What To Do The Next Time You Catch Yourself Criticizing Your Body

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Whenever I catch myself talking negatively to my body, I use this quick personal mantra as a reminder to bring myself back to peace:

It is not for me to decide whether my body is good enough or not.

My body is a divine gift, a temporary home for my soul, and it's on loan to me for the duration of my life.

It was designed perfectly for the specific purposes I am here to fulfill (whether I know what those are or not).

There is a reason I look exactly the way I look, even if I don't always like that.

Once I've accepted that I don't call the shots on the raw materials, I look at the part that IS within my control, and that's how I treat my body. Usually the times I'm not so happy with my appearance is when I haven't been doing the self-care thing too well.

So, beating and bashing myself is not going to help me. I can't come up with the next right action if I'm in a head-place of negativity and self-loathing. My first job is to find my way back to feeling good. I may not be feeling good about myself at first, but if I can get to hopeful or positive or capable at least, I know I'm en route.

Once I've accepted that I don't call the shots on the raw materials, I look at the part that IS within my control.

Here's how you can do it:

1. In those moments, we give ourselves MORE compassion, more forgiveness, more understanding. Heap it on.

Say you emotionally ate last night. Put your hand on your heart and try to get the message of what emotions were behind that. What pieces of you need your attention and your care? That case of emotional eating all of a sudden becomes an opportunity for learning about your inner life rather than another reason to feel bad about yourself.

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2. This compassionate self-talk builds your connection to you.

The stronger your connection to yourself, the less likely you are to mindlessly sabotage yourself later — seriously, we only ever binge when we want to disconnect or numb. This is your chance to reconnect.

3. Doing this self-knowledge work sets us free from a funky mindset.

And that's when we can receive inspiration on how we can best turn things around in a way that feels good. Maybe it's taking a bath and just calming your stress levels rather than hitting a tough workout to "erase" the calories. Maybe it's indulging in a nice glass of wine and turning into a ritual of self-celebration rather than going into full juice-cleanse mode. Maybe it's calling a friend to discuss the root of the emotion, getting it off your chest, or just having a good cry.

You'll know what works for you, your instinct will tell you. I just know that its voice is louder when you are kind and open and willing to hold your own hand along the way.

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