat” represents the worst thing someone can be. How might fear be a weapon in controlling a group? List 3 ways. List 3 ways that honoring your body takes control away from the system.
- List 5 ways you have been compliant in diet culture. Now list the ways this has had a toxic impact on your wellbeing.
How Can Journaling About Body Image Support My Relationship With Food?
As we are identifying and disconnecting with some of the body image abuse placed onto us by society- we can begin to nourish our relationship with food.
Perhaps you have an ED voice, it’s loud, and you need a place to challenge what it is saying. Often times we tie our food intake to impacting wether or not what we are choosing will change our bodies. A journal is the perfect place to hash out those thoughts.
As we learn to disconnect with societal expectations of our bodies, and trust our body to tell us what it needs we can heal our relationship with food.
Body image work must be done alongside or repairing the relationship with food to truly dismiss the negative ideas we get about weight and nutrition from culture. Journaling regularly about our body image experiences can be a big tool in that.
5 Journal Prompts For A Body That Will Never Be “Healthy”
- Healthcare leads us to believe that healing has a “destination.” For someone who will never “get better” List 5 ways this idea has harmed you. What are some ways your life would improve if you didn’t hold yourself to a social standard of “healthism“
- When you think of advocating for yourself at a doctors office, what emotions come up for you?
- Healthcare capitalizes off of the fact that they define bodies as “a problem to be solved that just hasn’t been figured out yet.” How might your life change if you stopped believing your body was the problem?
- If your body cannot be healed, list the ways is still showing up every day for you?
- You are not required to pursue health to be worthy of love and respect. Would would be different in your life if you demanded these things?
How Can Journaling Support Self Confidence?
The more we practice healing by journaling and participating in weight neutral spaces, the more we disconnect from the messages of objectification of our bodies from culture.
we can begin to measure our self worth based on our talents and accomplishments. You will likely start to notice a huge shift in the way you show up in the world, the risks you. are willing to take, and how you measure your success.
When we’re measuring our value internally versus externally, we can begin to build self confidence. A reflective journal can be a part of this process.
What Are The Long Term Impacts Of Journaling About Body Image?
Recovering from body image issues, body dysmorphia or other concerns connected to the body is a long journey.
Our journey will be highly impacted by the situations and the support that we have along the way.
Journaling about body image can serve two functions:
- As a dictation of who we were on our journey to healthy body image in a snapshot in time.
- As the ultimate ally and friend.
Journaling is awesome because most of us spend most of our days thinking about the past or the future, not recollecting much on what’s happening in the moment.
Thoughts can move in and out of our mind in the bat of an eye.
Keeping a journal will capture a snapshot of these thoughts and the emotions we had about them. We can read back. on these as a powerful tool to recall the lessons we learned and the connections we made.
What Other Creative Ways Can I Use Journaling To Restore My Relationship With My Body?
- Write a letter to a person who has threatened your mental, physical, or emotional ability to trust your body. Let them know how that impacted you and the ways you want to honor your body above their biases.
- Write a letter to God (if you’re a person of faith) and tell him how you feel about your body.
- Write a letter from God to you.
- Write a list of requests you might ask of someone you love to help them support you in your journey to body trust. For example: please don’t talk about diets or weight around me.
- Try writing a letter to yourself as a child. What would you say to her? What are her talents, dreams, aspirations?
How Has Journaling Helped You?
I have been keeping a journal since I was 7 years old. I’m 35 now, so that’s a hec of a long time!
Every few months I do an inventory check on my emotions by reading through old journals. Let me tell ya- that chick has a lot of wisdom and insight to offer, and I learn something “new” every time.
A journal can be your most powerful ally in recovery from diet culture world.
Wether you are simply taking five minutes to jot through a bulleted list, or spending an hour or so truly digging into emotions, you’ll find great value in journaling.
What are some ways you have used journaling? Any suggestions not listed here? Drop them in the comments below.