Body checking – the compulsively scrutinizing, monitoring, and/or tracking of your body’s weight, size, or shape – can make it really difficult to move away from diet culture, listen to your body, and recover from disordered eating or an eating disorder. Read on to learn how to stop body checking, including 3 steps to reduce body checking behaviors.
What is Body Checking?
Body-checking is the compulsively scrutinizing, monitoring, and/or tracking of your body’s weight, size, or shape. There are many ways that people body check. Some people obsessively weigh themselves on a scale while others may have a certain pair of pants that they regularly try on to “check” and see how they fit.
Often people have a specific part of their bodies that they focus on when body checking. For example, one of my clients would pinch her stomach, run her hands over her belly, and whenever she would pass a reflective surface like a mirror or store window, her eyes would immediately go to her midsection.
Other people may fixate on their legs, arms, nose, forehead, or any other body part that they have been led to believe is “wrong” in some way.
Many times body checking is done subconsciously throughout the day and has become such a habit that often people don’t realize they’re doing it. These behaviors can range in severity and impact – sometimes the check is more mild, like stepping on a scale every few weeks.
Other times it is more debilitating, to the point where someone’s mind is almost constantly thinking about their perceived “flaw” and/or what they can do to “fix” it – often going to extremes with dieting and restriction or exercise to try and do so.
Forms of Body Checking Can Include:
Frequently weighing yourself on the scale.Trying on a specific pair of pants or another clothing item to see how it fits.Feeling areas of your body, like your stomach or thighs or arms, to see if they’ve changed.Pinching or grabbing your skin.Measuring parts of your body with a measuring tap. Checking your reflection in mirrors, windows, or other reflective surfaces.Taking photos of yourself and/or…..