I love the idea that we get to choose our results. Sometimes, in moments of…
If you’ve ever stood in front of a mirror and thought, “ugh” or worse, I see you. I’ve struggled with weight, body image and self-love for most of my 38 years.
It’s interesting to me, especially lately as I’m delving into managing my emotions better, that it actually doesn’t matter what your body looks like. You can have negative thoughts about yourself regardless of who’s looking back at you in the mirror.
Me, for example. In this picture I weigh 110lbs and am two weeks away from doing a fitness competition. I was having a ‘fat day’ here. Incredible, but true. I remember thinking as I looked in the mirror, how is it possible that I feel this way? But I did. I was filled with self-loathing and shame.
In an unlikely turn of events, this next photo tells a different story. I had just given birth to Finley. No idea of my weight but perhaps 170-ish?. I had suffered with constant back pain through the pregnancy and I was swollen, huge, and physically deflated. But I loved my body. I loved what it had just done for me. I appreciated every bit of the lumpy, poochy belly I had. I didn’t want to stay at that current status (in fact I was definitely ready to reclaim a strong and fit body) but I didn’t loathe myself where I was at.
The point is: It doesn’t matter where you’re at. It’s what you’re thinking that makes the difference.
It doesn’t matter where you’re at. It’s what you’re thinking that makes the difference
Because what you think about your body dictates how you feel. So if you’re feeling like, “ugh”, there’s a thought behind that. Possibly more than one, and so much of the time, we actually aren’t aware of what those thoughts are.
So uncovering the thoughts is a huge first step. WHAT am I thinking that’s causing these feelings of ‘ugh’?
But then what? It’s a great start to uncover the thoughts behind the feelings. But if the feelings are not serving you, then we need to change that narrative.
It would be so amazing if we could go seamlessly from “My body is gross” to “I looooove myself!” But honestly, how realistic is that? You can repeat it to yourself, but there’s a really good chance your brain will reject it and go back to thinking ‘ew’.
Instead, let’s try neutral. “I have a body,” is a good place to start. It seems silly, but it changes the feeling you get. Try it.
When we are able to accept the neutrality of that statement, our brain shifts. And our perception of ourselves shifts with it.
For me, “I have a body” changed my feelings from those of disgust to those of humility. I started thinking about what my body has done for me so far, and found myself grateful. I started to see its potential more, its problems, less.
The takeaway: Your thinking about your body, not your body itself, causes your feelings about it. Let’s put our focus onto changing our thoughts to reflect the feelings we want to have, instead of feeling at the mercy of those we already do.