Guest Blogger Elanie Turso from Elaine Turso Photography shares with us how to STOP the cycle of self-hate associated with weight, body shaming, emotional eating and related issues.  Every week Elaine gets to meet and hang out with beautiful women who on their journey of self-discovery.  She gets to meet cool kids who are graduating high school and are about to go out and change the world with their awesomeness, as well as fellow business owners to help them with their personal branding photos for their website and business cards.

how to stop body shaming self hate

One thing I love about Elaine is that she operates a body-positive studio. You are not allowed to talk bad about yourself in her presence!  She says, “My soul dies every time I hear someone make snide comments about themselves, like, ‘can you photoshop me to be thinner? I need to lose weight first. I don’t want to break your camera.’ NO. Don’t do it. There will be consequences.”

Here is her amazing blog on how to stop the self-hate cycle.

Are you insecure about your body?
Can you look at yourself naked in the mirror and smile?
Do you criticize your body because it’s not ‘perfect’?
Say “If I lose ___ pounds, then I’ll be happy”

Thunder Thighs.

Muffin Top.

Fat Ass.

Flabby Arms.

Double Chin.

Crow’s Feet.

Stretch Marks.

Back Fat.

Small Boobs.

Big Boobs.

Saggy Skin.

Ever said one of those hateful things about yourself out loud?

Ever said them in front of your children?

If you are being honest with yourself, and I hope that you will, your answer is probably yes to both.

I’m begging you… Don’t be like me. Stop the cycle of self-hate. It can end with you.

When my daughter was about 12 years old, I heard her complain about her “thunder thighs”. Shocked, and utterly flabbergasted, I quickly told her she was crazy and told her that I WISH I had her thighs…. (By the way, I know now that was not the right way to respond.) I should have done so many things differently. I should have engaged her, I should have listened,  I should have this, I should have that. I could beat myself up over that moment…

One day for some reason, the Tyra Banks show was on. It was an interesting topic and I sat down to watch. It was a show with mothers and daughters. They were marking up photos of their bodies with all of the things that they didn’t like about themselves. It was crazy. I was shocked, yet intrigued. And the “Psychiatrist” guest speaker said something that I will never forget…

“Daughters do not want to be better than their mothers”.

Girls don’t simply decide to hate their bodies, we teach them to. Source:


Wait, what???

Our daughters look at us as PERFECT human beings. They see us with loving eyes, they see us for the one that wipes their tears, kisses their boo-boos and gives them cuddles whenever they need it. They don’t see our flaws, they don’t see our imperfections. They don’t think we need to lose weight. They see past all of that. They want to be JUST LIKE US. (Even though they might not admit it)

When we spew self-hatred out of our mouths, we are essentially telling them that there is something wrong with them too. Remember, they don’t want to be better than us.

If we have thunder thighs, then maybe they do too?

If we complain about our stretch marks, maybe they should complain too? I mean, we don’t want mommy to hate herself all by herself, right?
The moment that my daughter complained about her thunder thighs, I knew that she had heard that come out of my mouth. My self-hating complaint turned into her insecurity. WHAT HAVE I DONE?

“At its most extreme, self-hatred can lead people to retreat into substance use, suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors, or violence toward others.” (Source:  I know you don’t want that for your or your children. Again, please don’t be like me.

My daughter has always been athletic. On the cheer squad, lifting girls over her head, she was strong. Her thighs are PURE MUSCLE. Without those muscular legs, she would not have been able to do those things.

how to stop the cycle of self-hate with body issues

My daughter was teased for the size of her thighs. One day, I was “snooping”, and discovered she had an “Ask” page. (By the way, do NOT let your child have one of these pages). Someone asked her “How much do your thunder thighs weigh”? Her response was clever, “2 boxes of pizza, and 3 boxes of Chinese food”. But I knew that it stung. (SIDE NOTE RANT: Why on earth people feel it’s ok to talk about another’s body, is beyond me. Even if you think you are giving a compliment, just don’t. It’s not your place to give unsolicited comments/feedback about someone’s weight loss/gain, their shape, none of it.)

Another recent occasion happened when I was driving my daughter’s friend home, and her friend complained out loud that she was fat. My daughter began to cry. She said, “How do you think that makes me feel? You are smaller and thinner than I am, so does that make ME fat?” That was a very quiet car ride.

