Recently, I’ve met a couple of beautiful and gorgeous women who can barely look at themselves in the mirror. For various reasons (unhealthy influences during their childhoods) they have very low self-esteem and it led me to thinking about our bodies and how we treat them.
Do you look at yourself in the mirror? What is your internal dialogue when you see yourself in the mirror. Do you have positive or negative self-talk?
If you are like many women who have negative self-talk, I want you to try something for me. Every time you see yourself, whether coming out of the bathroom or getting dressed, or even catching a glimpse of yourself passing a shop window and seeing your reflection. Instead of having negative thoughts, say to yourself (preferably out loud if no one else is around) “I love you and you are beautiful”.
You may feel that this is a big lie, but keep on saying it – like liars who start believeing their own lies, you will start believing this about you – and that can only be a positive thing.
When you can say this out loud to yourself when naked, then you have truely started accepting yourself.
If you struggle with weight issues, I highly recommend you listen to Inside Out Weightloss podcast series as it can help you change the way you think about yourself, food and weight. It’s not a diet, but a new way of thinking.
I recently wrote a Letter to my Body – which is also a great next step in your journey to body love.
Do you take up the challenge?
The mirror is fine; it’s photos that bug me!b
Right ON, Imogen. I always feel goofy saying things aloud to myself, but I think this could really help. I’ll do it!
Imogen, thank you for this. The word “self-esteem” is a minefield, shorthand for “judgments I make about myself”. Real love, from the heart, is not conditional, not derived from judgment. If you have a child, you don’t think, “I’d love her,if only her ears were smaller.” You just love her.
Your mantra reminds us to peel away all those junky messages and simply love.
I try so hard to do this. But it’s difficult when this 50 year old 30 lbs over what you used to weigh stares back at you, dimpled and cellulited for all to see. I try to focus on the positive, but because of my perfectionistic tendencies, I tend to look for the flaws.
I echo Julianne's sentiment…being 50 and being over 20 lbs over what I used to weigh makes it tough too for me to embrace what is lovely about my body..when I look in the mirror, part of me still expects to see that 25 year old me and wonders what happened to her?!
I will try to to be more positive looking at myself in the mirror…but I admit, it's hard when I focus on my hips & behind and fine hair and all the things I don't like about myself!
Wendy – You are so gorgeous in all the pics you post!
Sal – give it a go and let me know
Duchesse – you are so right – we need to love ourselves in that completely non-judgemental totally accepting way we love our children and pets – if we can do this for ourselves we’re onto a good thing.
Julianne and Kelly – I’m 40 and 10kg (22pounds?) over what I used to weigh, and yes I’m not keen on that, but I’m coming to self-acceptance through loving myself for who I am today, not who I was yesterday or even 20 years ago. I can now look in the mirror and not have millions of self-critical thoughts (most of the time – who is perfect? Not me – that’s for sure!)
I even try and add after the “I love you” phrase “and you are beautiful” – it is hard, but worth doing.
Kelly – try to think of your body as something that is performing for you – imagine being someone like Stephen Hawking – and what he has to deal with as far as his body goes – now I’m sure you’re grateful that everything your body does for you and in fact how wonderful it is to have your body.
The mirror isn’t my friend, no, no….
That’s because of the mirror that I’ve been trying the photos…
Have a great weekend.
Hi Imogen, I will try what you suggest but I cannot stand looking at my face in the mirror. Not to mention being photographed. My body is still ok although I could do with a bit of firming…but I cannot stand these awful panda eyes staring back me …Have a nice weekend! Ciao. A.
great advice and I totally agree-it goes along with what I believe in general-put it out there, keep saying it and soon the universe will say “your wish is my command” 🙂 I am interested in looking at that series though- off to read
Seeker – it’s not the mirror that needs to be your friend, nor the camera, it’s you who needs to be your friend.
Antonella – it saddens me that you cannot bear to look at your face in the mirror. I am sure you are very beautiful.
Christina – thanks and I hope you enjoy it
Hi Imogen, you are right about being grateful for everything my body does for me…there’s a lady in our community who at age 28 had some serious medical problems after delivering her baby in June and she ended up losing her legs and a hand from amputation and becoming blind due to a septic infection/reaction from medication…I think of her often and all she is going through and realize my 20 lbs and fuss about my fine hair is nothing! Thank you for your inspiring words…I am off to do an exercise DVD now and eat something healthy for breakfast! And, I will practice saying “I love you and you are beautiful” to myself in the mirror!!