How to love your body
Here’s a statement I really want you to consider.
Hating your body will never get you as far as loving it will.
We are surrounded by messages of “not thin enough!” and “too thin!” We swim in a media soup thick with body image transmission. It’s a tricky sea to navigate. It encourages a continual mental dialogue of comparisonitus. It’s pretty much totally unhelpful, because we are almost always going to come off worst when we are comparing ourselves to images of people 20 years younger who have full-time personal chefs and trainers and who have also been liberally photoshopped.
Obviously we can’t compete. We know that, right?
I know you know you can’t compete with a photoshopped image of Jessica Alba in a bikini. I know that. You know that. Logically we are all on the same page here. This is not news.
Yet in our heads we still do.
The relentless whispers of not enough. Not thin enough. Not toned enough. Not eating well enough. Not exercising enough. Not stylish enough. Not dewy and fresh enough. It goes on and on. This creates a poisonous mental dialogue. I know we don’t say this stuff out loud, we are saying it silently in our minds and that’s okay, right? No one can hear that?
Actually yes — someone IS listening to that stream of destructive smack talk in our heads. We are. Our body is listening, and hearing every pejorative word we think. And it does exactly what we would do if we had, say, a personal trainer who attempted to motivate us by shouting at us, “You are so fat why are you even bothering? Nothing you do makes a difference. You are old and your ass looks massive.” Would that make you want to go work out? Eat well? No.
What do you expect from a personal trainer?
“Attaa-girl. You are doing so well. You’ve gotta start somewhere baby, you are doing GREAT!” That would make you want to work out!
Think of it another way. Would you talk to your beloved pet, or treasured child in the way you talk to your body?
“Fido/Bella, you are ugly, fat and useless. I hate you for being the way you are.” Not nice, right?
Remember that the most important person who influences how your body responds is listening when you talk smack in your head about it. And that’s you. Keep your self-talk loving, gentle and encouraging. Keep it light, positive and compassionate.
Talk to yourself like you would a treasured child or pet. You might just be amazed at how you respond when the comparisonitus of judgey, self-hating body talk is exchanged for a stream of encouraging, loving positivity. You body might well just surprise you, too.