What is body grief?

You may have heard about or experienced the concept of body grief. It is common among many people and has been showing up on social media. For example, two women on TikTok have shared their experiences on how they’ve navigated body grief.

In the tiktok video with Aleahh Elizabeth, she shares how others would comment about her weight change and how that added to her own insecurities around her body image. She also reflects on how, even when she was thin, she hated her body.

Her experience is similar to Sami Rose’s tiktok video, where she shares her process of grieving her changing body. Sami now appreciates the fact that she gained weight as she is now more internally focused on her values and self-worth instead of seeking external validation. Body grief can cause someone to struggle with accepting or, as they move through the grief, find the truth to their own inner peace and self-love.

Many women struggle with their bodies changing as they age. For some, it may be because of lifestyle changes like going to college or working at a desk most of the day. Weight gain may also be due to a changing metabolism or perimenopausal symptoms. The change in weight can trigger a number of emotions. It can cause someone to isolate from others and increase feelings of isolation and shame.

A person experiencing body grief or dissatisfaction most likely has tried various ways to get back to their previous weight and found that nothing worked. At this point, they must choose to continue to be on the weight loss hamster wheel or instead shift their beliefs and values towards body acceptance. This may also cause a grieving period, letting go of old beliefs that being thin is the magic answer for happiness or that one must always be pursuing weight loss. 

Getting to the other side of this grieving period can take time. Undoing old belief systems reinforced by social media, family, friends, etc. is not easy. Yet it is possible. Having people around you who do have a good relationship with their body is key. Also, working with a clinician or coach who will support you in healing your self-confidence and self-love can bring about shifts even faster. Whatever your next step might be, consider how it aligns with your current values. This is often the best guide to finding your path towards wellness. 


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