How do you talk to your body? What you don’t think you talk to it? I can bet that you do. We have conversations with ourselves all the time and sadly, most women have negative conversations with their body the majority of the time. What are the common things your body hears you say?
- You’re fat
- You’re ugly
- You’ve got a huge nose
- You’ve got a big bum
- You’ve got thunder thighs
- Your arms are flabby
- Your stomach is enormous
- You look old and wrinkled
- Your lips are too thin
and we go on and on and on in such a negative fashion.
Why do we do it to ourselves?
Does it help us? No
Does it make us feel better or more empowered? No!
Often it boils down to not feeling right or worthy or valuable. Not having the perfect body (and I can tell you that nobody has that, even the genetically blessed supermodels are photoshopped).
Maybe someone once said something to us about our body that gave us a complex. That older brother who was just wanting to be mean commented on your thighs, yet you’ve taken it to heart as fact, not his opinion (and maybe he was just saying it to get a reaction from you).
Why do we take a criticism to heart, even though it may have been said once, and was just one person’s opinion, yet we don’t take compliments as facts?
If we want our children to grow up with healthy body images (and I know we all do), then we need to be careful about what we say about our own bodies, otherwise they won’t believe what we have to say.
If we don’t value who we are as a person and how amazing our body is (and if you haven’t written a letter to your body, please do this today) and what it has done for us during out life so far, then it’s hard not to let that negative self-talk not take hold. So often women say to me that they’d love to come and see me for a consultation, but they won’t until they lose weight, as if they have no value and are not worth spending any money on right now, at whatever weight they are.
Kids learn by imitation, if you want your children to have a healthy body image, you need to model the behaviour. Taking some time for your own self-care rituals is important, it says you are important and you value yourself. Taking the time to exercise, to eat well and nourish yourself is also something your kids will pick up on. You’re not being selfish, you’re showing them how to have self-respect and to care for themselves.
Learn to say to your body “I love you and you are perfect just the way you are” say it in the mirror to yourself. Say it every day. Say it when you’re naked before you hop in the shower. Say it out loud.
Many women find this exercise excruciating as they have spent their entire life dismissing themselves as not beautiful or important. You are the most important person in the world to you and should be your number 1 priority. As a friend’s psychiatrist once said to her after a breakdown, “if you’re not working, and you’re not looking after yourself, how can you look after your family?”
Be kind to yourself, appreciate that the media puts out unattainable images of women. Appreciate that these images are an art form, but they are not real and should not be what you’re trying to achieve.
Take some time to discover who you are, maybe you’ve lost your style over time through lack of time and caring (that’s what my Evolve Your Style program is here to help you do). Maybe you’ve tried to conform to someone else’s mold rather than express your unique personality in the way Rosina did. Taking the time to discover who you are, and your personality will help you find the clothes that feel like “you” that make you feel great. If you’re dressing day to day in a uniform of sorts (it may be self-imposed but it doesn’t make you happy) then it may be time to break out and really delve into who you are today and if your shell (clothes) are still relevant in expressing that. Many women hide behind unflattering clothes because they have a negative body image, believe they are not worth spending the time, energy or money on, and also feel lost and have no idea how to find their style (and I’ve written lots about personality style here on the blog as well as having tools to discover yours in my 7 Steps to Style program).
But most importantly, every time you hear a negative thought about your body enter your mind, stop it. If you hear yourself start to speak those words, stop them. Instead say to yourself: “I love you and you are perfect just the way you are”.