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July 9, 2015

Body Image from the Inside Out

Contributor: Nikki DuBose, contributor for Eating Disorder Hope

Every day I am faced with a challenge. I can either accept and embrace myself, or I can choose to listen to the negative voices that threaten to tear down the walls of my self-worth. Building my body image is a job that begins on the inside, and it’s one that I must form with blocks of love and patience.

In order to construct a solid foundation, I must clear away the rotted materials and replace them with long-lasting ones. As I take inventory of my life, what do I see that needs to be swept away? What does not serve me anymore? What are healthy changes that I can make that will ensure a positive environment for my mind, soul and body?

Where Does Body Image Come From?

My current body image is a direct reflection of the physical house I live in, my mental state, my spiritual health and my surroundings. What do they look like? Am I taking the steps necessary to improve where needed?

When I was modeling, I appeared beautiful on the outside, but I was a wreck on the inside. My mind was a mess, and I had the worst opinion of myself. Destroyed by my eating disorder and body dysmorphic disorder, I believed the lies that I would only be good enough if I continued to engage in destructive behaviors.

Embracing My Flaws, Learning to Love Myself

Recovery has taught me that while I will never be perfect, I can embrace every flaw as unique and special. My body image began to shift once I learned to love myself from the inside out, not the other way around. It has taken years, and it is a life-long commitment, but it’s one that I’m willing to stick to. I’d rather spend every day honoring my mind, body and spirit, rather than destroying it.

We are all in the same boat, trying to navigate against stormy currents. You are never alone in the battle against negative body image, and you can be a light for positive body image. First, reach out and offer support. Even if you are struggling, sharing your feelings can not only help you, but it can offer insight for others who really need it.

Everyone Struggles with Body Image at Some Point

Young woman walking into sunset in cityThere is nothing to be ashamed of. Poor body image is something that we all wrestle with at some point in our lives. Next, remind yourself that true beauty comes from within, and that what makes you one-of-a-kind is your personality, not the way you look.

Learn to embrace your body, yes, but focus on what truly lasts, your character, and your incredible soul. Finally, surround yourself with confident people. We become like those we associate with, so who you choose to have in your life directly affects your body image.

Deciding to make the necessary changes in your life will provide the tools to form a healthy body image from the inside out. Love, patience and time will help build a strong house to go out into the world a make a big impact, for generations to come!

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What changes have you made in your recovery to focus on what really lasts, your character and soul?

About the Author:

Nikki DuBose is a former model, host, and actress who has recently turned her career focus towards writing, public speaking, and mental health advocacy. She is a passionate dynamic voice in the mental health field and seeks to encourage others to develop a strong sense of their intrinsic value and self-worth.

Nikki grew up in charming Charleston, South Carolina and currently splits her time between Los Angeles and New York City. After traveling the globe and working as a fashion model and commercial actress in exciting destinations such as the Middle East, Paris, Barcelona, and London, she was inspired to leave the industry to pursue writing full time. Her writing is focused on encouraging others to overcome the deadly grip of eating disorders that affect millions. She draws firsthand experience from a long-standing battle with bulimia, anorexia, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addictions, and a wide range of mental health issues.

Her first book is currently in the works and recounts her life struggles and ultimate triumph over the mental disorders and addictions that plagued her for most of her life. She has been published multiple times within The National Eating Disorders Association for her hope, strength, and community outreach initiatives.

She continues to advocate for NEDA, writes for the association and other incredible establishments such as Eating Disorder Hope. She has been able to connect with people around the world through her website and speaks and assists with other organizations covering various mental health issues, body image and self esteem.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 7th, 2015
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com

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