Break Free from Body Checking
Body Image

3 Steps To Break Free From Body Checking From A Licensed Therapist

September 13, 2023

Ryann Nicole

Hi, I’m Ryann.

Your Not-So-Average Food Freedom Therapist & Virtual Coach. As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Nutritionist with a BA in Psychology, and a MA in Professional Counseling, yes I do a little of the "so how does that make you feel".

But my ultimate goal is to provide you with the resources you need, in an easy-to-understand way, on healing your disordered relationship with food and your body. 

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Binge Eating

Healthy Habits

Body Image

Emotional Eating

Mental Health 

Do you often spend too much time looking at yourself in the mirror, comparing your body to others, or measuring your body parts? If you do, you're not alone. Many people do something called “body checking” without realizing it, and it can harm your mental well-being.

But don't worry! In this blog post, we'll talk about body checking, explain why it's bad for you, and most importantly, show you how to stop doing it. Say goodbye to body checking and start feeling better about your body.

Understanding Body Checking

Body checking means using different ways to see how big, heavy, or good your body looks. At first, it may seem okay, but it can quickly become a big problem, making you feel very upset. Let's take a close look at some common things people do when they body check:

  1. Measuring body parts: This means using things like measuring tape or your fingers to measure different parts of your body to see if they're changing.
  2. Looking in mirrors: This is when you keep checking yourself out in mirrors to see how your body looks every time you see your reflection.
  3. Comparing yourself to others: It's when you always compare your body to famous people, friends, or how you used to look.
  4. Pinching yourself: This means squeezing different parts of your body to guess how much fat you have.
  5. Posing in front of mirrors: It's when you stand in front of the mirror and try different positions to see your body from different angles.
  6. Taking lots of pictures or videos of your body: You take a ton of photos or videos of yourself all the time.
  7. Weighing yourself regularly: You step on the scale many times a day to check if your weight changes even a little bit.
  8. Always asking others what they think about your body: You keep asking people if they think you're skinny or attractive.

The Consequences of Regular Body Checks

The harm caused by body checking extends beyond superficial concerns about physical appearance. It can lead to anxiety, self-esteem issues, and an unhealthy fixation on body image. Fortunately, you can break free from this destructive habit with determination and effort.

How to Cease Body Checking

Breaking this habit might take some time, but it's possible with commitment. Understand that body checking is often a way to cope with fear and anxiety. To change this, you need to convince yourself that you can feel safe and happy without doing it. Here are three steps to help you stop this habit:

Recognize When You're Doing It

The first step is to notice when you're checking your body. It may take a while to realize because it often happens automatically. Being aware of this behavior is important because you can't change something you don't know you're doing.

Shift Your Focus

Understand that body checking comes from a deeper need, like comfort, security, managing anxiety, or even punishing yourself. Identify what you're looking for when you do it, and then focus on healthier ways to fulfill those needs.

  • Need comfort? Spend time with a loved one or a pet.
  • Seeking security?
  • Repeat positive thoughts to yourself. Dealing with anxiety? Talk to a friend or your support network.
  • If you're being too hard on yourself, practice self-love by giving yourself a hug.

Interrupt the Behavior

When you catch yourself body checking, immediately stop. Tell yourself to STOP, either in your mind or out loud. Continuing to do it only makes the habit stronger. Remember, you don't have to be perfect; the goal is to interrupt it repeatedly to show yourself that you can be okay without it


Breaking free from the body checking cycle is like embarking on a quest for self-acceptance and body positivity. It might require a dash of patience, but with your superhero-like awareness, a fun shift in focus, and a trusty interruption tool, you can wave goodbye to this pesky habit. Embrace the journey towards a more cheerful and body-loving you. It's time to bid adieu to body checking and welcome a happier, more confident, and totally awesome version of yourself!

Want more on body image? Check these out!

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