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This week I wanted to share with you how low moods are different for me since I stopped worrying about what I look like. 

In the past when I got down, my mind would nearly always link the feeling to my body. I’d pin all the negative feelings on the way my body looked and make it the culprit. 

And I tried to get out of low moods with plans to ‘improve’ my body, usually by losing weight or building muscle. The idea of these improvements cheered me up because they were a way to avoid feeling sadness and shame. 

And they were a very concrete way – something I could put all my energy and effort into and see a tangible result. My mind likes those kinds of simplistic solutions! 

But when I was going through phases in which I found it hard to stick to strict regimes of diet and exercise, these ways to make myself feel better started to wear thin because I often had the sense that I wouldn’t be able to sustain them in the long term. 

I also got sick of my body feeling like a never-ending project. 

Now that I don’t worry about what I look like anymore and have stopped trying to control or manage my appearance to look ‘pleasing’ to other people, low moods are different. 

I recognise that they’re the result of negative thoughts that are dominating my consciousness. And I don’t take them out on my innocent body. 

I feel the feelings that I don’t enjoy. I don’t try to run away from them with a self-improvement plan. It’s more peaceful and restful. It’s like listening to sad music and allowing yourself to cry. You don’t have to do anything about it because you know there’s nothing wrong with it, and it will pass. 

All my negative, limited, conditioned thinking about my body piled on an additional layer of suffering to my life. Since being free of it, life feels lighter. 

Even when I feel down, I’m grateful that I don’t have that problem to worry about. This makes it easier to go through difficult times. Not easy, but a lot easier. And I’m so grateful for that.

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