One epic way to improve your body image today
Do you fight between loving your body and loathing it?
When you look in the mirror do you think you are too short, too tall, thin, fat, too wide, too narrow, lumpy, bony, tubby, saggy or twiggy?
Many mums are derailed in their health and fitness journey by an unhealthy mindset. The problem starts with the words we use to describe our appearance. Negative thoughts eat away at our sense of self-worth, until we feel like we are not worth loving.
Our mental battle between negative and positive thoughts drains us of energy and devours our precious time. If we could let go of the angst that we feel over how we look, imagine how much lighter our hearts would be!
Carolyn Joyce at Psych Alive explains: “Most of us underestimate how deeply critical and just plain negative our process of self-identification and examination really is. To the degree that we define ourselves through the language and lens of a cruel inner critic, we are restricting ourselves, undermining our potential, and failing to fulfil the fullest possibilities of our identity.”
Release the harsh words stopping you from becoming your best self
Some days I would feel great until I caught a glimpse of my reflection. Then a thought like my fringe is wonky or my nose looks bigger or my belly is too, would flash into my mind.
My bubbly mood would pop, leaving me feeling sad and lonely. It seemed ridiculous, how could my wonderful mood disappear just because I saw my reflection?
For so long, I tried swapping these unhealthy thoughts for better ones. I tried thinking that my hair looked beautiful and on some days that was enough for me to feel better. But there were plenty of other days when I just felt so unhappy with my appearance that no matter what happy vibe I tried to put in my head, it just wouldn’t stick.
The negative thoughts sprung from various past experiences where people made unpleasant comments on my appearance. Since then, my mind had worked hard to reinforce their musings. My brain took every moment where I looked less than perfect and added them into the pile of negative chatter. Until that pile became a mountain that I could not see around.
My mind had its irrefutable evidence that my appearance was not good enough. And my heart wasn’t strong enough to fight it.
Then one day, when I was feeling particularly cheerful, I caught my reflection and thought ‘Oh no, I look awful.’ I stood staring at myself, pondering how I could go from bouncy, happy me…to miserable, woeful me.
Baffled and frustrated I wished that mirrors didn’t exist.
Surely, I can feel great despite what I see? I inwardly moaned.
Then, like steam evaporating after a shower, it became clear. If I realised that my reflection was simply that, my reflection, I could still feel the way I felt before seeing myself.
My new affirmation was born: I look how I look and I feel amazing.
Instead of tossing between self-love and self-hate, I was empowered by acceptance. Now every time I see myself in a mirror, or window, I chant the same words. It is uplifting, freeing, to think that I simply look how I look.
There is no more trying to convince myself with words that just didn’t fit with what I saw. I simply tossed all those descriptive words out the window. For someone who adores descriptive words it was completely revelatory for me.
I believe that the notion was born from when I discovered the Buddhist beliefs of acceptance and non-attachment. Non-attachment seems so clinical, you might think that it involves feeling completely nothing. Instead, it focusses on letting feelings and thoughts come and pass without grabbing hold of them. Now, when I see my reflection and a thought like ‘Gee I need to get my teeth whitened’ pops in, I just let it walk on out of my head again. No longer clinging to the notion of being perfect, I feel strength instead of pain.
“…if you can’t accept life the way it is, you have a big problem, because we cannot change what already has happened. Resisting the flow of life will only make you unhappy. The other choice is to bite the bullet and accept life the way it is. That takes courage but the process will empower you enormously.” Axel Gjertsen
There is definitely a place for healthy affirmations about ourselves, describing our body as strong, energetic, faithful, hard-working are all beautiful thoughts to have. Creating a healthy image about our body is important. Loving and nourishing our body is vital to a happy and healthy life.
“The big key to changing negative body image is to kill the critic, and learn self-acceptance. This means accepting yourself as you are. “
Remove words that no longer serve you and forget about trying to replace them.
I look how I look.
It’s simplistic in its beauty and that’s why it’s so freeing. No more forcing yourself to think one way or the other about your appearance.
You are now free to feel whatever you want to feel no matter what image appears before you. Your joyful days can continue without falter because you are no longer sizing yourself up (down or sideways!).
What you see is what you see and that is perfectly okay.
Know someone who needs to hear that they’re beautiful no matter what they see? Share this blog post with them!
Hi, I’m Kara, your friendly fitness copywriter.
I help health, fitness and wellness professionals make their words sell. From writing epic sales pages to making their content SEO friendly, I’ll get your words working for you. A healthy living nerd, you’ll often find me doing a yoga or weights session finished off by a swim at my local beach on the stunning Mornington Peninsula.
If you like my style and you need blog posts written, let’s chat.