Have you ever looked in the mirror after losing a lot of weight and still thought to yourself that you were fat? Maybe you even tried on a new dress that you loved in the store, but put it on at home and hated it. You may have even thought it was ugly and spoke those lies right into the universe. If any of this sounds familiar, you could be suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
According to Doctors Katharine A. Phillips and Dan J. Stein’s article on the subject in the Merck Manual (Consumer Version), Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a preoccupation with one or more nonexistent or slight defects in appearance that results in significant distress or impairs functioning – e.g. social, occupational and academic functioning. It is often characterized by compulsive behaviors like constantly checking yourself in a mirror, excessive grooming and overly comparing yourself with others.
So, what does this have to do with weight loss and fitness? Well, many women unknowingly suffer from the disorder and this can actually cause weight gain. BDD can lead to anorexia and bulimia and or excessive starvation diets, which can later lead to cancers, low blood sugar, dehydration and various intestinal illnesses. Living with this disorder can be detrimental to your overall physical wellness as well as your mental health.
In my forthcoming book The Weight is Over, which is set for a December release, I share the story of my own battle with BDD and what I learned from it. Specifically, I speak about how you must first be OK with who you are on the inside before you can change your perception of who you are on the outside. Some people treat BDD with medicine, but personally I would never suggest that. Instead, my recipe for recovery is holistic and homeopathic in nature and includes cognitive behavioral therapy with a qualified therapist, a balanced diet and eliminating negativity and negative people and replacing them with positivity and positive people, places, and things.
Feeling love and positivity from loved ones is like a cold towel on a feverish forehead, but loving your self is medicine. Sometimes, it can be all the medicine you need. If you think this profile fits you, seek medical help as soon as possible. After all, it’s your health and your life, so make the best of it.