How Mindfulness Can Reframe Body Image

Please note that this post discusses eating disorders.

Weight — the loss of it, the gain of it, the way our bodies fill out our clothes or take up space in public — is a concept that can completely occupy our thoughts. For some of us, obsessing about weight is a daily reality. The perfect size seems ever out of reach, and I don’t think there’s anyone out there who truly feels their body is the perfect size and shape.

I struggled with an eating disorder when I was in my teens. I never felt thin enough—even when my BMI was in the flashing-red-lights-get-this-girl-a-sandwich-before-she-passes-out range. As long as I had soft flesh anywhere on my body, I felt somehow vulnerable and out of control. The harder and smaller my body was, the safer I felt on some level. I found a way to sublimate hunger pangs into a kind of willpower practice that could make me feel a little high.

I felt strong and in control when I could ignore my body’s most basic needs, but I was neither. It’s hard to be strong when your muscles are disappearing into your body to try to keep your brain functioning, and