Body love is independent of size, shape, skin color, gender, age, or relationship status. So many people seem perfect and beautiful from the outside and yet, they still beat themselves up and dislike the way their bodies look.
This tells me that attaining real, authentic body love is much more of an internal shift than an external one. Feeling disconnected and at war with your body is something that comes up for so many of my clients. I've seen it in friends, family members, and myself, so I know how draining an unhappy relationship with your body can feel.
That’s why I want to share with you 5 thoughts that keep people at war with their bodies and what you can think instead:
Thought #1: I have to sweat every day or I'll gain 5 pounds.
By thinking like this, you assume that your body will turn against you as soon as you don’t push it rigorously. You assume that your body is something you need to control and direct harshly, instead of your most trusted vehicle that needs your love, support, and trust.
Better thought: I move my body daily to fill it with air and feel its strength and vivaciousness.
Thought #2: I only eat [this], never [that], and try my best to avoid sweets.
I cannot tell you how much time people spend thinking about food and setting up strict rules for themselves on what they can and cannot eat. Social occasions then often trigger anxiety because you cannot control what food will be around. From what I've seen, whenever there are too many strict rules, the temptation to eat the forbidden item increases tremendously. Why not replace strict rules with a positive mantra?!
Better thought: I nourish myself with foods that make me feel alive and vibrant.
Thought #3: I need to think hard about what to eat.
Most of us are used to making the majority of our decisions in our heads. We put enormous pressure on ourselves to figure out what the best, most rational solutions are. At the same time, we completely deny our body’s wisdom. In essence, we don’t trust our bodies and so we remain in our heads, cut off from intuition.
Better thought: I wonder what decision feels right? What puts me at ease and in harmony?
Thought #4: I need to get to everything on my to-do list or else I feel lazy.
Often our self-worth is defined by our constructive output and how much work we can get done in the shortest amount of time possible. We spend our days on auto-pilot and beat ourselves up for not being more productive and faster. We have no boundaries with ourselves or how much we put on our plate.
Better thought: I need to re-charge and take care of myself in order to deliver quality work that I want to stand behind. My body deserves to be a well-fueled vehicle.
Thought #5: Agh … how can I hide my [problem area].
Generally, we spend way more time and energy thinking about how we can hide parts of our bodies with which we feel unhappy. We obsess over the negative. By doing that, we signal to ourselves that something is wrong with us and that our appearance is shameful.
Better thought: How can I take pride in my most beautiful parts and decorate them in the most loving, stunning and flattering ways?
What are some common thoughts that you have that are keeping you small and in hiding? How can you start to adopt a lighter and more positive way of thinking about your body?