Two weeks ago, I stopped following anyone on social media that I compared myself to. In total, there were at least 100 people or groups that I hit the unfollow button on.
This was part of an exercise Dr Katherine Iscoe (Dr Kat) got me to do in one of our private sessions. I met Dr Kat just over six weeks ago when I signed up to her eight-week body confidence course, ‘The Forever Approach.’ For years, I have suffered from negative body image issues and obsessed over quick fixes and diets.
At the beginning of 2017, I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to keep obsessing and I was going to start living. I just didn’t know where to start. Luckily, I happened to stumble across a friend’s Facebook post about Dr Kat and the course she offers. Straight away, I loved everything about her! Dr Kat’s body confidence course is structured around her own experiences, which made me feel more confident in what she has to offer. I signed up straight away.
I can honestly tell you that I didn’t think un-following all these women and groups on social media would have an effect on me at all. For years, I have been following pages that I found inspirational and funny, which featured body confident and happy women, but I had no idea they were having a negative impact on my mental state.
Lifeline WA were a HUGE support for me when I opened up about my anxiety & Im stoked to tell you I’m running for them @lifeline_wa in @hbfrun that’s if this knee is better! Otherwise it’s a walk! ???? you can too, make sure you raise your cashola & run for #lifelinewa & support the great work they do! ❤❤❤❤
When Dr Kat originally asked me how I felt about the images posted by these pages I followed on social media, I said I was inspired. That isn’t a lie. I really am inspired by these incredible humans! However, when she made me write down my thoughts about five of them as an experiment recently, I realised they weren’t just inspiring me, they were also sabotaging me.
I had been scrolling over some of these pages more than 10 times a day and, although their posts impressed me, there were more negative thoughts swirling through the back of my mind than positive ones. I’ll admit it, I was jealous. I found myself feeling envious, judgmental, even ungrateful, and I compared myself to ALL of these women.
As Dr Kat explained to me, it is completely normal to compare these pictures to our own, but it’s important to give our self-confidence a break sometimes too. “Comparing yourself to others is natural. But while we do it, because we know we will, we must remember to put things into the right perspective,” she said. “However, putting things into a positive perspective is easier said than done when thin, tanned and perfectly toned bodies are being flashed in front of our eyes 24-7.