What can I do to stop continuous intrusive negative thoughts regarding how I look and weight?

I am an athlete and personal trainer but I have always struggled with accepting my body, I workout for hours daily and feel sick/guilty after every meal, and yet I can't stop thinking about how ugly my body looks. These thoughts are constant and stop me from feeling good about myself, wearing most clothes, and feeling confident altogether, I'm constantly feeling down and depressed about what I look like and it has been very exhausting.
Asked by KG


I am glad that you reached out! I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with intrusive thoughts about how you look. Many times negative thoughts come from negative core beliefs that we create during our life. It can be beneficial to address this in therapy so that you can replace any negative false beliefs of yourself with healthier ones. Therapy can be an effective treatment for a host of mental and emotional problems, including body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders. Talking about your thoughts and feelings with a supportive person can often make you feel better. It can be very healing, in and of itself, to voice your worries or talk about something that’s weighing on your mind. And it feels good to be listened to—to know that someone else cares about you and wants to help. While it can be very helpful to talk about your problems to close friends and family members, sometimes you need help that the people around you aren’t able to provide. When you need extra support, an outside perspective, or some expert guidance, talking to a therapist or counselor can help. While the support of friends and family is important, therapy is different. Therapists are professionally-trained listeners who can help you get to the root of your problems, overcome emotional challenges, and make positive changes in your life. You don’t have to be diagnosed with a mental health problem to benefit from therapy. Many people in therapy seek help for everyday concerns: relationship problems, job stress, or self-doubt, for example. Others turn to therapy during difficult times, such as divorce. But in order to reap its benefits, it’s important to choose the right therapist—someone you trust who makes you feel cared for and has the experience to help you make changes for the better in your life. A good therapist helps you become stronger and more self-aware. Finding the right therapist will probably take some time and work, but it’s worth the effort. The connection you have with your therapist is essential. You need someone who you can trust—someone you feel comfortable talking to about difficult subjects and intimate secrets, someone who will be a partner in your recovery. Therapy won’t be effective unless you have this bond, so take some time in the beginning to find the right person. It’s okay to shop around and ask questions when interviewing potential therapists. The good thing about Betterhelp is that you have so many qualified therapists to choose from.  As you start to process any past sad and painful experiences and seek the treatment you are more likely to reduce feelings of anxiety and increase your self-worth.

I encourage you to seek support and I wish you the best on your healing journey!