Body Dysmorphic Disorder: more common than you would think!
With everything that social media and today's society portrays, everyone seemingly needs to be a size 2 with the perfect bust-waist-hips measurement. So many women-and now increasingly common for men as well-are experiencing BDD, or body dysmorphic disorder. We self-sabotage when we look in the mirror or step on the scale. We pick apart each and every flaw, that is usually self-created and simply BS. Whether you yourself are a victim of BDD or know someone close to you who experiences this, there's definitely a few actions you can take to help the situation at hand.
Appreciate how far you've come. Seriously. Take a moment to realize how hard you have worked to get to where you are right now. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you started this journey in the first place. Provide self-reassurance with positivity such as "I am no longer over weight... I no longer binge... I am no longer poisoning my body with cigarettes or fast food..." This alone should be reason enough to feel proud of yourself. And if you haven't been able to kick these issues, don't worry. Maybe this is a little kick in the butt to pause for a moment and take a look at the options that can lead you towards a more positive lifestyle. Lift yourself up instead of putting yourself down.
Ensure the goals that you have set are realistic and reasonable. Remember that it is not necessarily healthy to be a low body fat all year round, especially for women (our hormones need some balance!) If the true goal is to look more toned with some definition and/or to be overall stronger, then adding a little bit of overall 'weight' is necessary. Yes, it may come with a bit of fat, but that is part of the process. Especially if you want to look better than you have before. Remember that just because you see photos on social media of extremely lean people, doesn't mean that a) it's always healthy, and b) they look like that year-round. There's always so much more than what you see on someone's highlight reel of social media feeds.
Fuel yourself according to your goals. If your overall goal is just to be healthier and are ok to maintain your current weight, then do that with a positive attitude. If your goal is to compete in a specific weight class (such as stepping on stage for physique, or dropping a weight class for powerlifting), then you need to be putting your absolute heart and soul into that goal. If your goal is to squat 15lbs more, then you need to get that strength from somewhere, so then you need to ensure you're eating for performance and your training. And no, taking a rest day won't make you gain 10lbs of fat; taking rest is crucial for overall growth.
At the end of the day, remember the reason why you started this nutrition or health journey; why you're choosing this lifestyle and what the goals are. These reasons are exactly what you need to keep in mind at all times; never lose sight of that. Never forget the struggles either, because those down times are what make the great times. We cannot always be extremely lean; and remember that being lean doesn't always equal happiness. Be healthy and make your body a machine that can perform to its maximum potential.
And never, ever give up.