Every body has a journey which is uniquely their own, no two of us experience life in the same way ... but somehow all of us who loose weight, especially large amounts of weight seem to share one thing in common ... 'body dysmorphia' or 'body dysmorphic disorder'.

The disorder is decsribed as follows:
body dysmorphic disordernoun
'a psychological disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with imaginary defects in their appearance.'

Now some may pooh-pooh at this description, other make shake their heads and say' na ah ... not me', but the reality remains that this is a very real problem which affects many people. We may not have the 'clinical' type dysmorphia but rather display a few more minor symptoms thereof.

I have found with my personal weight loss that many people ask me 'so how does it feel' , 'you must really feel great' and at first I would smile and nod and agree ... but now I feel inclined to be honest.
Yes, I do feel healthier, yes it is nice to buy smaller and more 'normal ' sizes ... but NO I still see the fat Heather when I look in the mirror.

When I look at a photo I still look for the double chin, the tummy and any bulges, instead of looking for the beauty. You see I have spent years hating the image in the mirror , I don't know how to look for the beauty which everyone else seems and claims to see. Am I demented? NO!

I have just spent so many years seeing the beast ... all that I hated in myself that it will take years for me to see the beauty ... no one can change this ... not even I can just switch off the button ... it will take years of dedication and mental reconditioning.

Whilst I am not talking about body dysmorphic disorder to the extent of anorexia or bulemia, it is still very much a real and emotional inner hostage situation, an unseen struggle which I battle to overcome everyday.

How to cope with slight dysmorphia and a bad self image:
1. Train your mind to make positive evaluations of yourself in social situations.
2. Brainstorm other ways of understanding your appearance and how others see you.
3. Focus on what you do have to offer at work, in friendships and at home.
4. Familiarize yourself with your personal triggers and do not let them control you.
5. Share your story with a community of other sufferers and close friends and family, they will support you when you feel down.

All I can say is that I take it one day at a time, I try to not let my past haunt me and dictate who I am, some days I win and other I lose but you can do it if you try.

Take care beauties there is no room here for beasts!