I spend my days focused on empowering women through photography. Let me tell you, she is my most challenging client. She complains about every little non-existent flaw. Her eyes, her waist, her thighs, her hair, her smile, everything. In our minds, our children are perfect. We love them unconditionally. We don’t want them to change a thing. We know that if we erase their flaws and imperfections, we erase their unique individuality.

Let me say that again. If YOU were to erase YOUR flaws and imperfections, YOU would erase YOUR unique individuality.

No one is like you. No one. No one has your mind, your heart, your soul. You are a unique and special person.

But, she is plagued with these unrealistic ideals of beauty. Everyday. Instagram is full of girls who probably took 100 photos of themselves before they’d post one they liked. She sees commercials telling her that she is not good enough unless she uses their products. She sees magazines with photoshopped models who you probably could not even recognize on the street because they’ve been altered so much. Have you seen the dove commercial? Yeah. That’s so wrong on so many levels.

So what do we say/do when we hear our children or someone we love, say hurtful things about themselves? How can you turn your own negative thoughts around? Trading self-hate for self-love is not easy. But it IS possible.

Here are some tips:

  • Start a “swear jar” – If you or someone in your home is using self-hate talk, they have to put money in a jar that is donated to a charity of your choosing. And for the love of all that is holy…Do not ask your husband, “Do these jeans make me look fat” EVER AGAIN! It will cost you! (Did you know there is a swear jar app?)
  • Focus on the positive – Turn that self-hate talk into an opportunity to focus on what you DO love about yourself. If you are caught self-hating, you should say 5 things you LOVE out loud. Say it until you mean it.
  • Curb comparisons – ever wish you “looked like her”? You never will. It’s not attainable. It’s not reality. Let it go. Focus on being the best YOU. Give back. Be positive. Be a good friend. Remember this quote “I’m not beautiful like you, I’m beautiful like Me”. It’s true. Remove those Instagram gals who make you feel inferior. You don’t need that negativity in your life.
  • Gentle reminders – Positive quotes plastered in places that you will see every day. Pinterest is full of them. Find one that sings to you. Put one by your mirror. Your car. Your office. Let that sink in until you believe it. Wholeheartedly believe it. My favorite is “Be your own kind of beautiful”. To me, that means, be unique. You get to decide what beautifully is, no one else’s definition is going to be your definition.
  • Do you exist in photographs? Will you have a legacy left behind for your family? Have you been avoiding the camera because you didn’t like your appearance and you wanted to change it “first”? It’s time to GET PHOTOGRAPHED…. NOW!!!!!!!!! I know this may sound like a plug for my business, but I am hoping that you will take my advice. Whether it’s a family photo, a glamour shoot, a boudoir shoot, a selfie… I don’t care. Be photographed. Begin your legacy. Accept yourself. Be photographed and review the photos WITHOUT criticizing yourself during or after your session. I have a rule in my studio… there’s no self-hate talk allowed. Not tolerated. Find a photographer that will stick to that rule. If they don’t have it, ask them to help you through it. It’s easy to complain about yourself, it’s harder to love/accept yourself. But I have faith that you can do it.
  • Talk it out – tell someone that you trust that you are on this journey of self-discovery. You may have a bad day and need someone to help you work it out. Ask them to be your beauty buddy. Sometimes though, you really need help from a professional. They are fully equipped with the tools to help you work through some trauma that may be preventing you from changing your mindset. Don’t be afraid to get that help.
  • Surround yourself with positive people – make a rule that there will not be any self-hate talk when you are out with your girlfriends, etc… Don’t give in to the group self-hate game. Don’t do it! If you hear your friend say or you see them post something negative online, CALL THEM OUT on it! Sometimes, they don’t even realize they are doing it!     (“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”  ― John Joseph Powell)

Stop the cycle of self-hate. It starts with you. It’s possible that you heard your beautiful mother complain about herself. And I know you think your mother is the most beautiful woman in the world, why would she say those things about herself? (See what I did there?) Imagine your children saying that about YOU.


how to stop body shaming self-hate

“Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face it’s about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and a pretty soul.” ― Drake

You are worth loving. You are worthy of existing. And none of that worth has anything to do with your appearance!

