How To Improve Your Body Image

Sarah McMahon
3 min readFeb 20, 2022

[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]

Sometimes, when I meet someone new, I tell them about the deep, dark hole that was my eating disorder. I’ve written about it ad nauseum, and it’s funny to think that strangers might know more about my inner darkness than the people close to me. But usually, I reserve divulging the really dark stuff until it makes sense, and sometimes, that time never comes. Not everyone needs to know about your pain. More importantly, not everyone can be trusted to hold your pain with grace.

But I recently told someone new the abridged version of my story, from the hazy start to the inconclusive finish. His only question was, “Does your eating disorder still bother you?” The short answer is no, I’ve moved so far from it that I barely think about it except when asked. And I’ve been asked about it so much that my responses to common questions have begun to feel rote. But there is one part of the eating disorder that maybe does still linger, and I think it’s a thing that can bother most of us: body image. Our bodies change so often (and should) that our body images can’t always keep up. And body image impacts every other facet of life: our confidence, our vulnerability, our willingness to put ourselves out there, our comfortability in intimate situations, our comfortability with ourselves.