Should I work out or just be kinder to myself?


I have struggled most of my life with body image issues, but it really kicked in after having kids. I’ve always been naturally thin but always felt like my body wasn’t beautiful enough. I used to think my thighs jiggled too much, but for the past 10-15 years I’ve been obsessed with thinking my tummy is too big and not toned enough. I also think my face is too heavy. This affects my mood–if I’m feeling unattractive, I get antsy or sharp with my loved ones.

My dilemma is this: I can’t tell if I actually SHOULD lose some weight, or if I should instead focus on loving the body I have. I know if I lost a little weight, or focused on getting in better shape, I would look better.

But every time I put effort into regular exercise, I can’t keep up the routine. I’ll do great for 3-4 days, and then fall apart. The minute I don’t feel like working out, I make an excuse about why I shouldn’t do it, procrastinate, and then end up doing nothing. Then I comfort myself by telling myself that I should instead focus on being kind in my self-talk about my body and how that is more important than exercise. Then the cycle starts again.

Here’s my question: should I get my ass in gear and get in better shape, or just be kinder to myself and not push myself any more?

For reference, I am 5’6″ and 139, wear a size 6, and my BMI is in the normal range.