Episode 14: Is your body image affecting your friendships?

Last week I discussed body image and how to end the war on your body.

If you haven’t listened to that yet, hit pause and go back and listen to it. It was really good and super informative.

Today I’m going to talk about body image and friendships.

Most of us don’t realize how our relationship with our body affects our relationships with other people. Next week I’m going to talk about dating, but today I’m talking about friendships.

I never used to realize how much my crappy body image was impacting every part of my life.

Can I share something super vulnerable and that is going to make me sound like a jerk?

I used to think that if someone was thin, they were mean, horrible people.

I’m dead serious.

95% of the people that bullied me growing up were beautiful, thin girls and women. I assumed that if someone wasn’t fat, then they probably were judging me. That they saw me as gross and awful. I felt like they saw me the way I saw me.

My best friend is a freaking saint for putting up with me, let me tell you. We met at work a couple of years ago and we instantly connected. But she was thin, beautiful, and I assumed that she was full of crap.

Yea, that’s blunt, but it’s true. For the first several months of our friendship I kept her at a distance because I assumed she was only being nice to me because she either pitied me or because she was getting information to humiliate me later.

That is the kind of mindset that self hatred puts us in. And the fact that I feel so called to share this tells me that I’m not the only one who felt this way. I’m not the only one who struggled with this.

But even if you’re thin, don’t think this doesn’t affect you.

Regardless of your size, regardless of your body type, if you don’t like your body, you’re being held back.

If you don’t like your body, you don’t enjoy yourself. You’re spending the whole day being ridiculously self conscious instead of being in the moment.

You may think your friends don’t notice, but you do.

I share this story a lot, but it was such an “ah ha” moment for me.

I was texting a friend of mine while sitting at work (this was over 2 years ago, now) and he responded, “Karleigh, you’re really cool. But you put yourself down all the time and it makes it hard to be around you.”

You may think that those around you don’t notice, but they do.

I was so taken aback by that text it was like I got a new pair of glasses and I saw everything differently.

I looked back through our messages over the last month and in almost every single one of them I was apologizing for simply existing or putting myself down in one way or another.

It completely blew my mind.

Even now, my best friend sees me and my growth and she’s commented on how things are much more comfortable now that I’m not constantly picking at my body.

Now I’m not saying I don’t still struggle. I still find myself picking at my shirt or seeing a completely beautiful person and assuming they’re judging me.

But the difference now is that I’m aware. I’m aware of the things I say around those I’m with. I catch myself and don’t allow it to continue.

Do you cancel plans because you don’t like how your body looks that day?

Do you go out with your girls only to hide and be as invisible as possible?

Girl – you’ve got to get out of that funk.

Your friends LOVE you. If you question that – you either need to have a conversation or get out of that fake friendship. Or both. The first may reveal that you need the second.

If you think your friends are so shallow that they can’t appreciate you and the body you came in, boo, you either need new friends or really think about those you allow in your circle.

If you really think they’re thinking that about you, how low do you think they are?

Yea, it kinda hurts to think about it that way.

The fact of the matter is that your crappy body image is affecting more than you think.

But maybe – maybe this isn’t you. Maybe you’re in a good place with your body. And if that’s you GIRRRRRRRL hell yes! Let’s go out dancing – we’ll blow the roof off with our confidence.

But these are still important for you to understand. Now you’ll be able to look for it. You’ll be able to recognize when your friends are uncomfortable and hiding.

It’s time to pay attention to how we feel about ourselves. It’s time to see how we feel about ourselves is affecting those we spend time with.

It’s time to start busting through these blocks so then we can all live the life we were meant to live.

But how do you make that happen?

First – start accepting compliments. When you accept the compliment that someone gives you, you’re solidifying a connection in your brain that you truly ARE awesome and amazing. Check out episodes 3 and 4 of the podcast for more information.

Second – Dress for YOU. Take back your body and dress it the way you want it to be dressed.

Third – Stop hiding. Stop giving your friends excuses as to why you can’t go out and just go. You deserve to live a life that you love. You deserve to enjoy your life.

Listen to the episode for more detailed steps.

Never forget – you are strong, you are capable, you are intelligent, you are worthy.

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