Some days I have terrible body image. Some days I "feel fat" and bloated. Some days I get down on myself. Now, I know I'm not the only person who experiences these emotions, and I know it's a normal part of being human. But how we deal with these feelings can have a tremendous affect on how we function overall.

When I find myself in these moments, it's easy for me to turn to the mirror and stare at my reflection, searching for every imperfection, and tell myself I look fat. This is NOT a healthy coping mechanism at all. When we focus on any part of the body for a long time, our vision becomes distorted. We can start seeing and believing things that aren't there just by telling ourselves they are, and our body image becomes worse.

I also find it easy to step on the scale just to "see where I'm at." This is NOT a healthy way to cope with negative emotions, either. First of all, weight is just a number that by no means defines your self worth. It's true that there is a healthy weight range depending on body type and height, but staying at a set number should not be a priority. The truth is, our weight fluctuates and, when we experience bloating, our weight will fluctuate upwards. Sometimes a number that is higher than we want or expect it to be can really mess with our minds and make all of the emotions worse.

Whenever you are having a moment of bad body image or you just "feel fat," please avoid the mirror and scale. The last thing we need during times of vulnerability is mental deception. Instead, do something that makes you feel good. Listen to your favorite song, go for a walk, write a poem, take a bubble bath, talk to a friend - do what makes you happy and takes your mind away from the negative thoughts and feelings. I promise that this is a much healthier and more effective coping mechanism than degrading your reflection or searching for a magic number. These feelings will pass - they always do. Sometimes it's quick while other times it takes a few days. However long it is that your feel "stuck," though, don't let yourself get down. Keep your chin up, keep striving toward happiness, and know that you so much more than just a reflection or number.

Think about what your body can do rather than what it looks like. You have a heart that beats, lungs that breath, skin that protects you and keeps you warm, legs that run, hands that hold things, eyes that see, a nose that smells, a mouth that tastes and smiles! Your body loves you and works hard to keep you alive every single day, so love it back! Don't let negative thoughts and feelings interfere with that.