More awesome quotes to share:
“If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago…” ― Cheri Huber,

“When you stop living your life based on what others think of you real life begins. At that moment, you will finally see the door of self-acceptance opened.” ― Shannon L. Alder

“Your skin is your skin. Your legs are your legs. Your hair is your hair. Your smile is your smile. Your past is your past. You can waste your life hating these things, but you may as well learn to accept them. Both routes are difficult and full of pain, but with acceptance, you will be happy one day, while with hatred, you never will.” ― Vironika Tugaleva

“Self-hatred is self-imprisonment. Self-forgiveness is self-liberation. You have the right to suppress yourself, oppress yourself and depress yourself. You have the right to impress yourself too. Feel happy!” ― Israelmore Ayivor

“Self-hatred is the inevitable byproduct of the culture of narcissism in which we all have been reared. We learn from day one how special and wonderful we are. Or conversely, and perhaps more pervasively, we do not learn this at all and instead are subjected to glorified views of others through the media whom we idealize and envy. At the root of it all are inappropriate expectations about life, about ourselves, and an overvaluation of self that breeds profound isolation.” ― Melissa Grabau

Connect with Elaine at here, take the ‘I am Perfectly Imperfect Pledge’ and stay in the loop with more inspiration from her!

Original Post:

“Why try again? I have gained the weight back too many times!”

“What makes this time any different? I have failed so many times, I am not worth the effort or the money to do this again…I will just gain the weight back anyways.” Sound familiar? Depending on how many times you have lost the weight and gained it back you may absolutely have lots of reasons not to try again. You may even have plenty of reasons that you are not ‘worth it’ to take the time, and do what it takes to release the weight for good.

I understand that it can be scary trying again. You even might be thinking: “What if people see me lose the weight and I just gain it all back again plus more? I just can’t stand the embarrassment one more time! I would rather just stay fat.” Or, you may be thinking: “It’s so hard losing weight and sticking with it, I’m just not ready to do it all again.”
Staying put where you are now, what kind of life is that? In telling yourself these things above, how is it inspiring you into action? The truth is that this type of self-blame, shame, or not feeling worthy is just allowing you to stay stuck. Yes, absolutely facing fears and putting in the work can be a road block to feeling motivated to change.

Take a moment to think:

  • What are you expecting the weight loss process to look like?
  • Are you expecting that you have to jump in ALL at one time and go from eating
    whatever you want now to eating only broccoli and chicken until you reach your
    goal weight?
  • That you have to wake up at 5 am and workout, hardcore, 60-minutes every morning
    when you cant even remember the last time you moved your body for longer than 5
    minutes at one time?

Anything like these thoughts listed above creates a very harsh and drastic approach that an emotional eater will use to create a backlash of self-sabotage and binge eating. This harsh approach in not long-lasting and is not what we do at Blissfully Healthy.

What if you really saw that it CAN BE different for you? What if the whole weight loss process and overcoming emotional eating can actually look different and is EASIER than what you have done before? What are you expecting this process to look like?

When you work on overcoming the emotional eating, one step at a time, the journey is EASIER and FASTER. Releasing the weight for good is easier when you are not fighting the emotional eating. The hard road is doing what you have always done–another diet and another diet failure.
It’s time to get out of your own way!

I invite you to consider:

  • Why do you want to try again?
  • What are you expecting the weight loss process and overcoming emotional eating
    to be like?
  •  What if it could be different?
  • Looking at your past experiences and learning from those, this does not have to be an all or nothing approach. What facts or evidence can you stack up to start seeing that you can do this?There will never be the perfect time to get started on your weight loss, and more importantly, your emotional eating recovery journey. When you are ready, know that honoring your self is the greatest gift that you can give to you and the people you love.

Start thinking about:

* What would you like to change?
* Why do you want to make this change?
* What gets in the way of you achieving the results you want?

Remember the Daily Boost journal you started? Write down your thoughts to help you create your answers as well as writing down anything that inspires you!


“JUST for TODAY, I consider all the facts and reasons why I can do this! Just for today I consider why I want to do this. Just for today I consider that it can look different for me. Just for today I am willing to try, knowing that I am good enough. I AM WORTHY of having the best health and happiness that I yearn for! Just for today I am worthy no matter how many times I have tried before in my life to change. I am worth it to live the life I love. Just for today I give my self permission to be worth this! I am allowed to have my ONE life be the best it can be!”

Would you like to ask some questions, share your struggles and come up with solutions together? Reserve a FREE Discovery Session to see if weight-loss coaching is a good fit for you. You don’t have to do this alone!

It's Time to Take Better Care of YOU!