23 Truths About Body Image That Everyone Has To Deal With

1. Nine times out of ten, people are too worried about their own flaws to worry about yours.

2. Looking at fashion/beauty magazines will always make you feel badly about yourself, because that’s what they’re made to do. If you don’t feel inadequate, you’re not going to buy a bunch of products to feel better!

3. Sometimes you’ll catch yourself in a really flattering light and you’ll feel like you have the most wonderful body in the world, and then, later that day, you’ll catch yourself from a wrong angle and immediately regret every carb you’ve ever eaten. Neither one of these perspectives really matter, because in reality, we are constantly moving (and not standing at one angle in front of a mirror).

4. Even professional athletes have completely different body types, none of whom are “better” than the other.

5. Thigh gaps are about body structure, not fitness level. They’re just another unattainable goal to feel inadequate about.

6. Craving (and eating) an unhealthy food item does not equal “falling off the wagon,” or mean that you’re a bad person. And thinking “Well, I’ve ruined my diet, might as well just eat a pound of chocolate” is a silly way to react.

7. Often, thinking in terms of “diet” is dangerous, because “diets” end, and we all have to keep eating for the rest of our lives.

8. Department store dressing room lighting is the devil.

9. If people go out of their way to make fun of your or someone else’s appearance, it’s because they’re insecure about themselves in some way (and probably about the same thing they’re mocking). No one who is happy and secure with how they look feels the need to drag down another person’s body.

10. Humans aren’t meant to be perfectly smooth and blemish-free. Photoshop has totally distorted our image of what skin looks like, but we can still remind ourselves that it’s totally fake.

11. Celebrities and models are literally paid to be beautiful. It’s their job. It’s not ours (and, honestly, thank God it isn’t).

12. Eating clean (or vegan, or paleo, or gluten-free, or raw) doesn’t make you better than anyone else. We all have to find our way to feed ourselves well, and our food choices should not be a status symbol.

13. Not being able to do the hard version of a workout is not a bad thing. We all have to start somewhere, and being the slowest in the class is a thousand times better than not trying.

14. We all have “pretty days” and “ugly days,” and they’re mostly in our heads. Sometimes you just have to suffer through them, but it’s important to remember that they’ll probably go away.

15. Buying things that don’t fit you because you think it will motivate you to lose weight is always a mistake. You can always get something taken in, but seeing something sit at the back of your closet because you can’t wear it is depressing for no reason.

16. Being thin doesn’t always mean being healthy.

17. Workouts don’t always look sexy. Filtered, stylized pictures of yoga on Instagram might be really nice to look at, but real life isn’t like that. You don’t have to be pretty while getting healthy.

18. #Fitspo can be great, or it can be dangerous. Remembering the difference between exercise tips/healthy recipes, and pictures of size-0 tan teenagers in bikinis, is very important.

19. Everyone has issues with their body, even the people we think are perfect.

20. Some clothes are not designed and cut with your body type in mind, but that doesn’t mean that your body type is bad. If we’re all comparing our wardrobes to what runway models wear, we’ll never be happy.

21. What makes someone else feel beautiful — from clothes to makeup to surgery — is not any of our business to judge. It doesn’t affect us in any way.

22. Drinking a lot of water solves more problems than we could ever imagine.

23. In the end, you’re the only person in your body, and the only person that you’re actually in competition with. You can never be a better version of the super-fit girl in spin class, but you can be a better version of you. So don’t worry about what she’s doing, and don’t look over at her while you’re puffing away on your bike. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Keep up with Chelsea on Twitter

More From Thought Catalog