How to Love Your Body While Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Stefanie was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after the birth of her first child. In this episode, she shares how her weight gain and difficulty performing daily tasks led to a negative body image.

Cheryl and Stefanie discuss ways to overcome ableism and shame, and gain a sense of body positivity or at least a “body neutral” stance. They also discuss the importance of self compassion and challenging societal norms.

For full episode details including a transcript, go to the show page.

Episode at a glance:

  • Overview: how does chronic illness affect body image?
  • Stefanie’s personal journey: postpartum diagnosis of RA, coping with weight gain and difficulty performing basic daily activities
  • What is “normal?” Stefanie and Cheryl discuss how it’s hard to know what’s normal or expected as a first time parent, especially when you receive an autoimmune diagnosis
  • Overcoming ableism and shame: how Stefanie and Cheryl have learned to grow in confidence and embrace their perfectly imperfect bodies
  • It’s ok to feel “body neutral:” sometimes being neutral is a middle ground step between body shame and body confidence
  • Self-Compassion: Cheryl shares why self compassion is so critical for people with chronic illness
  • Stefanie’s best advice for newly diagnosed people who might be struggling with body image

Medical disclaimer:

All content found on Arthritis Life public channels was created for generalized informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Episode Sponsors

Rheum to THRIVE, a community support & education program Cheryl created to help people with rheumatic disease go from overwhelmed, confused and alone to confident, supported and connected. Join the waitlist for the next group, which starts in October 2022!

Rheumatoid Arthritis Roadmap, a self-paced online course Cheryl created that teaches you how to confidently manage your physical, social and emotional life with rheumatoid arthritis.

For Full Episode links Plus Transcript:

For full episode details including a transcript, go to the show page on the Arthritis Life Website.

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