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This is a hard post to write but a very important one.
I have found that many, no matter the size and shape, are in a place that their body is not on their top 10 list of favorite things.
We have this nasty ritual of looking in the mirror and finding something wrong. Most of us really don’t believe others who say we look fantastic and instead let our negative thoughts about our appearance set the truth.
We often choose certain ways to dress, to act, to go over something, relationships…all based on how WE think we look.
Think about how often we hear people say “I need to lose weight” or “I need to get in shape” with a pointing of a finger to a certain part of the body.
“We go around repeating phrases of sugarcoated self-loathing, blindly supporting each other in this habit”Jessi Kneeland
The common tendency is supporting each other in a belief that the problem is our bodies.
Hard truth….the problem isn’t our bodies. It’s the obsession about what and how you want to change that keeps us from seeing the real problem. It’s how our brain translates what it sees and how we are “trained” to translate this message back.
How do we train our brains to find love for that amazing body?
With the explosion of social media, filters, and perfect photoshop images, it’s hard to live up to a “new norm” that is being portrayed. For many of us, the tendency to focus on “trouble spots” takes over the ability to appreciate what this amazing body does. Keep reading for alternatives to change this mindset and how to start the journey of loving every bit of that gorgeous body.
What happens when you look in the mirror?
Most of us have trained ourselves unconsciously to find every single flaw on our face and body. We look in that mirror and start tearing ourselves apart. The worst part is that this becomes a habit, an automatic ritual, that it’s the first thing we do when seeing ourselves in that mirror.
It’s almost like we have been training for low self-esteem and the creation of a negative body image.
But here is the thing….we are not stuck. We have been training our brains into this way of thinking AND we can retrain it out.
What is a starting point?
The biggest piece to this is acknowledgement and permission to change it. And with any new process, this will also be a start, stop, restart type of lesson.
Start saying it out loud
What kind of granola eating oatmeal have you had today? Ha! A few years ago, this is exactly what I would have said to anyone that gave this advice but…hang with me.
What happens if we look in the mirror and verbally say (like out loud) what is looking fine, sexy, and ah..ma…zing on that body? Did you know that your brain will clasp on to that? Try it!
Stop the Comparison
Each one of us is like a unique unicorn so why are we so desperately trying to compare ourselves to everyone else? We each have such special (and our own) gifts to give.
A subliminal message is sneaky and will be in your subconscious before you even know it. Take the time to re-evaluate what you are watching, seeing, listening to. What is the message? The unfollow button can be the best starting point.
Finding What You Love
Instead of focusing the attention on what we don’t like about our bodies….what if we instead paid attention to what our bodies CAN do.
My usual dialogue is why are my legs so freaking thick. What if I changed this to “look at these STRONG legs that have walked this body millions of miles, carried two babies, and helped me finish so many finish lines”?
This approach is easier said than done…so start small. What is on your list of “you-isms” that you love? Now take these and create self-care mantras, a compliment of sorts, that you would say to your daughter, mother, sister, or friend….and say it to yourself.
Start celebrating what your body CAN do right now.
Shut The Inner Mean Girl Up
Silencing the inner critic is hard but she is the hardest and nastiest voice we know. Next time she starts, tell her no, call it out, stop the negative look. Acknowledge that she is talking and then verbal say the list of things that you adore about yourself instead. The key to this is stopping the negative talk as soon as it starts.
6 Things You Can Do Right NOW to Mindset Change
Make a list of what you like. For the next week, write down 1-2 things that you like about yourself. As soon as you hear the inner mean girl start to say a word, grab this list and read it out loud.
Exercise is for Health and not a punishment. It is not to lose weight. What would happen if our mindset changed to health vs. weight loss?
Positive Roles Models. Ok…this one can be hard. Sometimes…we surround ourselves with other people who like to body bash. We find that we spend time talking about what we don’t like about ourselves and the conversation is spent in this negative cycle. Instead, what if we spend time with those that celebrated themselves? Talking total positive outlook!
Start complimenting each other. Positivity feeds on positivity. The more one compliments those around, the more complimentary you will be to yourself.
Get rid of those jeans you have been keeping that don’t fit. It’s time. Stop hanging on to that dress or pair of jeans since high school. Let them go. Trying to put on pants I had prior to my babies is not going to happen now. My body has changed AND that is ok.
Go get some new clothes. Go to Marshalls, TJ Max, Ross, and Target and try on a bunch of clothes. Who cares what the tag says…find something you love and try it on until you find something comfortable for your body. Because…when you find it and you finally feel like that sexy woman you are, you will walk out of the dressing room with so much….sass!
Wrapping this one up!
Here is my biggest take-away.
You don’t have to be perfect…you just need to be you.
It’s easy to say things like you’re going to feel happier when your body “looks this certain way”. But…the hard truth is, you’re more likely to start treating your body better if you like it.
Start working on loving you right now…in this exact moment.
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